The Golden Gooth

June 6, 2015 at 11:55 am (My Soreballs Vacation, That's not funny...)



There’s a race on, to see which I run out of first, teeth or teeth puns. (thatgirl is praying for the latter, I’m sure.) As to teeth, my uppers are down to a Sesame Street equation. One plus four is five.

DIY is big in Portland. That’s why I decided to pull my own tooth.

Full disclosure: The dentist did offer to pull it a couple weeks ago, when I had several back teeth removed. (More on THAT later.) But I didn’t want a Goober-gap in front, and it didn’t hurt too bad. I wanted to do the manly thing.

I shoulda listened.

They cut off my pain meds, because I “shouldn’t be hurting that much. We should check to see if we did something wrong.” I explained that, other than pulling my ONE GOOD TOOTH (pictured standing behind the long tooth that is the focus of my misery, and this story) everything they have done dentally has worked great. It was my dumb ass trying to be tough that kept that floating piece of misery in my mouth.

Vampire's Worst Nightmare

Vampire’s Worst Nightmare

A day or so after my last dental visit, I bit down on a not-too-hard piece of candy and felt the pinch and heard the snap. Could this be it? It wobbled worse than ever. Could I be a macho man again, and pull my own tooth at work? It could be a tradition that will add to my already-growing urban legend! I worked that tooth like an uppity hooker, but it still wouldn’t come out.

Two weeks later, the tooth is flapping in the wind. I can hear Morse code when I chew. Hah, chewing. I miss chewing. I miss real food. I love ice cream, but I may never eat it again once real meat is back in my diet.

The manageable pain graduated to persistent pain. Early in the morning was okay, but every other day or so it would start in early. The tooth would reset itself, sorta, overnight. If I went easy on it, it would be mid-afternoon before the warm burn of gum inflammation turned into the heartbeat throb of “HEY MOTHERFUCKER, WAS PRETTY FUCKIN’ DUMB OF YOU NOT TO HAVE ME PULLED, HUH? HUH? HUH?” Every heartbeat was a “HUH?”

The nice lady at the dentist’s office went to bat for me. I phoned in a request for a Vicodin refill, and was told my pain didn’t fit onto their chart. (Fuckin’ Class A narcotics rules.) I went in, unshaven and tired, and wiggled my tooth at them. “Will this prove I’m not faking?” The receptionist dropped off a ‘scrip on her way home. Thank you, pharma gods! They put me on the cancellation list, meaning if there was an opening in the schedule they would call me in. It wouldn’t take long to get rid of it, I’m sure.

I left for work an hour early, to fill my Vicodin prescription and run an errand for Meg. It was an early day for The Tooth; I was barely out of bed before it was clicking against its neighbor teeth and reminding me what a vain dumbass I am for wanting to have a full set of front teeth until the last minute. I wiggled it with my finger, and rubbed my tongue raw moving it back and forth. It was my life’s joystick, and I am gonna kick life’s ass!

As we pulled into 82nd Avenue on the MAX Green Line, I caught the eye of a pretty girl. She looked maybe nineteen, pierced nose, reminded me of Lauryn Hill. I smiled, like I do, and went back to messing with my tooth. I’d catch her watching me. I wasn’t sure if she thought I was macking on her, or she was fascinated watching me continue to fuck with my mouth in a very public place.

Her friend got on the train, and sat right in front of me. After hugging, they texted each other. I stared out the window, feeling my tooth get looser and looser. I could bend it fully forward, but my cheek and inside upper lip area wouldn’t stretch any further. I would have to push back, inward. I did so, and when I got leverage toward the rear, I bit down, hard.

I may have let out a whimper. Lauryn looked over at me, and texted her friend, who casually turned and sat sideways so she could corner-eye me.

I felt the wiggle loosen, and that lolling feeling I’ve become accustomed to. That nervous feeling when you swallow a pill that you hope a tooth isn’t going with it. I rolled it around in my mouth, and delicately as a Southern lady I spit it gently into a paper towel. I held it up like a prize gem and looked at it. As I rolled the paper napkin into a wad and jammed it into the gap, I looked to my left. Lauryn was gaping, staring and texting furiously, as was her friend.

I guess it’s not every day you see a hippie pull his own tooth in Old Town.

Fall into the gap

Fall into the gap

The girls followed me off the MAX. I cut through the mall and went straight to the dentist’s office. “Nan I hab sungoz?”

Deb, my receptionist friend, hurried to the back, and returned with three packets of sterile gauze. I borrowed their bathroom, and probably saved the taxpayers a couple hundred bucks. I went from the dentist’s office straight to the pharmacy, returning forty minutes later for my fill-up. It timed out perfectly. I walked into work with a mouthful of gauze and the beginnings of a medium-grade narcotic buzz.

Will the public be nice? Or will they fuck with me?

Of course they will.

Sadly, my golden goose, the only excuse for Vicodin refills, is now waiting in a jewelry box to be given to my darling Clairissa, who collects my no-longer-needed body parts. I will have to get back to “normal”, which means fewer pain meds to get through the night. On the upside? That which gave me pain is no longer there. I was amazed at how negatively that ongoing-underlying-nagging mouth-pain was affecting my day-to-day life. Finally, I will be grouchy for other people’s behaviors, and not my jagged nerve endings.

And I have a few pills set aside. Just in case.


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