last friday i had my bastard tooth taken out. the tooth that has, over its lifetime, cost me somewhere in the vicinity of 3 grand. the tooth that has, over its lifetime, cost my liver whatever the going rate is these days in liver chunks as it is forced to process not only piles and piles of antibiotics but also the stomach-churningly vicious anti-inflammatory toradol. the tooth, finally, that has, over its lifetime, thrice reduced me to a weeping sacklet of misery, a sad-eyed, pale-faced ghost of moi, wailing, praying, crying, weeping, gnashing of remaining teeth (this is very difficult to do without disturbing the painful tooth, but i have a real sense of the occasion, which required melodramatic outbursts of the highest order and, short of rending my garments and pouring ashes upon my head, gnashing it was. i did the other stuff too, by the way, but try finding ashes around my place! i was reduced to picking cigarette butts from outside the backdoor which did little to restore me to any sort of sense of equilibrium...where was i? am i still inside the brackets? hello??????...ahem. yes.) in a word (aaah, you gots to love my customary brevity, which does make an appearance sooner or later, though typically later...where was i?) yes, the damn tooth. out, damn tooth!
an aside: i am sad to say i am one of those patients that i hate: i grasp my hands so tightly that i effectively prevent any sort of meaningful bloodflow to the fingers, i exhibit all the classic signs of panic, and i whimper very very softly to myself. yes, i am afraid of the dentist. sue me.
the night following the extraction (which, let's be honest, scared the bejesus out of me and taxed my ability to get through the worst that life throws my way by practicing yoga breathing*) i was in pain. and because i was half asleep, and because i was in the midst of a japanese novel (all samurai and paper screens and courtly love and shit) i decided to get all philosophical on the pain's ass and to try to define it, thereby forcing it to disappear, unable to stand up to my scrutiny. does this sound crazy? 'cause you know what? it sorta works.
so i am lying there in bed, thinking to myself, my pain is like a golden nail (about 1.5") with the head of a chrysanthemum. then, as it shifts and changes, i think, my pain is a school of silver minnow. then i fall asleep on the icepack and dream of penguins.
*this ability is not an actual ability that i actually have. it is more of an ability i wish to hell i had. at that particular moment, breathing of any kind was an accomplishment.