Have a Seat

Closing the wisdom tooth chapter once and for all, I’ve been reflecting on how the dental assistants got a laugh out of me.

Of course it was the young, handsome man that came for me with the wheelchair.

“Have a seat”. He smiled. “We have to take you out this way.”

I was just fresh from anesthesia, as he rolled me and my chipmunk cheeks, chock full of gauze, drool probably still pooling at the corner of my mouth. In my haze, I tried to hold some semblance of composure. I suppose it’s telling to note that despite grogginess and teeth extraction, the biceps steering my convalescent body had not gone unnoticed.

Since I looked like hell, I think I attempted humor on our way out to the parking lot. Mumbling something dumb through numb lips. Something about him avoiding bumps in the concrete in hopes of getting a good tip.

I think he thought we were pretty funny, my driver and I, as he brought us to her dusty pick up. The “Who’s your farmer?” bumper sticker on the back window, just above a truck bed full breadfruit, oranges and scattered garden tools. I scooted the pruners out of the passenger seat and eased myself into the truck.

He’s smiling. “Yeah, you asked us when you were under if we were sure we were pulling the right tooth.”

I know I’m keen to the double-check. But that takes it to a whole new level.

It’s been days since the procedure. The handsome dental assistant’s smile has faded from my memory, it’s true. But I can’t keep from mulling over the fact that even under anesthesia, I was making sure everything was in order.

Part of me can’t decide if this is such a bad thing. It’s a characteristic that can help me to be an effective person.

But another part of me has got to wonder. Is there no time, no chemical compound strong enough, in which I can just completely let go?

I wrote about the laughing gas enlightenment. That silly smile lasted all of 45 seconds, though it was a beautiful 45 seconds.

Maybe I can grasp some small, non-nitrous-induced moments of surrender throughout today.

But do I ever just totally let go? Do any of us? If so, when? How?

My wisdom teeth are no longer in my mouth, but maybe now I’m receiving a transmission of their sage essence. Questions to ponder. Insight to be gained.

courtesty of srqpix

Laughing Gas Enlightenment

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.

Cherry Bombs and Black Magic

“It’s ok, mom, I’m just trying to teach you something new.”

Jeb walks over to wrap his seven-year old arm around my waist, the basketball tucked beneath his other limb.

I put my hand on top of his blonde head, which is now cresting just beneath my sternum.  “I don’t think I fully get the game, hon.  It’s hard when we don’t have the actual lines here.”

We’re on the street with imaginary boundaries, bouncing the ball between us as Jeb attempts to teach me the game of Foursquare.

He’s a good coach, offering enthusiastic exclamations like, “You’re good!  You’re almost better than me!” at even my most simple passes.  He’s convincing in his encouragement and seems to have become 30 while I’ve regressed to age eight.

There are bounce moves with crafty names:  Typewriter, Cherry Bomb and Black Magic.

I try my hand at several but never find my groove.

As we wrap it up and head back down the road, we walk and pass the ball between us.

“Never give up, mom.  It’s fun when you get the hang of it.  I was just thinking that if you learned a new game that maybe when you were with some guys your age, you could have something you could play together.”