(image from Flikr)
One remedy for despair over the horrors worldwide and domestic is to go to the dentist for your semi-annual cleaning.
The technology has evolved to a needle-like device that sprays water at and between your teeth as it probes for plaque and God knows what else. It is screechy loud. That is step one. Oh, please don’t hit a nerve!
How can I be wishing that this hour will pass? I ask myself. How can I wish my life away?
Next come all the pointy instruments sterilely packaged in cellophane—those things that jab at you as you again dread a nerve being hit, which today I compared to listening to ragged fingernails scratching a blackboard. Why is that sound such a horror? So is a nerve being hit and that worst of all possibilities, one of those needle-like implements getting caught in a tooth. A cavity. Fillings are such fun also. I once had one done without anesthesia. I must have been crazy.
But back to the cleaning: Skreeeee! Oh get your fingernail out of my lip! Why don’t you manicure your nails shorter? Ouch.
Finally, the fun part. Rinse out and then … time to floss! Two feet of floss for one mouth? Then toothbrushing time! But oh, you’ve got to be kidding—strawberry flavored? I’m probably the only person in the world who dislikes strawberries. But the taste is mild and still the best part of the ordeal until … the end! Rinse out! Ptui!
No cavities, everything else normal: tongue, neck glands, whatever else the man dentist, who enters dramatically afterward, was looking for. Oh, please don’t find anything!
Clean bill of oral health. They’re all out of free toothbrushes and miniature containers of floss, but here’s a travel-sized tube of your favor toothpaste brand. Thanks.
Free for another six months.
I’ve been going to the same dentist off and on since the mid-nineties. I first went to him for a toothache. A total stranger. Then I looked up at the guy bent over my teeth and saw the handsomest man I’d ever seen in my life. Surprise. Not that getting a filling was pleasant but the shock was. His wife at the front desk was extremely pretty. So going to the dentist was at least esthetically pleasing after that.
I strolled out into an achingly beautiful autumn day, the sky sharply blue, the foliage peaking. Then reality came crashing down. Back into this pathetic, doomed reality of our poor old world we’ve plundered so badly.
Putin’s accusation that Ukraine will be using dirty bombs on his country reminds me of Bush Jr.’s “WMD” hoax that led to the Iraq war and all the hell after that. This time the Doomsday Clock’s hand is even closer to that twelve.