At 8 a.m. on a Monday, I add just one more thing to make that particular moment on that particular day even more dreadful: an appointment with the dentist.
I get allergy injections every week, so it’s not like I’m scared of the needle.
I’m scared of the needle in my mouth.
And something possibly going wrong and me getting stabbed in the eye.
Though on a rational level I realize this procedure isn’t all that serious, I can’t seem to convince my nerves enough to stop shaking.
After injecting me inside my mouth in my jaw and in several other places on the top and bottom of one side, the dentist asks me if I want to go ahead and get that third cavity filled – the one on the other side of my mouth. I decline as politely as I can while punching myself in the face at the thought of it.
He proceeds with the drilling and the pulling and the yanking of my lips and jaw this way and that.
I do what comes naturally to me in panic situations. I pray.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…"
I wrack my brain and cannot remember any more. Then a quiet little voice, like that of Coolio, takes over the interior monologue.
"…I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left. Cuz I been blastin’ and laughin’ so long that even my momma thinks that my mind is gone…"
As one can see, when my recitation of a Psalm fails me, I do what any person would do and fill in blanks with "Gangster’s Paradise."
I recall as many verses as I can, focusing hard on my favorite verse: I’m a loqued-out gangsta set trippin’ banga’, and my homies is down so down arouse my anger, FOOL.
Before long, I am out of verses to distract me and I’m pretty sure my jaw is going to be broken or my lower jaw accidentally sawed off. I switch to another favorite song.
"All right STOP, collaborate and listen…"
Again, I forget the words. I try to start again.
"All right STOP, collaborate and listen…"
All I can remember right now is how Evan and I performed this like an opera in Spanish class, but the actual words fail me. Over and over again I repeat the first line.
"All right STOP, collaborate and listen…"
Finally, it comes to me.
"Ice is back with a brand new invention. SOMETHIN’…grabs ahold of me tightly, flowin’ like a harpoon daily and nightly."
I stop there and consider the flow of a harpoon. It’s really more of a darting action, don’t you think? The harpoon is fast and to the point. It doesn’t flow. I would scrunch and make a face at Vanilla Ice’s faux pas, but I am not allowed to move my face, for fear that it will melt off under this little radiation lamp he has pointed in my mouth while his hygienist oh-so-thoughtfully protects his face from the cancer rays with an orange visor.
"Will it ever stop? YO. I DON’T KNOW. Turn off the lights…and I’ll glow."
Ah. I must take a moment to finally realize the significance of this verse. Vanilla Ice is saying he is so pale (compared to other rappers), that he will actually glow in the dark.
Then I am angry, which is not a good attitude for someone with a drill in her mouth. I am angry because I don’t appreciate the stigma that really pale people glow in the dark, like we’re some kind of freak. I will not apologize for not being dark-skinned enough for you, America. So cram that in your hookah pipe and suck throat cancer from it.
Moving on.
I am especially nervous when the dentist accidentally bonds some long metal prong to my tooth and tries pulling it out. Ouch. I am genuinely afraid that my jaw is going to get broken. This fear is not unfounded, as my jaw still hurts.
The dentist puts a hand on my face, and I think to myself that at least it is a human performing this procedure and not a robot. I really feel for Padme in "Star Wars: Return of the Nerd" when she gives birth aided by robots. How awful that would be.
This gives me some genuine comfort and my shaking lessens a bit.
The dentist has to drill out the long stick of metal and re-patch (?) the tooth.
An hour later, I finally get out of that torture chair. I am much happier until I pay the bill for getting two cavities filled.
I think prisoners at Guantanamo need to be charged board bill if I have to pay for what just happened to me.
 
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