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A Pocket Archive (5)

July 6, 2023

I think at some point every little girl has dreamt of wearing a crown when she grows up. This was not what I had in mind.

My jaw feels crooked now as I slide my mandible from side to side slightly. It's uncomfortable and it sounds horrible as it grinds, almost like a whetstone. Is it really that loud, or is it just inside my head? Am I imagining things? No, something is definitely off- it's too high. It's all off, it's all wrong. The concave little valley in the center should be deeper. Now my whole bite feels slightly skewed and I am keenly aware of how foreign the object that used to be my molar is.

I look at my phone. 4:57 pm. Do I go back now? With traffic I'll never make it in time. Maybe it just feels odd because it's new. But the temporary one didn't feel like this. I almost forgot it was there.

I flip down the sun visor and stare at my blanched reflection in the dusty rectangle. I feel like I can even see the anomaly in the mirror. Is it me? No- my jaw is definitely crooked. That's not possible, is it? I panic and slap the mirror shut.

I run my tongue over the porcelain, remembering all over again. It makes my hands shake, the same way they do when I hear Christmas music or the Old Spice Jingle. I shudder and take a deep breath, then breath in even deeper before letting it out, like Oleg showed me. I feel sick. I can't break down here. Not here.

My phone pings. It's my boss. God I want to scream. I want to cry. But I can't cry. Not here, not now. I dig my nails into my skin, trying to distract myself, leaving imprints of little cresent moons on my arms.

Maybe it will be alright. Maybe it's just new. Maybe I won't have to go back and sit in that awful dentist chair again. But it isn't alright. None of this is right.

I never used to be afraid of dentists. But I am now.


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