i was face-first in a snack-sized side dish of cheez-its tonight at dinner when i noticed a hard, non-salt kernal rolling around in my mouth. as a habitual tooth-breaker, i immediately recognized that my cheddar pleasure had been disrupted by my own problem molar.
you know the one: right side, second to back.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MY PROBLEM MOLAR
this was, originally, a cool ranch dorito incident. a few years ago i bit into my favorite treat, sucking the horse connective tissued gelatin speckles off a mouthful of crunch, and cracked my tooth. this was a little painful, if i recall. but i'm a toughie. i mean, i ran college track and i've worked retail and hell, once i ran a marathon.
i thought the best way to fix this crack in my tooth would be to ignore it. let it heal itself, like my liver. or a mealworm.
months later i was eating one of those clunky sourdough pretzel bites, i believe parmesean and garlic flavored, and half of my tooth fell out of my face.
i had a root canal that i thought would render me delirious and swollen, unable to do anything more taxing than roll my eyes while watching "passions," drool into a mound of gauze. but, hours later, i was able to take my mom to the new scenic for a tempeh rueben, then frankie's where i yodeled "borderline" in front of a crowd of two, prop her into my bed with a copy of david sedaris' "naked" and catch a pretty pleasant buzz during dollar beer night at the buena vista.
dental technology has come a long way since i had my wisdom teeth removed. back then it was days before i could eat anything with more texture than a blue raspberry mr. misty freeze.
i never got that tooth capped. it seemed extraneous. the behavior of some sort of high falooting, white toothed, whole molared aristocrat.
BACK TO THE PRESENT
i spit my tooth into my hand and felt a little woozy. nauseated and dizzy. i thought i was going to faint. one would think that since i frequently have that dream where i am spewing globs of teeth the consistancy of vomit into my open hands, that just hawking one tiny nugget into my palm would be a relief. but in the dream i always know it is a dream. and this? this was real life.
i threw the tooth bit in my garbage can. then i dug it out.
so now i need a dentist.
PS: i finished the rest of the cheez-its with my fully functional left side of my mouth. taking handfuls and packing them into my cheek. saturating them with my own saliva until they were the consistancy of gerber's peas. then, carefully, chewing slowly and swallowing.