Why do all dentists have pictures of rotten teeth on the wall? That’s not very classy, is it? You’re already there. You don’t need any more reminders to floss, not now. Hospitals don’t have pictures of maimed accident victims and chemotherapy patients, do they?
I sit there waiting for the doctor, despite having an appointment. He says he needs to attend to an emergency case. I catch a glimpse of it – it’s a 200 year old woman. What’s the emergency there? Here, people had to wake up and wear shoes and everything, and even skip reading the newspaper just to make it to this silly non-appointment.
Two little boys are standing in front of the TV, watching some Japanese cartoon with their mouths open as if it was not the most idiotic thing in the world. They start singing along to the closing credits, in hindi. I think it’s Do-re-mon. An ad for a chocolate bar comes up, and immediately, they start pestering their mother to buy it. She agrees for later. Neat. Purchase-influencers. Nothing as gratifying as the sight of innocent minds being corrupted by advertising, live.
I stare out the window. It’s depressingly bright and dull outside. A crow glides across like an eagle, trying to look all cool and everything. Typical. I’m thinking if I really should blow up all my money on a new phone – one of those horrible ones which look like a piece of glass and you have to use 13 fingers, each swiping in a different direction, just to unlock it – and he comes in and says the other doctor is free and she can see me now, if I’d like. It’s his wife.
She’s not hot or anything, but I still have to act all nonchalant. Oh yes, just a little bit of pain here. Well, not even pain, more like discomfort. Needle or spray? Oh, no problem, needle’s alright, thank you.
And then she says it. I will never forgive the sadists for this. They get you every single time. The devil herself will recoil to see such darkness of heart. The cruel flash of hope before the sound of that drill, masking the evil laughter inside their heads.
“Thoda sa pain hoga.”
Ogden Nash does come rushing back, trying to provide some relief. Recalling a verse, I smile faintly. She probably sees it, and turns it up a notch. My head goes absolutely blank.
“Is it hurting?”
I snatch the drill and plunge it into the back of her hand until it comes out of the other side. She yells and runs out of the room, the spray of her black blood covering the children’s faces.
“No … just a little.”
She sprays some more anesthesia. In 30 seconds, the entire right side of my face goes dead. I touch my cheek, just to check. She laughs. I smile.
“Now it won’t hurt.” Of course it won’t. You’ve killed my face.
Why the fuck couldn’t she do it earlier?
She tells me the effect will stay for a couple of hours. She tells me not to bite on my cheek or lips, because I wouldn’t know it now and it would hurt later. I feel like biting.
She also gives me some more painkillers to have in case it hurts afterwards. Will it? She says it might hurt a little. Hah, not falling for that, am I. I go out and buy a coke and gulp two down right there.
And then I light a cigarette. And wait for my tongue to wake up. And for Monday.