Yes, I know, I AM morbid. You would be too if you had my teeth.
I get to the specialist's office and park. I stare at the parking sign. I wonder what it means. I think my brain was fogged with nerves, because it took me an abnormally long time to figure out how long I could expect to park there without getting towed. Or ticketed.
I wait in the Group Waiting Room. I am not a fan of the Group Waiting Room. It's a bit too impersonal. There isn't enough scope for existential angst in a Group Waiting Room. I glance around at the seating arrangements. I realize that everyone is covertly observing each other. I hate being observed. Deprived of my last chance to work myself into a tizzy of despair, I stare down the hall at the less-than-fortuitous colour schemes instead. Terracotta walls, pink ceiling, slate floor, and slightly rumpled brown plaid chesterfields. Once Max confided in me that he hates the idea of sitting where someone has been farting before. I'm sure I laughed at the time, but this time I perch on the arm of the chesterfield, just in case. I examine the seating cushions closely. I wonder why I listen to 12 year old boys. I glance at my waiting room companions: a couple of grouchy looking old men, a worried looking older man, an older woman with distressingly maroon hair (and pink highlights), and me (no highlights). I try to find something redeeming about sitting in an office at 7:45 am on a Monday morning but I fail, so I wait for them to call me.
I have my Consultation, for which I pay the sum of $113. And once again I am privy to the historical inadequacies of my previous dentists. This time it's an incomplete root canal, which has since morphed into a fake tooth, which means Complicated. Expensive. It requires furrowed brows and warnings of Potential Increased Expenditures. I lie in the chair and stare out the window while the gentle assistant speaks to me. I watch the rain pierce through wide streaks of hard, bright sunshine. It pours briefly while I'm shown an x-ray that supposedly shows where the infection has caused bone loss but really just looks gray and blurry. Rain batters the window. The sun disappears as though someone turns off a light. Suddenly I am bored of my teeth. Fed up. They are taking too much of my time. I am no longer going to let them overwhelm me like this. I consider telling the nice assistant this but decide that she will probably think I am batty, so I don't. Of course, it might have been because the older woman with the maroon hair with pink highlights is in the cubicle next to me, telling the other gentle assistant about her reactions to sulfa drugs. Her reactions are detailed with an astonishing disregard for either privacy or dignity. No, I think, I will not tell the assistant that I am bored with my teeth. So instead I smile politely and agree to return in a couple of months time.
Then I get into the car and drive through the rain and wind and sun until I get home. Where a 12 year old boy is waiting on the front porch for me, waving a piece of paper, excited that I have come back, bad teeth and all. He runs out to the car and hugs me. I tell him that I am bored with my teeth. That they take up too much of my time. That they have overwhelmed me. He nods. And agrees with me. The image I had in my worried brain, of myself as a potentially maroon-haired-with-pink-highlights-overly-indiscrete woman, suddenly dissolves around me and washes away. What the hell, I think, I can always get dentures.