Monday, April 2, 2012

a moment in the day: dentist

They've poked so much Novocaine into my cheek that half my face is a boxer's glove, dead leather stuffed with padding, and the dentist and the assistant with the broken finger are wrenching on my glove face, and Charles Dickens is in my ears.

I'm still listening to the audio book of Great Expectations. Pip is now leaving his childhood home to find his fortune in London:

"Well, I suppose I must be off!" and then I kissed my sister who was laughing and nodding and shaking in her usual chair, and kissed Biddy, and threw my arms around Joe's neck. Then I took up my little portmanteau and walked out. The last I saw of them was, when I presently heard a scuffle behind me, and looking back, saw Joe throwing an old shoe out after me and Biddy throwing another old shoe. I stopped then, to wave my hat, and dear old Joe waved his strong right hand above his head, crying huskily, "Hooroar!" and Biddy put her apron to her face.

Dentist hands are stuffed in my mouth, yanking and poking to get that crown in there, but I don't care.

I whistled and made nothing of going. But the village was very peaceful and quiet, and the light mists were solemnly rising, as if to show me the world, and I had been so innocent and little here, and all beyond was so unknown and great, that in a moment with a strong heave and sob I broke into tears. It was by the finger-post at the end of the village, and I laid my hand upon it, and said, "Good bye, O my dear, dear friend!"

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.

Tears to my eyes, to roll out at the corners and back into my ears as I lie back in the dentist's chair and hope they think it's just the spray from the little portable water spout.

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