Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Friday, October 17, 2008

Failure of the Day: Mouth

You know the 22 Fillmore? That crazy people mobility machine, that homeless guy motel, that bad smell factory?

On the 22 Fillmore this afternoon, it was all I could do to manage my straight-up euphoria. It spouted in plumes from my head; the Okkervil River songs on my new birthday iPod that I have heard a million times sounded so triumphant I nearly wept. On the 22 Fillmore.

What I know for sure is that whatever medical, physical doom is still flying around out there for me is headed right for my mouth. In my jaw are planted the seeds of my ultimate destruction. I can feel it. I feel airplanes crashing into it; I feel exploding shards of bone every time the train takes a fast corner. Death is a missile aimed at the base of my tongue.

So when the dentist told me that I needed two crowns and not the NINE plus a root canal that my last dentist tried to sell me, and also that I had no new cavities and that my gums are healthy, and that yes, she understands completely that I have an obligation to act as my own pain management advocate and that I am not drug-seeking but on the day after she’s been rooting around in my mouth with pointed sticks I get to have a vicodin or two, I thought yes. Yes, this is how we run a perfectly serviceable adulthood.

I am keeping my distance from doom. My mouth is closed to it and I feel invincible.


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