Tooth pain

by Scott Smith

I have a habit of getting nasty tooth pains on Friday evenings. Even if I had insurance, I couldn’t get into a dentist’s office until the weekend was over.
One of my memorable pain experiences happened when I lived in Crown Point, Indiana. I had ordered a large, dead-animal with extra cheese pizza from Pizza Hut — Pan I believe. After finishing several slices, I sent a spice or seed thing through my molar. I went to the carpet. I remember experiencing concussions with more joy.
I could hardly lift my head. For some reason, I called my boss. I can’t explain why — even now. He tried to get his dentist buddy to make a Saturday appointment for me but no luck. Probably didn’t matter; I couldn’t drive.
There was the time I went to the dentist for some work before leaving on an extended business trip for LOGS. For whatever reason, I had to drive from BWI to Virginia Beach, Virginia. I couldn’t take any pain killers. By the time I arrived, I was feverish and pale as Casper. Later that night, staying in a seedy motel near the office, I had a visitor. The guy was trying to sell me drugs. Perhaps the night clerk saw my condition and figured I needed a fix.
Here I am now with a tooth pain that has knocked me down. And, I just got over the flu. And, we have added a third dog to the house. I can’t sleep; dogs bark; red-headed boy stomps instead of walking. The inflammation around the crown, which I suspect was the work I had done before the Virginia Beach trip, is maroon.
I keep hearing Lawrence Oliver in my head: “Is it safe?” Then, I see Dustin Hoffman, wearing only sweats and a t-shirt running away, carrying his bottle of clove-something-or-other. He rubs the oil where his molar once was. It’s only temporary relief. Me, I’ve got topical pain killer, ibuprofen and Beam going. I get about an hour of dull relief.

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