except it wasn't. because friday was the day my big, important radio interview was going to AIR ON PUBLIC RADIO, omg. you know, PUBLIC RADIO. have you heard of that before? it's typically one of those fancy stations at the left end of your radio dial. that is, if you even own a fucking radio anymore. it's all the way down there nestled between the fuzzy all-gospel station and that one that plays mexican polka 24 hours a day. i fought through the crowds of slack-jawed suburbanites oozing fake nacho cheese from their pores at navy pier last wednesday to get to the calm, temperature-controlled offices of NPR, and once i got there i sat in a real live studio (next to the one where they record "wait wait, don't tell me" i think? that's impressive, right?) and my friend luis and i talked trash for two full hours as some important-looking broad sat in the studio next to ours reporting on failing third-world economies and shit. i tried as hard as i could not to swear or embarrass anyone i know in real life too badly. and i talked about diarrhea. A WHOLE LOT.
OKAY. so i knew i was going to be at work when the interview aired and i basically ruined everyone's day making sure we would all be able to hear my dulcet tones umm-ing and stifling nervous laughter as it played. speakers were tested, apps were downloaded, everybody i work with was irritated to within an inch of her life to make sure i wouldn't miss one lousy second of my whiny post-nasal drip between bursts of ear-splitting static. i sat in the darkened conference room to eat my lunch (sandwich) and work on the skeletal outline for this BOOK I AM WRITING (more on that later), and after ten minutes i felt a bunch of gritty shit on my tongue, like i had a mouth full of busted dinner plates.
i am no stranger to having weird-ass things in my mouth. urine, semen, cauliflower: name something gross or testicular, i've probably tasted it. and i'm usually pretty good about not recoiling in horror, but my fancy french sandwich from pret a manger was supposed to be made of only soft things. so either someone had smashed the good china and sprinkled it over my pulled pork or something was going dangerously wrong inside my fucking mouth. medical expert that i am, i stuck my finger in and was immediately stabbed by a shard of one of my broken-off upper teeth near the gum line. that shit was fucking dangerous, man. thirty seconds later i was spitting out blood whose source i couldn't determine: was that shit coming from my disintegrating teeth? or were the razor sharp, newly-formed stalactites hanging from my upper jaw razoring up the inside of my cheek?!
i stood in the bathroom using a toothbrush to hold my upper lip out of the way as i inspected the damage: SPLINTERED TOOTH FRAGMENTS COVERED IN BLOOD RIGHT IN THE FRONT OF MY GODDAMNED SKULL. then i did what any normal person would do: i calmly rinsed my mouth and gathered my things and made an appointment to see that dentist i've been meaning to call for the last six years. um, NO I DID NOT. i did the exact fucking opposite of that: i spit blood everywhere and burst into panicky tears and immediately started worrying that no one would ever love me if i was MISSING MY GODDAMNED TEETH.
i hate flossing. seriously, it's so boring. and flicking food particles everywhere while trying to fit your entire fist in your mouth is disgusting. all i could think while i was climbing the long, steep flight of stairs to meet laura's dentist who had kindly fit me in at 3:30 on a fucking friday afternoon in the middle of the goddamned summer was, "i haven't flossed in, like, five years. this dude is going to hate my fucking guts."
here's what the xray looked like to my non-medical eye: a mouth full of teeth that had clearly been struck with an aluminum baseball bat after the owner of said teeth had obviously been thrown down nine flights of stairs. "anything else?" the doctor asked. i pointed to what looked like a couple dark grey storm clouds. "also, this person appears to have been snorting ink. now where is my xray?" but that was my goddamned xray! i sat in nervous silence as the dentist explained that the back alley root canals i'd undergone seven years ago had been botched and that the canals in my dead teeth hadn't been sealed properly, allowing the spaces between my tooth bone and my head bone to fill with bacteria. and those shadowy storm clouds covering my upper jaw and sinuses were places that bacteria had eaten away at those bones. TASTY.
