Reflections From The Dentist's Chair
I dreaded this day for weeks,
watching the black X on the calendar march ever closer,
regressing back to toddler years in my mind.
As I pull into the parking lot
I wonder who else is here for voluntary pain.
The assistant walks me down the hall to the room.
It’s the one at the far end, surrounded by windows,
ensuring no possible escape
and insulating my shrieks from those
here for just a routine cleaning.
My eyes tiptoe around my cell
darting from one sharp metal object to another.
It occurs to me that intelligent modern people
spend thousands to attend schools of high regard
to learn the trade of torture.
Were they picked last for dodge ball?
If so, I am terribly, terribly sorry.
The dentist enters, singing.
“Let’s get started, ” he says with a smile.
I wonder if my attorney has my latest will
and I remind myself to call my mother
if my speech survives intact.
A pinprick later fur fills my mouth,
and he leaves me to gaze upon
advertisements for superior oral health.
They mock me, chiding me with the message
that it's all my fault.
The radio is on, but will not suffice this time.
I plug in my headphones to drown out
this cruel world, and switch on a favorite, loudly.
Nothing left to do now but surrender
to The Chair and the guitars in my brain.
But after a few peaceful moments of lying back,
staring blankly out the window at the autumn morning,
Novocain and music coursing through my body,
I suddenly realize that this could quite possibly be
the best part of my day.