Saturday, August 16, 2008
Insult to injury
I moped around yesterday. Leaving work at 12:50 so that I could make it to the-dental clinic to assist, I grabbed a popsicle from the break-room freezer. They had handed them out at work the other day, and the extras were just put in the freezer. I thought, 'You know, you can give kids a popsicle and it makes anything better. If I can connect to some inner adolescence, I can drown away my sorrow in this orange twin-pop."
So, I put on my biking shoes, unlocked my bike, strapped on my helmet and started moseying my way on over to the clinic, making careful to hold on tightly to my popsicle. I've seen the cruelness of a kid with a fallen popsicle, and I wasn't going to that happen to me.
I downed one side and started working on the next. And then I encountered an unforeseeable, and undefeatable foe to my popsicle panacea. I drove through a cloud of gnats. Actually, not just one, but several consecutive clouds.
So there I was, riding along with a popsicle speckled in dead gnats, with nothing to do except hold on to the popsicle as it melted its once-sugary goodness all over my hand. It was a while until I reached the next dumpster.
After arriving at the clinic with a sticky left hand, we did nothing but extractions. That's right, I got to assist while Dr. White pulled a total of 9 teeth from 3 different patients.
The blood, pain, broken teeth, and sutures, all got me thinking about the extraction that happens after breaking up. When you date someone you share routines, sayings, and memories. After a while these become a part of you. When you break up, it isn't a matter of eliminating that person from your life. In fact, on several of the teeth Dr. White pulled, that was what had happened. The crown of the tooth had previously broken off, or broke off with the slightest of pressure from his forceps. It looked like the tooth was gone. But in reality the roots go deeper. You have to dig them out. You change how you talk, your routine, what you think about. You have to change who you are. And sometimes it's bloody, messy, and painful.