A hole has been growing in my back molar for some time now. Hole might be a modest term. Chasm might be better. It never got to the point of hurting, and I never got to the point of being a person with dental insurance or a couch. But something happened to me Monday morning. One of those quarterly bursts of inspiration where I start my day planning a trip to Africa to teach AIDS orphans and then eventually settle on buying fruit. After Googling ‘African Babies’, I called the dentist and booked an appointment.
It wasn’t just the chasm in the back tooth. I was also very aware that I probably had at least 5-10 other cavities. I wasn’t too embarrassed. I brush 3 times a day. I floss. It’s just my ridiculous parents and their particular lineages that forced me to inherit pussy tooth enamel. I’m a beautiful woman and I have nothing to be ashamed of…
I went into the dentist’s office that very day for a 1 o’clock cleaning. The dental hygienist was nice enough. She said it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, which was a funny thing to say because I hadn’t said anything about how bad I thought it was. After the cleaning, she brought me into the other room where I braced myself for the actual dentist. “I’m a woman. I’m a woman. I’m a woman!” A mantra which might have been more appropriate in my gynecologist’s office.
The dentist came in, barely looked at me and went straight to the X-Rays. Finally…
“Umm…so you have some cavities. A couple of really bad ones.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry about that.”
“Let me take a look.”
He performed his initial examination with only one “Oh my!”
“I haav puthy toot elamel!” I screamed with the sucky thing still in my mouth.
He took the sucky thing out of my mouth and sat back in his chair just looking at me. He just fucking looked at me and waited for me to come up with some explanation for why my mouth sucked so much. (Zing!) Under duress, I came up with a reason. I swear to God, here is what I said:
“I’ve been in Africa!”
I’VE BEEN IN AFRICA!…is what I said…
“Africa really? What were you doing in Africa?”
“Oh nice,” he said with a smirk. He didn’t believe me. This bastard wanted a fight.
“Yep!” I sput out through gritted teeth. “A really beautiful experience!”
“So…where were you?”
“Kenya? Amazing. And what were you teaching? English?”
He wanted a fight? Let’s fight. Bitch.
“No. I wasn’t. I was teaching the Kenyan language.”
“You were teaching the Kenyans their own language?”
“Well, we teach English here don’t we?”
“I suppose we do…”
“…it was, like, mostly grammar and one course developing prose pieces…a little poetry…a little poetry sprinkled in there too. It is an ELEGANT language. Absolutely pitch-fucking perfect for…emoting. The Kenyan language. The language they speak in Kenya.”
“The language they speak in Kenya?”
“The language they speak in Kenya.”
He looked at me with absolutely no expression on his face.
“I have pussy tooth enamel.”