Unbeknownst to me, I had been extraordinarily lucky at the dental school. My supervising professor, or rather, Timmy and Tom’s supervising professor was awesome. Let’s call him Dr. Miyagi. He was funny and kind and always remembered me and was respectful and a good teacher. He explained what was going on so that I wasn’t just sitting there like an idiot wondering why I hadn’t been able to shut my mouth for over an hour. He was my first sixty-five year old Asian crush (and potentially my last).
But my luck was about to change. This was the night I met Dr. Shoe Polish Hair, so named for the dye that had been carefully applied to the few remaining follicles on his head. He didn’t concern himself with the niceties of introductions or explanations. He was more interested in making a sexist joke about his wife. The man had priorities.
He was also making Timmy my favorite person in the cube, which is always upsetting, especially because T-dog had added a new twist to the chin on the forehead routine. He was now loudly chewing gum while resting his chin on my forehead so that his face was bouncing on mine. I kept moving my protective eyewear up my forehead to try to deter him, to no avail. But at least this was the night they would finally, FINALLY start measuring for my crown.
Except that it wasn’t. They were just going to shave my tooth down to a point where they could apply a temporary crown. Which I will grudgingly admit, Timmy did a very nice job with. It felt like sandpaper in my mouth and was about three shades darker than the rest of my teeth, but that little textured kernel felt like a nugget of gold lighting the way to the end of this Godforsaken journey.