Tuesday, August 11, 2009
My Tooth, Part I
The Sunday night before my new job was supposed to start, I was settling into bed to read Jesus, Interrupted when I took a sip of water and nearly blasted through my ceiling from tooth pain. It felt like 30 knives plunging into my gum and eventually faded 30 minutes late into a dull throb, to the point where I was thinking of creative ways to deliver the speech to my new boss the next morning about how I realized that it was my first day on the job, but I just showed up to let him know that I was actually taking a vacation day that day so I could attend to the raging cavity on the upper left side of my mouth which god had planted there to destroy me. Luckily I fell asleep and the next morning I was delirious from "waking up for work" at something referred to as "7 AM" which I previously hadn't know about, that I went to work, forgot about my tooth and started my first day on the job. At about 10am, I could no longer go on without coffee, so I trudged to a deli called "Pinnacle" in midtown, which is the pinnacle of efficiency due in part to the cashiers' hysterical screams of "NEXT! WHO'S NEXT! STEP DOWN WHO'S NEXT!" from the second you walk in the door, and purchased a small coffee.
Upon sipping the coffee at my desk I screamed because the hotness hit my apparently rotting tooth that I had forgotten about, thereby trigging horrible cavity pain. Two of my new co-workers said, "Are you ok?" at which point I had to explain to them that it was actually completely typical for me to do things like develop my first cavity in eight years on the first day of my new job where I had no accrued vacation time and when health and dental insurance were finally within striking distance but not yet mine and that they should just act casual if they saw me during lunch hour putting a string around my tooth and tying it the office doorknob and slamming the door.
I then called my mom during my lunch hour, cried and got the number of my friend's dad who is a dentist in NJ, and I begged him to clear some time on Saturday so that I could use my first weekend while working in over a year to attend to medical emergencies. Stay tuned for My Tooth, Part II, where I visit the dentist for the first time "since the office converted to electronic records," according to the hygienist and discover that something strange and costly has happened in my mouth...