Friday, April 10, 2009

A broken tooth leads to redemption

I will tell you about my trip to the dentist this morning. First, I have to back up to the Seder at Patti's house last night. She's Jewish. She's also my landlady and housemate, and so I was invited to her Passover table, an invitation I gladly accepted.

Peter Goldfarb was coming -- this was exciting for me. He brought his homemade chopped liver, and a bit of wisdom. Peter recently sold his B&B, the White Swan, and retired to Mount Vernon.

Marc Daniel came and brought his mouth. Marc has slowed down just a teensy bit, if you notice carefully.

Marianne Meyers came and brought a lovely rice pudding.

But me, I brought crackers, cheese, and wine. It was very hard crackers that I brought -- I shouldn't have. I laid out the cheese until it got soft and buttery, spread the cheese on the cracker, and bit down -- I broke off a piece of tooth.

Darn teeth, they get old and they cost money. My tongue started worrying over this jagged edge in my mouth, but there was a plenty of wine, and Peter Goldfarb makes me laugh, so the evening passed.

We read the story of the Exodus. The youngest boy asked the Four Questions. We had a place for Elijah. Everything was very good. And the company all left by ten o'clock.

I went to bed and I slept poorly. I woke up in a deep melancholy. Tooth loss, children grown up and gone, my lonely life, and so forth.

I figured it was about time for all that. Melancholy is a colorful, natural state -- very different from the boring, fraudulent condition we call "depression."

I got up early and drove ten miles to the Sea Mar Clinic in Mount Vernon. I didn't even bring a book to read. I just waited and dwelled on my tooth loss, and the rest of my miserable life. It was so nicely self-indulgent.

Two hours in the waiting room, no coffee, no breakfast -- just the grim reality.

But I finally got in. They took an X-ray, and the dentist, not Dr. Troutman unfortunately, but the other one, the Korean guy, looked at my mouth and said he would first knock out an old filling and then make a repair.

Everything began to get better. He doused me up good with pain killer, tilted the chair way back, and I almost fell asleep while he worked.

He got that tooth all smoothed out, worry free, with no jagged edges, and I arose from the dental chair like Jesus Christ on Easter morning.

The sun was shining, and I was a new man. Halleluljah.

GARDENING. I have picked up a few small garden jobs here and there. It's strictly "small ball" for me right now. I dream about those plum jobs -- when someone wants me to put in a big garden, and has lots of money and lots of time for such a project -- those are sweet.

But little jobs are good. I spent two hours removing the buttercups from Chris McCarthy's garden on Maple Street. Nasty little buggers.

I spent three hours pulling out ivy on the Benton Street stairs for Jeanne Kleyne.

You know what I dream about? I dream that every single bit of ivy in the whole town of LaConner will be removed -- every single piece from one end to the other. No ivy. None. All gone. Isn't that a beautiful dream?

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