The pungent smell of rubber
The hideous whir and buzz of machinery
The sharp pokes and scrapes of metal tools
The toe clenching sound of those previously mentioned metal tools
Does it sound familiar? Can you guess where I was today? Yes, that's right. The dentist. I went to the dentist this afternoon for another semi-annual cleaning. And in two weeks I'll be visiting him again for two fillings. And tomorrow, I'm going to the doctor for a physical. I feel like a car going in for a tune up.
I won't lie to you. I'm one of the many, many people out there that hate going to the dentist. And it's not because my dentist is mean or cruel (he actually reminds me a lot of Mr. Rogers), or because the dental hygienists responsible for the cleaning are rude or rough. They're not. They're very pleasant and thoughtful. I go to a lovely dentist office. Even the receptionists are nice.
No, what I hate about the dentist office is the sensorial displeasure. I can't stand the sound of the metal tools on my teeth, the feel of the scraping and picking as they work. I have to close my eyes and concentrate on breathing so I don't tap out and running screaming from the office. The smell of the rubber gloves is nauseating, I hate the way they dry out my lips and leave their taste in my mouth. And the gritty, sand in the teeth feel of the polish has me white knuckling the arms of the chair, refusing to swallow for fear that I'll taste it. I require endless amounts of rinsing and I still swear I can feel the grittiness every time I clench my teeth.
Unfortunately, the dentist is an unavoidable part of life. As much as I hate it, the alternative is far worse. Any time I see someone with rotten or stained teeth, I store the image in my head for when I'm in the dentist's chair. One day (God willing) there will be a book out there with a picture of me on the back. And I want to have a nice (albeit slightly crooked) smile. So really, I do all this for you, beloved readers. Every six months I force myself into that chair and sit nicely through it all just for you. You're welcome. In return, I expect you to (one day) buy my book. I think that's fair.