The following knowledge has been acquired by yours truly in the past two weeks:
I have a compressed nerve in my left arm that is causing the index finger on that hand to tingle and periodically go numb.
My blood pressure continues to be a tick-and-a-half away from what my doctor classifies, per her expensive med school degree, as just beyond “something to keep an eye on.”
A few years ago, a guy I knew in high school blew his head off with a shotgun.
One of my favorite teachers recently died suddenly in his sleep.
Oh, and now my dog has an autoimmune disease.
This morning’s trip to the dentist for a filling replacement, therefore, seemed more promising than usual.
While my dentist punctures the upper left side of my mouth with a second round of anesthesia, in rushes the hygienist who has been cleaning my teeth every six months for the last three years.
“Uncool, when you are done here, you need to find me,” she says. “I need to talk to you.”
Her tone was not the normal Polish-tinged purr I’m used to hearing through her powder blue surgical mask. It’s unusually urgent and hurried.
“Oooh, you are in trouble now, boy!” my dentist says with another poke into my gums. “What did you do?”
That’s what I’m wondering.
Did she find out that I skate by on only flossing for a week immediately prior to my cleanings?
Has the way I tend to stare into her light-dilated eyes while she scrapes the doughnut remains from the buckles in wisdom teeth finally started to unnerve her to the point of filing a restraining order against me?
“OK, I know that already feels numb but it’s going to take a good six or seven minutes for the tooth to go dead as well, so just lay back there for a while,” says my dentist.
Then he yells out the door: “Hey, Uncool is free if you want to talk to him now!”
I’m flat on my back in the pleather recliner and I turn my head at the sound of footsteps. She enters the room, safety goggles down, mask up.
Here it comes.
“Uncool! I want you to know that I loved your column about your daughter talking about cutting her hair to help sick kids! I stole the newspaper from here in the office and brought home for my daughter. And you know what?”
“Did she cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love?”
“All the way to here,” she says, raising her hand level to the middle of her own head.
I try to smile but half my face is frozen in an impenetrable droop.
“That’s great,” I say forgetting, among other things, to worry about whether I drooled the words onto the collar of my shirt.
Video: Eels, “Novocaine for the Soul”
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