Singing Al Dente

 

I waited for 45 minutes but he only gave me 20 for my troubles.  What strange one, that man with the surgery gloves.

They were streaming a contemporary soap on the ceiling TV in the corner, something about an anthropomorphic magic cat who can solve her master’s social issues, which reminded me of my own problematic three-year non-affair with a man with surgery gloves. His place was nice, though. It was hospitably sterile with off-white walls.

A woman in a dog and umbrella-patterned tomato-red scrubs named me from her clipboard and I followed her down a hallway. There were huddles and half-circles of lab coat whites, scrubs, and neon Crocs surrounding splayed-out mouths in rooms and corners. Some looked to be young apprentices who furiously flirted with the profession, burning their notebook pages with fast notes. The assigned room for our tryst was the last room at the end of the hallway.

And I waited in chair for probably a mayfly’s lifespan. In between naps, I awoke to the frantic squeaking of Crocs and a kid’s screams. He ran into my room with a sloppy and bloody mouth full of silver capsules and a dangling paper green square around his neck. His eyes were bloodshot and he lets loose another piercing howl. He was manhandled back into his own room by two scrubs.

They must have gassed the boy from beyond the wall. He was softly giggling.

And I waited again for the man with the gloves.

When he finally came, he came but brusquely and commented how dirty I was on the x-rays. He jangled my insides with the tools, all the while humming a song off-key that he invented for himself. I imagined something else he enjoyed, a symphony of drills and tools scraping and scratching teeth and pressurized air. I imagined setting fire to the fringes of his lab coat but he wasn’t wearing one.

All of a sudden, he is done and he looks at me with disappointment. “You are suffering. You will need to come back. Make an appointment to see me again at the front.” I gave him 45 but he only gave me 20.

Minutes after my procedure with him, I texted my friend.

The dentist you recommended, Dr. Kenny Ho? He was humming the whole time he was fingering my mouth.

She responded:

Yea lol

He does the same to me too

 

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