A Quickie from the Dentist’s Office

“It’s a wonder you’re not in more pain,” my dentist said.

I nodded around a mouthful of q-tips and numbing agents, staring vacantly up into a blinding fluorescent ring. “I guess I’m lucky like that,” I meant to say, but it came out more “ahh gehh ahh luhee li fhaaa”.

(I wonder if dentists ever understand anything we say with all their instruments crammed in our mouths, or if they’re just good at pretending to. Or, maybe more likely, we’re so desperate for any semblance of normality and human contact in such a vulnerable moment that we greedily interpret their disinterested nods and “mmhmm’s” for deep empathy. Either way, the dynamic is very strange.)

He nodded absently and went to work with the drill, while I listened to the music of the vibrations inside my skull.

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