Saturday, August 09, 2008


Saturday, August 09, 2008
~written Wednesday August 6th, 2008 ~

I had a tooth extracted today. And then I went to the devout part of town ... St. Boniface, to see to the basilica there. I walked through the most ugly, despairing and violent part of town, after having a molar pulled from my right upper jaw at the Mount Carmel Clinic.

I bit down on the gauze ... for comfort as well as for habit. I do not realize how much I comfort myself of my inner anxieties through teeth-clenching, unless I reflect upon the matter. I could taste the blood in the cavity where that molar once rooted itself. A sign that the freezing had begun fading, and with it the effects of the epinephrine.

This time I missed having my heart of hearts hold my hand ... offer it for my squeezing. So instead, while I watched the needle enter my mouth, and later when I felt the dental pliers pulling on my dying molar, instead I gripped the arms of the dental chair.

I saw the tooth ~ the dentist showed it to me upon succeeding in its difficult extraction. She marvelled at the dead tooth's apex ~ a large, pointy thing, that looked like a demon's sharp fingernail. I truly thought of asking her if she would put it in a vial for me, so I could take it home and slip it under my pillow.

'Maybe the tooth fairy would give me 25 cents for this?' I spoke that thought out loud, but stopped short of asking for my tooth. I wanted to, though. Really did. I suppose I secretly told myself to stop clinging to the death and loss that cast shadows upon my soul, and begin vigourously embracing life and the living.

And so, I walked through the most wretched part of town, teeth clenched tightly upon the gauze. And I walked. And walked. And then took the free bus ~ yes, this city still offers fare-free service on one line that goes to The Forks ~ a stone's throw from the basilica.

I walked through the hallowed ground of the cemetary there, armed with a cell phone camera. And then I walked into the open court yard of the basilica. Standing right underneath the belfry, studying the stone work and the tiny spiral staircases long condemned for use, I heard them. The bells. And ... ~ now you can hear them too ~ bells of st. boniface basilica.


Enemy of the Republic said...

Interesting how one can take comfort in the dentist. My husband likes going because he feels he is being taken care of...

I bite my nails and basically open packages with my teeth--so crass.

I hope you get to see that heart too!

big blue city said...

sorry for your tooth business.
My whole life was plagued by bad teeth, dentist after dentist telling me it was my fault for not caring for them properly.
Then, when Doc Sarah was setting me up for fakes, she mentions that it's a genetic thing more than brushing thing.

Store boughts are OK, and, as it turns out, kind'a fun.
I play with them in odd ways (that figures, what with me being so odd) and take them out to eat.

Well, I don't want to mess them up!