Monday, May 08, 2006
All We Know of Heaven
For nearly three months, I wore a nightime corrective teeth training device, also known as The Fang. The Fang was a huge problem as it was cumbersome and ugly and I had a horrible fear of swallowing it. I wore it in hopes of helping with TMJ, a problem with my jaw being off that has gotten worse over the years. I went to a new dentist (my last one had the last name of Hurt -- I couldn't think this was a good sign, although he had been okay as dentists go, if a little uninspired) who claimed to be good for "nervous" patients. I didn't like the new guy at first sight; he had the air of a small-time pimp or hustler (think Eric Roberts in Star 80 with an even worse haircut) and believed in the hard sell. But I was desperate and at the end of an unbelievably long first appointment (over two hours!), I had The Fang. I was told in the voice one might use with a small, mentally-challenged child that wearing it would be fun and get rid of my headaches and that some people loved their devices so much that they wore them during the day. This gave me considerable pause. The day? The Fang? Granted, I mostly write (it was out of the question for teaching, although it might have given my students a good laugh), but The Fang made speech damn near impossible and as for how it looked -- well, let's say it was as subtle as cleft-palate. I despaired. Was The Fang the only road to the promised land? Sometimes The Fang fell out at night (note earlier fear of swallowing), and I'd have to dig through the sheets to retrieve it. When I finally got up the nerve to lose the thing for good and stopped with the pimp/dentist who after he showed me a video clip on how to brush my teeth more effectively in an effort to sell me a turbo-charged electric toothbrush, I went to a new dentist, a great one, who told me that The Fang had been discontinued because it was dangerous (note earlier fear of swallowing was, umm, valid -- I knew it! Innocents had choked!). I don't have any idea where The Fang is --I've gone through a move and things get lost in moves, but I'd love to see it again. I need something to wear during the day to keep me inside writing and in a constant state of fear and humiliation. And, of course, Halloween will be here in no time.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Stars were something, since I'd found out which was which." Mary Robison
Hangover Menu for Monday (in honor of my student who did his presentation last week and said, Forgive my lack of enthusiasm. I can't decide if I'm really hungover or still drunk.)
Vitamin Water (Revive because it's purple and tastes all right as far as water goes)
Gummy Worms (better than bears because you don't feel as guilty about biting off their tiny little heads)
Benedictions and Maledictions
First published in Quercus Review
All We Know of Heaven
When you were here, it seemed enough.
Now are the days when every day is a death,
a reminder of all that is lost to us forever,
the black lights of grief, the punches that
did not telegraph themselves. Love breaks
your heart and is still not content. This is
all we know of heaven, that what we have
is never enough, that it has to be enough.