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Well Met

Mood: Content
Drinking: Tea

A big thank-you goes out to the fine bunch of folk who showed up at Sacred Grounds for the reading last night. (Kathy took this stealth photo of the reading in action.)

A special shout out to my open mic buddy Gary, who deserves the credit for getting me to Sacred Grounds in the first place.

I met a lot of lovely people, sold quite a few books, and had a great deal of fun reading my stuff. Which is all as it should be, I think.

I’ll be reading again in the next few months at Red Hill Books in Bernal and Bird & Beckett in Glen Park. I’ll post details for everybody when the dates get closer.

Meanwhile, I have some laundry and poems to finish, a dress to alter, a wedding to dance at and a dog to walk.

I’ll be seeing you soon with more things to say about a new cinepoem, an upcoming film festival, and how to upstage the bride without being too obvious about it.

Until then, Internet, sleep well and don’t forget to floss.

-Lo, who only flosses because her dentist is really good at laying down the guilt.

Dental Hygenist Butcher Bitch

Mood: Flossed within an inch of my life
Drinking: Tea time

I know I’m not the only one who has a serious dentist phobia. I know there are lots of you out there who fear the teethers.

You walk through those awful dentist doors into the magazine waiting room and the “wheeeeet wheeeeet” sound of the saw or the polisher or the tooth tangler or whatever the hell those torture devices are called fills the air, and it’s enough to make you soil yourself.

I had my six month checkup today. I managed to put it off for a whole extra month and even then I seriously considered bailing when I was just blocks away. But I learned my lesson when I tried to hide from a dentist for three whole years–when I was finally forced to return, the scraping and the poking was 10 times worse than before.

The scraping is the worst. They get in there with those metal spikes and various poking devices and hack away at your enamel. Sometimes they whack your gums and then have the audacity to say in the most condescending tone, “Your gums are bleeding.” And I always say, “Of course they’re bleeding, you whore! That’s usually what happens when you try to carve them up like a Christmas ham!” Or at least that’s what I would say if they didn’t have their fist all up in my mouth.

Last year there was a new hygenist at my dentist’s office who came within millimeters of giving me a full-fledged panic attack. Not only did she keep up a running commentary on anything that seemed to flit into her mind (my clothes, my hair, my monroe piercing (“did that hurt?”), my education (“are you still in high school?”), my purse, my fingernails, my belly lint), she would stop working and wait for me to answer. I just wanted her to get on with the goddamn scraping so the whole horrible incident would be over as quickly as possible and I could escape with the smallest amount of trauma. But no…it was like a big social event for her. Each new victim in her chair was a first date, and she was all about getting to know them to see if there might be potential for a magical future.

It’s the closest I’ve ever come to ripping the paper bib off my chest and bolting from the chair, screaming down the hall and out into the street. It was almost as bad as the time the dentist tried to remove my first wisdom tooth without much anesthesia. Oh yes. He did.

See, I wasn’t born with an innate fear of the tooth doctor. When I was little, I didn’t mind much because there was this big cool fish tank and a treasure chest full of loop-handled lollipops and they’d let me choose what flavor of polish I wanted–grape or cherry.

But then, in college when my wisdom teeth finally decided to make an appearance, disaster struck. I was already well on my way to developing a nice little low-level dentist phobia. Mild tremors upon entering the parking lot. Slight feeling of doom in the lower part of the intestinal tract. Nothing I couldn’t handle.

But then the family doctor (whose wife was about 7 feet tall, while he was only 5’7″ and balding)–not sure what the balding pate has to do with anything, but it’s a nice little detail, innit? Anyway, this doctor decides he’s going to go ahead and pull my wisdom tooth himself, even though it wasn’t fully grown yet. Apparently he thought a little shot of novocaine and a lot of pulling, yanking, jaw gripping (I had bruises) and tooth cracking would be a piece of cake. I think his dentist chair probably still has my fingernail grooves in the arm rests. I let him rip one out (didn’t have much choice since my mouth was full of pliers and shovels) and then, blood dripping down my chin, said “No more!”

I let the other wisdom teeth stay where they were and grow big and strong for about 4 or 5 more years, until I was dating Boy and one of my big wise guys got all impacted to the point that I was extremely ill and my throat was swelling shut and I had to go to an oral surgeon. Now, oral surgeons, them guys are cool. You get the magic gas and float away to happy land and wake up with a mouth full of cotton, happy as a clam. (Assuming clams are really happy. If I was a clam, I think I’d cut myself, but that’s another story.)

Strange and immediate cravings for burritos, gyros and cheeseburgers aside, my oral surgeon experience was quite satisfactory. But I’ve never again darkened the door of a dentist den of horrors without mace in hand and a pocketful of vicadin. (Wouldn’t that be nice, really?)

So now I am toothsore and slightly hyperventilated. And I may have been rude to the dental hygenist. (I told her right off that I hated her and all her fellow hygenists with a fiery burning hatred, and if she even *thought* about giving me the Flossing Speech, I’d hunt down her firstborn and toss him from a cliff.)

Exaggeration aside, I’m sure that hygenist is telling her boyfriend about the bitch she had in the chair today who was so scared of dentists that her knee spasms were rocking the room. But you know what, whore? Better a Bitch than a Butcher!!!

-Lo, who needs to calm down, already. Sheesh.