Last night, something felt funny in my mouth and as I reached up to investigate, a chunk of tooth fell into my hand. Frightened, I held it closer to find that fortunately it was just one of my porcelain fillings. I calmed down and thought, “Meh, I’ll get this fixed, no biggie.” I casually continued to do my laundry. It wasn’t until my mom mentioned an impending dentist’s appointment that the terror set in. I breezed through all of the psychological defense mechanisms before finally settling on repressing the thought of going to the eerily bright office with sickly sweet assistants, motorized hands, and fear-stricken, isolated patients.
I got a call at work. My mom announced that they’d be happy to see me in an hour and a half. Gasp. I suddenly felt as if I were in a gasless chamber, shrinking by the second. I started getting dizzy. It’s funny how the anxiety creeps in when you’re going to the dentist. This is the same feeling I get when I know I have to go inside Wal-Mart. Luckily, my dentist’s office is not housed in a Wal-Mart. To my knowledge no practices are contained in those dreadfully sad buildings. If mine were, I would either run for the hills or decidedly have a heart-attack instead.
The waiting room was empty of all life and the lights were dimmed to resemble a plush death row. The secretary’s desk had the creepy glow with its fluorescent light seeping into the dungeon.
I wasn’t sure if she had multiple personalities or if she was speaking with the royal we. Either way, I wasn’t going to ask for fear of receiving a beheading.
The walls seemed oddly close. I numbly reached out for some reading material. Maybe it was about Angelina Jolie. Maybe it was about
After nervously brushing my teeth, I was led back to a well-equipped room, with the weapons conveniently stowed beneath the innocent cover of white cabinets; the interrogation light poised high over head. The chair was already in a slightly reclining position. If I didn’t know that this place was a certified dental office, I would be a little worried that this equipment would be used for black market organ operations or some other shady acts performed by dodgy characters only found in Dick Tracy comics, or the likes of Al Capone. Thankfully, this was just a maxillofacial torture chamber.
As the chair was positioned horizontally, I tried my best to settle in comfortably, but this was impossible. My eyes glazed over, appearing to be reading the magazine, only to have the mind behind them drift in a haze of confusion, fear, and disconnectedness. The classic dentistry walls were covered in a burgundy and forest green motif with depressing water colors whose hues had bled too much. The tunes being emitted from the ceiling were smooth hits such as “I just called to say I love you” and “Unchained melody”. These only furthered the ominous mood.
The procedure was to begin, my eyes firmly closed, along with my hands gripping tightly to one another. I crossed my legs and curled my toes, and was ready to be mummified. Many moments later the actual man in charge slithered in. I’m completely convinced that he was once a rambunctious Hell’s Angel, a fiery three-ring circus leader, or an ex-convict doped up on enough meds that he passed for a mellow guy. He simply had to have some sort of dark past that could catch up to him at any time. But he sure had a good poker face. Good enough to conceal this from the rest of the oral hygiene scene, but I saw straight through his slightly catatonic ways.
The anesthetic needle was inserted into my gums and I instantly froze. I had no desire to have this metal fang snap off inside my face. It also felt as though it just kept going further and further in until I could feel it in the tips of my little curled-up toes. I was promptly abandoned, left to wither in a most uncomfortably numb state.
He asked if it was okay to go on. I winced in reply. He proceeded. His hands moved swiftly as he put some cotton in my mouth. Then the metal came. The strange blue glow with an orange diffuser shone through my eyelids.
“Let’s have that condenser.”
Heaven only knows what that is, but I hoped this tool doesn’t hail back from his gypsy head-shrinking days.
And then Clay Aiken’s horridly disturbing song “If I was invisible” came on. In spite of my awful surroundings, I nearly burst out laughing as the drills and other attachments were performing their tasks. The circumstances forced me to listen to each stalker-related lyric as I sank deeper into the chair to subconsciously get away from it all. I had to bottle my timid giggles, else I’d be missing far more than one little filling.