so THAT’s where you’ve been, erinire!
You’ve been staring in horror at the 4 gruesome wisdom teeth removed from your boyfriend’s mouth and currently residing in a hand-blown glass jar on your “kitchen” counter!
I drove him to the dentist on Tuesday morning, which seems now like a very long time ago indeed. We set out in the grey rain of the morning… he says he was nervous, but doesn’t know that I was the one sweating bullets. I am a caring person, a loyal friend, but a very bad nurse. I don’t do well with blood and fare even worse with vomit, so his impending oral surgery conjured memories of my seventeen-year-old self, drugged to the tits with percoset, bleeding from the gums, and puking for days from the runoff. I didn’t think that I could handle being on the “sober nurse” end of that equation.
The dentists office did little to assuage my fears. Walking into the building, we were hit with a solid fistful of flouride-smell. You know – that DENTIST SMELL. The smell of paper bibs and gauze and that sucking-y straw they stick in your mouth just after they ask you what you do for a living. It’s also the smell of HEY WE’RE GONNA TEAR SHIT OUT OF YOUR HEAD – DON’T BE NERVOUS.
me? I was nervous. And it wasn’t even my head.
Katsumi had (wisely) asked to be put under for the duration of his procedure, and I trailed the nurse into the exam room, grilling her about post-extraction protocol and symptoms. Making a conscious effort NOT to look at the tools laid out on the aluminum tray, I instead stared at my loving partner and the weirdo sci-fi heart monitors the nurse was attaching to his wrists and ankles. When all was said and done, he was wired tighter than the entertainment shelf in our studio apartment and his BPM hovered solidly around 100. This was no consolation when the doctor politely ushered me out of the room prior to inserting the IV.
All in all, it didn’t take too long to complete the extraction. I called work and speed-read three issues of Oprah magazine (appx. 5 min per volume) and before I knew it, they called me back to recovery to be with the boy.
he was laid out on a cot that would have been quite at home in a school nurse’s office, his eyes were bloodshot, and he was smiling. SMILING!!! He was absolutely fucking EUPHORIC!! I wanted to cry. Then I looked at the saline drip in his arm and I wanted to pass out.
THEN the nurse brought his teeth. his unwashed, freshly plucked teeth.
“lessh me shee my teef!” he trilled.
I uneasily removed the cotton pad from the tiny manila envelope and unsheathed the goods. Katsu examined them individually, even as his new wounds drained into wads of gauze shoved waaaaaaay back in his jaw. He held up one, about the size of the top knuckle of my ring finger, the root all hooked and weird and (uch) RED.
Then, i REALLY wanted to pass out.
Luckily, he’e been a model patient. Not whiny, happy with his medication, gleefully eating pint after pint of Haagen Daas. So I get to look like a good nurse and he gets to be waited on hand and foot, brought popsicles and sherbet and tomato soup while watching movies with titles like “battlefield baseball” and “ghost in the shell 2”.
And the teeth, lightly brushed, are enshrined next to our dish rack, next to the decorative oil carafe on our counter. But they still kind of make me want to pass out.