Pretzels, potato chips & goldfish (sushi’s cheesy cracker cousin), all foods I thoroughly enjoy. However, one life event made these delicious foods, a forbidden fruit. Let’s back track. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in the East Village. I wandered around First Avenue, pondering life deep philosophical questions. Should I have Indian for lunch? Or Thai?
There was a tingle in my mouth. Wow, something just doesn’t feel right. I called my dad. “Antoine, have you not been wearing a scarf over your mouth?” he asked with a stern tone. ” No, I never do,” I replied. ” It’s bad for your teeth, wear a scarf. It’s too cold out there,” he replied. I didn’t believe I could actually get frostbite in my mouth, especially after being quite accustomed to New York winters.
The next night, the temperatures dropped dramatically. As expected, the Polar Vortex had become a part of New York daily life like the deli or a metro card. Regardless, of the Polar Vortex, I took advantage of the empty sidewalks. I had a most magnificent walk on Manhattan Avenue in Harlem. Everything was quintessentially adorable and bursting with character. Sadly, the beauty didn’t diminish the pangs of pain, which eventually developed in my mouth. “Ouch,” I said.
I convinced myself, it was nothing, just an unrealistic case of frostbite in my mouth. When I rose from slumber, the pangs of pain arose with me. “Shit, I think I am going to have to see the dentist.” Casually, I browsed the Internet to make an appointment. As I bit into my croissant sandwich, all hell broke loose. I was in too much pain.
In a great panic, I made an appointment. There was something cool and hip about my dentist’s office. There were plenty of Rolling Stone magazines to read and good people watching from the Union Square crowd.
My dentist walked in. He looked more like a recent art school graduate than a traditional dentist, which put me at ease, since I am in the creative field.
He brought me for an X-ray and as expected, bad news. ” Yeah, you have a wisdom tooth, which needs to be pulled out. This going to be harder, since you’re 30 and they typically get more imbedded within the gum as time goes by. Oh and you also have an infection from this. You need to take both teeth, he said.” I opted for only one tooth, since it was cheaper.”
While numbing my gums for the archaeological dig, I braced for madness. Also, I prepared myself for a voyage into a mystical land, which mirrored English countryside. It had unicorns and jellybeans blossoming from the ground. “Okay, kiddo are you ready? He asked. “Oh yeah,” I said terrified, but said with great confidence. The digging began.
The dig for the tooth intensified. I could feel the pressure as he strategically dug for that precious relic. A few minutes later, I experience a tug and surprise, my wisdom tooth came out. “Congratulations, do you want to take a picture for your friends to see?” he asked. Naturally, I pulled out my iPhone and snap. Then I went my merry way to Walgreens for some fun medications.
After my adventure in the pharmacy, I took the N train to Times Square (where I transfer to the West Side trains). Naturally, I was in terrible pain, as the N, Q & R trains stopped running properly. Feeling loopy from surgery, I tried to take a cab home, which didn’t quite work out for me. In the middle of chaotic Herald Square, I schlepped it to Seventh Avenue and got on a 2/ Uptown train.
The subway was itself typical sardine can. I desperately wanted a seat. The thespian in me had an idea. Back in 1988, when I was 4. I pretended to be dizzy, playing to my unsuspecting cousin’s emotions. All I wanted was a soda and I knew I could get it by being dramatic. I was ready for performance, but no need. The subway emptied at Times Square and I got a seat.
Arriving at my apartment in Harlem, I opened up the fridge and ate cheese. I had to consume the cheddar like a mouse, since I could barely move my jaw. Two pills went were taken and the pain was gone. Eventually, I started feeling normal. However, booze and crunchy foods were out of the question.
Until the next episode of dental surgery, I will jam out to “Geek Stink Breath” by Green Day. The music video reminds me of my journey into the land of dentistry and teeth pulling.