A twenty-minute moment

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

A routine extraction. She’d asked how long it might take, and the dentist said ‘not long’, drawing her into the complicity. Didn’t know she’d be bracing herself so firmly as he wrenched at her tooth. Closed her eyes to avoid the sight of her mouth reflected in the tiny bright disc of his mirror, clutched in his hand like a spare pen as he sketched her discomfort with the screaming point of the drill.

He’d paused at one point, and the assistant left the room. She thought he might say that it was too much, that to continue would take more strength than he had, but the assistant came back, assumed her position with a vacuum, and he resumed the patient tugging and the shrieking, whilst she struggled to leave her body in the chair and let her mind roam far away, up to the corner of the room and out of the window.

She’d half-thought, half-hoped that a tooth might slide easily from bone, but if seems that some attachments are meant to last a lifetime. As the dentist says ‘forceps’ to his assistant, she shrinks back further into the chair, closes her eyes and tries to find a calm place inside her mind where blue eyes can gaze steadily back at her.

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