Since February, I have been consumed with dentists and dental appointments, trying to fix a slew of problems that are so expensive, I've been avoiding them as much as possible.
But, when push eventually shoves you, it becomes a matter of painful necessity.
And so, I've been a dutiful patient, trying my best to open wide and let the various experts fiddle, inject, drill, x-ray, chide, cluck, threaten root canals, suggest implants (oh,sure...anyone have about five thousand dollars per tooth handy? -- my email is listed), and generally fix my teeth -- again. Soon, my mouth will contain more crowns than a box of checkers. I only hope they won't be black or red. But, whatever shade, you can't bleach crowns. Once they're done, they're done.
I guess I've always been fascinated by teeth. I know I've read much about them -- evil and chipped, pearly and porn-ish in all manner of books throughout my life, as far back as Little Red Riding Hood. Thinking I might unearth a few gems to apply here, I conducted a light search -- emphasis on light -- and came up with next to nothing. Mostly, quotes about taking bites out of life, sinking teeth into bottom lines, bites in the ass -- not even an al dente description in the bunch.
I was rewarded with the following, however:
My fictitious characters will take the bit between their teeth and gallop off and do something that I hadn't counted on. However, I always insist on dragging them back to the straight and narrow.
My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.
Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.
Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.
Well, it's something. Writers do talk teeth.
As to my initial lament, I've paid lot of attention to the humble tooth in my novel. Inadvertently? Absolutely. The recognition penny only dropped yesterday.
He never knew this because his was a walk-on part in her play; it was, however, a pivotal role that set off an unexpected chain of events the way a spoon of Breakstone’s cottage cheese sent her running for root canal. Her endodontist said that a hair-line fracture could live undetected above or below the gum line for years until one day – when you least expected it – bam.
She flashed a smile and peeled off her gloves. Her teeth were large and even – except for a pointy cuspid on the lower jaw which was crooked and crowding its neighbour. Lydia called it ‘The Ripper’ – the infamous devourer of Porterhouse steaks, feared by herds of Black Angus the world over, and wanted in all five boroughs, especially Brooklyn, at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse.
I am fine with this, I think. I do wonder if I'd have written the same things without those dental visits. Probably. I always enjoy looking at Melanie Mayron's grin. She played Melissa Steadman in 'Thirtysomething' - all teeth (crooked and otherwise) and heart. I even remember her as Sandy in 'Rhoda'.
Maybe it's Melanie I'm channeling. I hope so. I have an appointment with a gynecologist coming up soon....