Not having perfected the one-handed typing technique, this post will be short as I am still needing to hold the ice bag to my post-operative cheek.

Yes, I ventured into the mists. And though I didn’t walk there like the ancient Chinese poets, I was still gifted with a nitrous oxide-induced moment of divinity.

Here at home, as I rest and heal, I recall how I lay beneath the mask in the dentist chair. The misty cool entering my nostrils in a whirring, soft hiss. How soon, some goofy smile spread across my face, despite myself. And then the elation. All points culminating to that time and place. A reverberating space where there existed one simple truth: nothing is all that serious.

What was real was a pervasive sense of happiness. And in that moment, all was right with the world.

And then everything faded as the anesthesia took over and my wisdom teeth were extracted from my jaw.

Jessica Dofflemyer

Surfacing from the haze, I linger with that silly smile that bloomed upon my face. I want to remember that and conjure it for the rest of my days. Tap that source that doesn’t need a tank of nitrous oxide.

Right now it hurts a bit to grin that big. Right now, it’s just me and my starry ice pack. Arnica and carrot juice. Salt water swishes. But I’m still basking in the gift the mists of nitrous oxide gave me.

2 thoughts on “Laughing Gas Enlightenment

  1. I’m sure it hurts, and will probably hurt more later. Years ago, I took my older sister to get her wisdom teeth pulled. I felt very sorry for how much pain she was in later, but I really enjoyed how goofy she was for quite a while after the anesthesia.


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