this is not the first time i've had to sit patiently and smile as someone delivered terrible fucking news about this rotting corpse i inhabit, but it is the first time i've had to do so without all of my teeth. first thought: this credit card better have some goddamned room to maneuver on it. first thought and a half: who the fuck is going to love me when i'm missing half my face and teeth?! i already fucking feel like i have to start all of my first date sentences with, "despite my _________, you are TOTALLY GOING TO LIKE ME, i promise." holy christ, i cannot add "toothless partial skull missing" to the endless list of shit i already have to apologize for. diarrhea limp skin beard errant hair hillbilly slack jaw hooray.
wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute: WHAT ABOUT MY FUCKING SHOW? in all of the fervor over my infected eye socket, i totally fucking forgot that i am a public radio celebrity. i watched the doctor oiling up the handsaw and sharpening the machete he was about to take to my face and got my phone out of my bag. he asked if i needed to call paw paw to tell him and granny to get the moonshine still and the trailer ready for my impending return. and while ordinarily i would sigh melodramatically about not having anyone to call, i instead said, "do you mind if i listen to my headphones during this? i'm about to be on this newfangled radio machine!"
"not flossing" is the least of my problems. turns out "growing up poor and raising myself like a savage" was way more detrimental than skipping out on my satin glide. i didn't know shit about picking a dentist eight years ago! i went to this broad who had a full set of teeth and gave me a discount for paying in cash. those were literally my only requirements. how was i supposed to know things hadn't gone according to plan? those of you responsible adults who are all "maybe you should've gone back for exams" can either 1 marry me so i can get on your dental plan or 2 go sit the fuck down somewhere. staring up into the blinding fluorescent lights i thought about all the money i have spent on fashion magazines and nail polish and cursed my tiny, stupid brain. is foresight a thing i can pay someone to have for me? is it too soon to blame this on my head full of bacteria?!
step one: dentist.
step two: endodontist. (google that shit, i had to.)
step three: oral surgeon. (wtf is a bone graft?!)
step four: dentist.
step five: GO INTO HIDING.
in two hours a very nice man in stylish navy scrubs is going to use some lawn shears and a dirty pickax to rearrange the bones in my motherfucking face. i have been on 3000mg of amoxicillin every day since friday so that the bacteria pooling in my head doesn't leak out and poison my blood, which has created the angriest vagina you've ever met. i've had several impressions of what is left in my mouth taken so that they can build some new shit to prevent me from looking like that dude in mask once everything heals and i can put solid things in my face hole again. OH MAH GAH WHAT IF AFTERWARD I LOOK LIKE THAT DUDE IN MASK?! and even if i don't, i will still look like a person with some dead dude's shin bone in my face and no fucking teeth.
um, who is going to want to look at me?
um, who is going to want to talk to me?
um, who is going to want to bang me?
how can i be a person who tells jokes if i'm totally about to stop laughing in front of anyone other than my computer screen? i took down all my dating profiles a couple weeks ago, but should i start another advertising blowies with 30% less teeth nicking? where can i buy one of those things to soak my falsies in for cleaning? is it gross if i take them out in public? if i ever have sex again, can i bite? because i'm really into that. jesus, why is stupid shit like this always happening to me?!
i work in a hospital setting so, if need be, i could just wear a surgeon's mask all day and give the death eyes to anyone who asks why i have it on outside of the surgery room. or i could just get one of those clear things basketball players wear so they don't have to sit on the bench with a broken nose during the playoffs. or maybe i can switch from "no discernible religious affiliation whatsoever" to "samantha believes in what now?" so that i can walk around with my face covered and it's some sort of social crime to ask me about that shit, you nosy bitch. seriously, though, i'm not about to be in public with my skin hanging off my skull like wet laundry. if you need me, i'll be shut-in at cara's, leaving periodically only to 1 earn money for soup and 2 buy soup. wish me luck or else i'll gum you to death. grrrr.
|me+ leigh at veronica's wedding on saturday.|
there's a bunch of fake plastic shit holding up my face.