Stayed at my folks house last night so they could take me to the dentist early this morning.
9:00 pm: take one Valium. Wait for calm to settle in. Set phone alarm for morning. Check for arrival of calm. Sleep an hour. Look for calm. Sleep another hour. Check again. Repeat until morning.
6:00 am: take a lorazapam and two pills with unrecognizable names. Fall asleep for an hour.
8:00 am: arrive at dentist's office. A woman is spralled on sofa, snoring. She got better drugs. I am alarmingly alert.
8:05 am: Dental assistant slides a nosepiece and cozy earphones onto my head. Air rushes into my nose and Norah Jones croons, "Come away with me in the night." I close my eyes and nestle into the darkness behind their lids.
8:10 am: "A little sting here" the dentist says. I feel the needle enter my gums but do not care. It's so pleasant in my world, here in the dark with Norah. We float above the hated chair, in the scene but not of it. We are beyond needles, beyond pain, beyond concern about petty things like dental drills and silver picks.
Who Cares am: The dentist asks me to bite down and tap. I do. And again. His instructions travel down a long string, emerging into a tin can covering my ear. I understand their meaning and comply. I do not open my eyes, don't even think about leaving the cozy space Norah and I have built in back of my brain.
Half Past Who Gives a Damn am: Dentist's voice travels down the string again. "You still with us? We're finished."
Half my face is numb; the size of my tongue makes Jewish grandmothers think of sandwiches; Mom pushes me to the car in a wheelchair.
When next I attend to the world, I am in bed at my mom's house, wrapped in a favorite quilt. The world calls, but I don't answer. The deed is done, the cavities filled. All I have to do now is rest in the dark. The headphones may be gone, but Norah remains. We roll through a starry sky together. And our teeth feel good.
If you have problems with dentists, Sedation Dentistry is the way to go.