I went to this dental office where all the employees were women and all the people on the posters were men. All these men, smiling wide and white, with perfect hair and perfect arms and perfect legs. A woman handed me a clipboard and a different woman lead me through a short hall and sat me in leather and chained a bib around my neck and a third woman came in with a chart.
This one said my name. "How long has it been?" she said.
"A while," I said. "Two years." What I meant was, four.
When she started she was on my right and another woman was on my left. Okay, I thought. My last dentist had been a skinny man who smelled like glass and his fingers had been huge in my mouth and this new arrangement soothed me. The dentist got around in my mouth and I thought, okay, it doesn't even hurt anymore. There had been marvelous advancements in the practice in the last four years. Then something flashed in my jaw and the dentist was shushing to me. The noise was like wind coming out of a tire. Then something else flashed in my jaw. Light filled my head.
"Debra," she said, and then something I couldn't understand. Her words were fast and blocky.
"What?" I said, but my mouth was a mess, full of fingers and metal.
The dentist kept on, and the other woman said something, and they both talked fast and I had no idea what they said. The dentist leaned back for a new tool and a dark crescent burned behind her ear, where the hair fell away. What did it mean? This red moon, no fuller than a clipped nail. I tried to ask what it signified but all that came out was mush.
. . .
Quick one on the side: Did you know there is a new Autolux album? Is it cool to like Autolux? I'm not sure. But I am sure their first album, Future Perfect, was pretttty greattttt.