I stood outside the door of Metro Dental Office, wondering whether to go in. Furtively looked around, saw no one watching, walked to the bus stop and sat down. Contemplating whether to go in, sudden pain reminded me of why I was here. Angry at the foolish thought of running away, walked back, opened the door and stepped in. I had a love hate relationship with dentists. Felt this was probably my hundredth dentist.
It’s been three years since I had seen one. I was feeling pain in the upper left tooth way back where I can only play with my tongue. Even trying to put my index finger inside to comfort the pain did not work as it made me want to balk. My tongue goes to that far away land and comforts it.
The dental hygienist was a handsome Chinese guy named Wu. After sitting in the big leather chair, moving up and down as if pumping air in a tire, he did a thorough check and suggested a deep tissue cleaning using all the knife and fork that one needs when sitting down for a meal to clean the plate. I did as told.
After four months, one fine Monday mid-morning, I sat down in my favorite chair to read my usual newspaper that had murders and rapes in front page, Democratic theory clobbering show up on the second page and the third page shows Conservative theory smashing. The rest of the pages either have large print ads or obituaries and reading is over.
Sighing, I put the newspaper down and eyed the lonely apple sitting in a fruit bowl on the table. I had my eye on it for some time to sink my teeth into, but kept putting it off. Finally, the fateful day arrived and I took the bait.
Gnawing with my front teeth, I bit the apple and slowly began to move the bite to the far end for munching, so the juices start flowing down my throat. Mmmm... Mix of sweet and sour. Pleased with the mixed juices flowing took another nibble and moved it back to savor the taste.
CRUNCH… Suddenly, I bit on something that was not soft and felt like a rock. I spit it out on the table. Not believing, gave a howl. I was horrified at what I saw. Sat there staring at the table and began to weep and cry like a baby. Part of my favorite tooth is broken. Coming back to my senses, I thought Wu really cleaned my teeth well and was feeling full of sorrow for the part of the tooth that fell off.
Fervently, my tongue ran back to comfort the half loss that was felt. The part that broke felt like fangs immediately felt the sharp pain and slithered towards the front. It comforted, by staying in the front and didn’t want to go back. I looked at the apple and threw away feeling disgusted. It was the apple’s fault. This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken it.
Groaning, I called up the office and made an appointment. Now I have to clean up my pockets that were filled with dough for the past four months. I needed a crown, not on my head, but on my broken tooth. Meanwhile, my tongue was getting used to the fangs and comforting itself by gently and cautiously moving around and sideways.
Reaching the office, I signed in and waited for my turn. I sat down in the brown plush leather chair when summoned and disliked everything in the dentist office that day. The chair totally enclosed me in as if I am sitting in an elephant’s lap with only my head showing up of my puny little body.
In comes the handsome Wu. I wasn’t interested, to engage in any pleasantries nor gave him a smile. Just like an old hag I said aloud, sarcastically, “You did a pretty good job of routine cleaning that part of my tooth came off.”
He just had the dumbest of smile and I really felt like smacking him at that point, but didn’t, while he said, “Open your mouth please. Wide.”
I had no choice but to open my mouth and the conversation ended there. But not for long as a few seconds later he said, “Ok. Relax.”
“Now ma’am we need to talk,” he said and I could feel and see, in my mind’s eye, the hard earned dough flying away from me after the insurance pays its part.
Sighing, I thought to myself, “Oh my love why did you snap when I needed you the most.”
I pouted at him still in the chair as he slowly started to crank the chair up to a sitting position.
I fully expected him to say we can fix without the crown or something, as I was expecting a miracle to happen. But he said…
“You will need two crowns. There are two broken as there is a wide gap.” He looked at me expecting to hear my usual insolent remarks, but I was dumbfounded. I was at a loss for words.
“I broke two?” were my thoughts. That apple was a bad one; no wonder Eve ate it and not Adam.
Wu cleared his throat and I came back to earth. I heaved a sigh and said, “Ok. Now what should I do?”
He said, “I will bring back your estimate which tells you the insurance part and an approximate amount that you have to pay.”
I snorted and said, “Yeah. OK.”
While he was gone, my heart was weeping. I felt sad and dejected and my tongue kept going back round and round gently playing with the fangs and trying to figure out two broken teeth instead of one.
Wu was back in a jiffy with a smirk on his face and all his thirty two teeth showing. He explained the insurance coverage, amount to be paid and yada yada yada. I just nodded, signed the papers and gave him my credit card. He said to collect it from the front desk and make appointment to get my crown(s).
HA… Did I mention it is not for my head but for my teeth and TWO of them, sigh… am I the lucky one!
I got my card back, but didn’t make the appointment. No idea why, but wanted to wait. Food always went to the upper left and hit the softer part of the gap. I was finding it difficult to eat with the wide gap. Unconsciously, my tongue would start moving it to the right.
“Well, I had to get it fixed, couldn’t go on like this for much longer.”
Finally, made the appointment and got it done. It felt good but not as great as my real teeth that I loved and lost.
Now, when I have to eat an apple, I cut it into pieces. There’s a saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I wonder which one? Not the dentist was my thought.
My tongue feels, misses and said, “I still go there and meet, but don’t feel right. I miss the originality, of my original friends.”
Sigh… I agree with my tongue and loved my original teeth. I miss them a lot.