Receptionist: Hi, how can I help you today?
Me: Hi, I have an appointment at 2:00, I’m a bit early I think.
Receptionist: Hm, yeah you are, but I think I can rearrange everything to get you in to see the dentist right away.
Me: Um. Okay. Uh. But I mean, if it’s, like, too much trouble I can just like go away and come back later or something.
Receptionist: Oh no, it’s no problem. Let me see what I can do to get you in that chair ASAP.
Receptionist: Unless you want to wait until 2:00?
Me: Oh (fake laugh) no, no. Let’s get me in as soon as possible. You know, get it over with!
(receptionist goes away for like 20 minutes)
(I sit in a chair, wishing I had brushed my teeth after eating those chocolate covered espresso beans)
Different girl in scrubs, very cheerful: Okay come on in!
Me: (false-cheerful voice) Okay! Here I come!
Scrubs girl: Okay I’ll just get you to sit down
Me: (taking off jacket very slowly as dentist comes in) So I gotta say I’m a little nervous
Me: No, seriously.
Dentist: Oh. Well it’s nothing compared to getting tats.
Me: (sitting in dentist chair that is reclined way too far back) Well…still…
Dentist: It’ll be over soon.
Me: Yeah, but…
Dentist: Over. Soon.
Me: (propping myself up awkwardly on my elbows while scrubs girl fastens paper bib around my neck) I need you to tell me exactly what you’re going to do.
Me: No, really. It’ll help.
Dentist: (laugh) Well first I’m going to rub this stuff on your gums
Dentist: and we let that sit for a couple minutes and then I take this needle (shows me the needle)
Me: (eyes widen, voice quavers) Yeah.
Dentist: bla bla bla drill bla bla stuff that makes cavities change color bla bla computer screen bla bla bla now here we go!
Dentist: (putting numbing gel stuff on my gums in the back) Woops, got some on your lip
Me: What lip? It’s gone!
Dentist: Ha ha. But seriously is it tingly?
Dentist: NEEDLE TIME
Me: (OMIFUCKINGGODI’M SO SCARED because I had a terrible needle incident once as a child or something) (playing it super cool) Okay
Dentist: (needling me) You know how with tattoos some places hurt more than others?
Dentist: Well, lucky for you it’s the same in the mouth and these places hurt the least.
Me: (feigning interest in his words and not his hands with the needle, eyebrows raised) Hmm!
(needle doesn’t hurt at all)
(dentist and girl with scrubs leave the room for like ten minutes)
(I watch The Office on the ceiling TV wearing the gigantic public headphones. Only later did I realize how gross that was to have shared headphones with probably hundreds of other patients)
(They come back)
(Dentist doesn’t even do any test-pokes to see if I’m numb, just gets out the drilly machines and stuff. I take this for extreme confidence in the anaesthetic and not as an oversight)
Dentist: (to scrubs girl) Where’s my __?
Scrubs girl: Um, right beside you.
Dentist: Could you grab it please?
Scrubs girl: Sigh. Fine.
Dentist: It’s your job.
Scrubs girl: You’re the only person that makes me do it.
Dentist: Yeah, well you’re here to work.
Scrubs girl: Mhm, and take care of your ass
Me: (so awkward)
Dentist: DRILL DRILL DRILL DRILL
Scrubs girl: suction thing suctionthing, air shooter thing, suctionthing
TV: The office the office the office
Me: (alternating between trying to concentrate on the office and trying to figure out what they’re doing up in my mouth because DAMN THAT FEELS WEIRD or DAMN THAT SOUNDS TERRIFYING)
Me: (Also lying there hoping so hard that the anasthetic really really worked and not just seemed like it worked until they’re using that extra loud sand-blaster drill on that tooth)
Dentist: How are you doing?
Me: (thumbs up)
Me: (lip starts twitching weirdly and I point at it because I think it’s funny)
Dentist: (to scrubs girl) I think she wants some suction
Me: (nods to avoid another fight between them)
Dentist: DRILL DRILL DRILL PRESSURE PRESSURE DRILL SUPERFUCKINGSCARYLOUDDRILL
Scrubs girl: air thing, weird light thing that I think sets the fillings, air thing suction thing
Me: (Trying to breathe with all the saliva and stuff everywhere)
Dentist: I have to say you’re the best patient we’ve worked on all week
Dentist: Isn’t that right scrubs girl?
Scrubs girl: Mhm
Dentist: We could put you in an instructional video or something
Me: (proud of myself) (laugh)
Dentist: Okay we’re done. (leaves the room)
Me: Okay, thanks for drilling my teeth!
Dentist: (calls after him, already down the hallway) No problem
Scrubs girl: Okay, get out of here.
Me: Okay. Here I go. (noticing my numb face) I feel like a fool!
Scrubs girl: You look fine.
Me: (believing her) Okay then.
(I walk to the front and get out my wallet)
Receptionist: Okay that’s going to be 80 million dollars and here’s an instructional piece of paper on fillings.
Me: Okay bye. (weird frozen smile)
Receptionist: (exchanges glances with other receptionist) (smirk) Okay then. Bye.
(I noticed the smirk and speed-walked to the bathroom and smiled at myself in the mirror)
Me: Holy shit half my face isn’t moving. I should take a picture of thi…
(bathroom door opens. Girl walks in and starts doing makeup. I decide just to go home)
(halfway to bus stop I realize i have to pee)
Me: Why didn’t I go while I was in the bathroom? What is wrong with me?
(I turn around, go back inside, nearly collide with my dentist. Avoid eye contact to the extreme and escape into the bathroom)
(On my way out I notice blood on the bathroom stall door.)
Me: That’s weird
(I go to wash my hands, look in the mirror and see blood on my face)
Me: Hm, must be from going to the dentist or something
Turns out my knuckle was scraped and I was bleeding all over everything. I didn’t even care, I just pressed some balled up toilet paper onto the wound and went on my way.
Unfortunately there is no beautiful denouement to this riveting tale. I went home and had a shower and put on some jammies. The end.