May 18th, 2002


"Only From a Balloon"

Not only have I never met a hip dentist, I’ve never even heard a rumor of one. I know doctors and lawyers who at least have interesting pasts, but dentists, I don’t know.

During a particularly grueling visit, my dentist announced that they were going to give me nitrous because of how sensitive to pain I was at that moment. "Have you ever had nitrous before?" he asked seriously.

"Only recreationally," I replied.*

I looked at the blank face of my dentist. Then I looked at the blank face of the dental assistant.** Both faces showed complete incomprehension.

"I mean no," I retracted.

There is really nothing fun about a nitrous high during a dental visit. I was still aware of the pain. I simply couldn’t concentrate on it. Then I started to get the worst kind of trip paranoia, reminding me why I don’t do acid.

My chest hurt from being tense for so long during the drilling. I translated that into thinking that I was having a heart attack. But I was way too fucked up to do anything about it. I kept thinking, "I should signal the dentist." But I was unable to move my arms. One part of my brain was telling me, "This is just trip paranoia. You’re fine." The other part resigned myself to death in the dental chair. "Oh well, I guess that’s it," it said to me.

What a way to go out . . .

*Actually it sounded more like "Owwrry rreckurrayyshunarrry" with all the tools in my mouth. But they were used to translating Novocaine so they understood the words if not the meaning.

**A different one than I described yesterday. *She* would have understood, I’m sure.