my dentist informed me yesterday that i had a wisdom tooth and that it needed to be extracted because it had a cavity beginning to set in. it was the most stunning bit of news i'd heard in ages. for one, i never knew i had a wisdom tooth and this had left me feeling short changed by evolution through most of my adult life. like the rest of mankind had been evolving for eons and eons and then the gene pool had sprung me on them without the prerequisite species credentials. and like i wasn't quite 'grown up' yet. infact, i regularly felt like the product of some green horn gene whose only memory was processed baby food.
needless to say, i would have done a lot to keep that tooth. i loved it the instant the dentist told me it was there. it didn’t matter that it was useless and twisted and twisting my other ‘good’ teeth. it was love at first sight when he pointed it out to me with his evil drill in the reverse mirror. and then he informed me it was rotten and had to go.
i could have cried, and i did, but he wasn’t buying. i have no idea why i pay to rendezvous with this man. i have spent the last ten years (ever since i got myself a monthly replenishing bank account) putting away an average of 250gms of chocolate a day with no dental problems. i visited several dentists in this time and every one of them told me i had excellent teeth. then i met him and so far he’s devastated me with eight cavities and blamed them all on my indiscriminate chocolate habit.
you can have ice cream the whole day afterwards, he promised. wonderful, more processed sugars...that should make sure the great grandkids make do with just their gums, observed the bitch in my head.
anyway, i dragged myself to the clinic today only to find the dentist out for a meeting. i was sure this was a sign from the ancestors to keep the tooth but the nurse had been prepped well and placed herself impassively between the door and me until he got back. then he diddled around in my mouth until he discovered another cavity. and he insisted on fixing this one before extracting the wisdom tooth so i could have thirty more minutes with ‘my precious’. (i reiterate, i dole out my hard earned cash for this treatment. no clue why.)
forty minutes, two pricks and a brief skinny dip in Goa later, i was yanked out of my drooling stupor by the dentist snapping, OPEN YOUR MOUTH, HEY! i had achieved the distinction of being the only person in the world to have been caught napping on a dentist’s chair while he was still drilling. i have no explanation for this other than the fact that i spent all of last night mourning the wisdom tooth i’d never really gotten to have and now wasn’t allowed to keep. five seconds later, he plugged my mouth with a wad of surgical cotton, recommended ice packs, ice cream, a fist of meds, a cut down on smoking, taking it easy the next couple of days and told me he was done.
there lay my wisdom tooth, curved and bloody as a dagger. proof of my gene’s vigorous march to the top of the food chain. he even offered to let me have it for keeps in a dental doggie bag, but I was done. it struck me then that perhaps the one thing that can save an individual wondering what to do post the loss of innocence and the more or less daily loss of dignity as a thirty year old PPT artist is the loss of wisdom. as i lit my second cigarette, it struck me that wisdom sometimes, is just another word for baggage.
so i headed to my favourite gelato place and piled on the scoops. i got myself back to office and helped set up a bunch of things we bought for the new workplace yesterday. i walked into the wall twice with the woosiness. once, while pulling a stubborn plug out of a reluctant socket and once more when we went looking for some missing curtains. i did most of this with an ice pack grafted to my face, fistfulls of drugs and a staunch determination to end the day with a celebratory bottle of beer. as it turned out i ended up with more than just one bottle.
so here i am, rid of all evidence of evolutionary junk and two bumps, three gelatos and many beers richer. it’s most likely the drugs my toothly nemesis has put me on (or the beer and the bumps) but i’m beginning to feel very, very good...!
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