It’s eight o’clock in the morning.The caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.
“Bite down hard,” the dentist says, referring to the temporary crown he just stuck in my mouth.
“Only one more minute.”
A minute of silence, I hope, but no.
“I recently read a great book called …”
Why didn’t I take Jim’s advice and bring the iPod. He takes his isolation seriously in the chair. He also wears sunglasses. I should have listened to him. The sunglasses would have blocked the bits of glue and tooth that struck me in the eye like shrapnel.
The monologue continued.
“It’s historical fiction. I love historical fiction.”
I love peace and quiet.
“It takes place in the middle east.”
I hear it’s lovely this time of year in the PLO district.
“It’s a fascinating book about…”
I’m pretty sure a minute has passed though I did lose track of time when I nodded off, possibly from inhaling dental glue. I had a lovely dream about lying on a beach by the Sea of Galilee.
With the faux crown or your fucking story?
“Read the book in two days…”
I pray it doesn’t take him that long to talk about it. I have to go to work tomorrow. What if he plans to keep me here as a captive audience? What if I never leave the chair? I can’t even call 911 with my limited vocabulary.
911. What’s your emergency?
“I love all the James Michener books. Did you read…”
I had planned to until now.
“I just don’t know how much of the book is true.”
Dude, it’s historical fiction. It doesn’t have to be true.
He checks his watch. “I think it’s done.”
The tooth or monologue?
He sticks his hairy knuckles in my mouth to tinker with the temporary crown. It passes the wiggle test.
“You’re good to go.”
I bolt from the chair, jump into my car and back into a stone wall. Noooooo! I inspect the bumper that now sports a lovely stone dent etching. Can my day get any worse?
I arrive home and sit down at the computer to work on my book. An hour later, I sense an unidentified moving object in my mouth. I remove it.
“Nooooooo!” I stare at the temporary crown sitting in my hand when it should be sitting in my mouth.
I call the dentist. He’s out to lunch, literally and figuratively. I leave a message. Thirty minutes later, his assistant calls me back.
“Can you come over here now?”
So, I go over there now.
It’s two o’clock and I’m back in the chair, teeth clenched on my very temporary crown.
“I recently read a great book called…”
He starts telling me about the same damn book from the morning.
The dude’s got dentist dementia from sniffing too much dental redo glue.