When I was working at the New York Observer, one day I had a strobing, magnificent pain in my mouth during lunch and I figured I’d shattered a tooth or maybe even a tooth had come out and shattered another tooth. This would be, I would say, spring of 2006, but as anyone who writes about their recent history can understand, I could be off by a few seasons easily. I believe I was eating a BLT from Shine deli, which is located at 922 Broadway and used to be a great deal of fun, when “Jennifer” worked there (Jennifer, which may or may not have been her real name or her “American” name, hilariously used to call herself “the most beeeaaauuutiful girl in the world”) but I think isn’t fun any more. I remember running from my office to the bathroom, cutting through the lobby, past our boss, Peter Kaplan, who said “Hiya kid!” and I think I said, “Ungh,” because I was going green. I get a little panicky when I discover or decide suddenly that something is going wrong with my body. That’s why I keep Maalox and Advil and Cortisone on my bedside table. But I definitely remember the bacon was a little crunchy. I think this was a Tuesday, too, which meant the paper was closing that day. But it might have been a Monday, because the pain was so monstrous that I might even have gone home early. Once I’d decided it was a tooth, I got some Orajel and some Advil. As I recall, at the time, everyone at the paper was having a problem tooth or teeth. In my false memory, we all passed around tooth ointments and salves constantly. But I think this is only true of the Advil, which, just like in offices all over America, everyone was always going to someone to ask for some. It took me some time to discover where the pain was coming from. I was convinced it was on my top left, that something in there was shattered, and it was really excruciating. So first I was putting Orajel on that area of my teeth but I couldn’t figure out exactly where I was aiming so eventually I just started a thorough system of coverage for that part of my mouth. The pain went all the way to the top of my head, but definitely that cut it, when accompanied by five Advil. Sometimes I took a little aspirin too, because I figured that was good for my heart. There was a time when I would lay on my couch in the apartment, alternately smoking and gargling with hydrogen peroxide, unable to think or move. I lived alone at this time. These periods of excruciating pain passed, though, and soon enough, I quit the paper, because I’d run out of money from working there. I had been cutting into my little savings to work there. I always kept aside four months of living expenses as my life savings, in case something went wrong, and for the freedom to always be able to quit a job. I thought this was very sensible of me, even though I wasn’t in my twenties, but in my thirties, so it actually doesn’t sound very sensible when you know about a world where adult people set aside money for their retirement. I left because a job came up that paid a lot more money, at least, “a lot” more to me, and that was the first time (and, to date, last) in my whole life that I ever took a job for the money. That is, of course, an easy thing to say when you didn’t go to college, and most of your early work history is working in homeless shelters and health clinics and doing nonprofit legal work, because you never have the opportunity to take a job for the money. So even though I was making more money at this job, I was actually a contract freelancer, and I bought dental insurance through the Freelancer’s Union. It was very inexpensive but also not terribly good insurance. I had nine cavities filled right away. But that wasn’t the problem. My dentist located the area of pain; it was a cracked wisdom tooth, and it was on the bottom left, not even on the top at all where I first thought it was. So I went to a surgery-type dentist, and for some reason this filled me also with panic, particularly when the surgeon told me that as a matter of course they’d remove the top left wisdom tooth as well, because, apparently, without a tooth to oppose it, it would grow down, a lonely vampire tooth in search of a mate. Well, I left speedily. And, as well, the pain stopped soon enough. The tooth was dead. A year or so later, while I was on the highway in South Carolina, it started to erode. I remember driving and thinking, now what is that in my mouth? Little fragments of the tooth would chip off from time to time. It eroded from a tooth, to half a tooth, to a ridge. I kept track of it on a daily basis with my tongue; often I would think the tooth was skewing sideways or mostly missing or just different, but that’s because the tongue isn’t like a hand. The tongue has a hard time knowing where things are. Still, by now it is obviously a little toothlet, a tall, skinny little mountain cliff on the buccal side. On the lingual side, there is nothing, just a little pouch. Not long ago the base of the tooth on that side came out all by itself. For some time now, little bits of nuts or meat or fruit get trapped in there, and, when I’m not immediately near a toothbrush, which isn’t that often, because I’m home so much, I’m constantly conscious of carrying little bits of food around in my little tooth pocket. It is, I guess, highly disgusting. I was always told that letting a tooth die in your mouth meant you’d get an infection and probably die. But then I also always thought that when you had teeth pulled, that meant you’d get an infection and probably die too. That belief made my passive decision to just leave the tooth to erode that much easier. It would, I figured, work itself out&mdash:and I guess I meant that quite literally. That’s okay with me. I don’t have dental insurance any more. I also don’t have the little life savings any more. That’s gone as of last month, or maybe it was the month before that now? But I do have what’s left of the tooth, at least for today. Sometimes I consider doing something about it, taking some measures to deal with what remains of the tooth, but in the end I always decide that I don’t really have that sort of character.
“my favorite fantasy series hands down is the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. Hey, I was checking out this thread to see if anybody thought of Amber, and there you were. Wasn’t it great? (the series, I mean.) Except I didn’t like the way Corwin just walked off ‘into the sunset’ and the next book started with his son. Forgive me everybody, I have to ask this even though I know it’s not related to the thread - what do you think of the way they could manifest things into their reality just by thinking about them? Don’t you think that we do that also, to a certain degree, but a lot slower?”
Sometimes I find things on dumb messageboards and I just laugh and laugh and really it turns my whole night around.
… then I commend you. Really, smart move. What a shitshow.
Why you ask your oils? Because I need somewhere to store and get myself into it. We’re a little loose with well today—but the Internet hates you. It’s your cell phone purchase on TV. I have that! I’ll provide me some ladybugs. I am to repel, trying to find the lock box in this town. There are a lot of bugs (i.e. you need them to call you). I hate that smell—is still a Chinese whore, hungry—and look what it is: phenomenal.
You don’t understand your confusion. Oh credit card! Guys on your dads. You in a few baby seals for Barack, because I’m passing right by the inflammation while I do like come in July.
You better change your shipping address. I had—you don’t need a—you don’t have to do what I said. You don’t have it. You don’t like me. That, like my test, this is The Road.
What are you digging? A big day for science? When I found it on my crusade, honey. Wednesday, Thursday for gifts, for her phone bill. Topic way of killing updates! For tire, can’t tell God that I want to be—leave it! I want to be a doctor cat.
Learn about tonight. Let them, according to Yahoo, would happen tonight—okay, what? Up, I’m sure, you alright? Arrived at what happened. Stop on the Internet! What happens when you lock up? Ha ha ha ha ha ha at In and Out, and go to bed early, to be briefed on me. You will be okay, down the two happens. It grows! Do you like it, to you, like it like this? Make it do you like it like that.
And someone’s cat is in, saying, “I was finally Friday! And have a little yogurt with plum jam and honey!” To make government account has access to Gary, because he can’t get enough of a tank. Enough! Coming in this weekend, said, “Running! Read Cultural Amnesia, get a haircut!” Super long walks on the beach with my own hands. When you do this weekend, I, now, that’s all. Make some money left. Girls get that cash, yeah, I cough it up.