Thursday, January 30, 2003

For Crying Out Loud

In retrospect, it seems that I should not have gotten out of bed this week. While Sunday was generally a good day, I unfortunately ate a bad mussel at dinner and I'm still paying for it in the form of painful stomach gas. Monday I spent the whole day working out an emotional and intellectual confusion in this here blog, mining through my own prejudices and fears and quandaries (a worthwhile but not entirely enjoyable exercise). Tuesday I apparently deleted it, along with all of my other long posts, while migrating to Blogger Pro. Wednesday I went to the dentist for a filling and ended up having a root canal instead (surprise!); I was under the nitrous for two hours, and now I'm on cortisone and Vicodin. My stomach feels bad, my mouth feels bad, my blog feels bad, my checking account is entering the tumbril and will be feeling bad as soon as my root-canal-instead-of-a-filling invoice arrives... and my hair is an utter fucking disaster. Gack.

I've had weeks like this before. And always my teeth are involved... not necessarily the starring attraction, but they're always contained within these little bastinades of tragedies. I wonder why that is. Is it perhaps that, when the teeth go wrong, nothing goes right? Or is it that I'm always having trouble with my teeth, but it just bugs me more when the rest of my life goes to shit? Who knows. One thing I've learned, though, is that these things always pass. In a week or two I'll have forgotten all about it.

I've decided that I do not like nitrous oxide, after all. While I do appreciate and still need the gas in order to ooch past the mind-scrambling nature of dental pain (especially since I'm novocaine-resistant), I don't really like being stoned anymore. While I was floating about under the influence, I had all these really interesting thoughts and fascinating realizations... none of which I remember now.

I do remember deciding that I was indeed in love with a certain someone, though I can't for the life of me remember what led up to that decision (and now I don't really think it's true... this can't be love, no sobs, no sorrows, no sighs). I remember having a fascinating breakthrough idea on the nature of perceptions and how much of our perception is clouded or clarified by chemicals of various kinds. I remember looking out the window upside-down through a dental mirror that the dentist was holding near my eye, and wondering why it contained a view of Mission San Juan Capistrano (which, as we know, is not in Oakland... it was in fact the west wing of Providence hospital behind the terracotta tiled roof of the building next door creating an optical illusion). I remember trying to remember whether or not there was a BART station nearby, and if not why I could hear BART trains (there isn't... it must have been a bus with a bad transmission).

The whole not being in touch with reality totally sucks. I don't like it. And I really can't imagine how or why I used to spend so much of my time in such altered states. Though being drunk is not the same as being under nitrous, there was still that removal from reality, that disconnection from my own body and my consciousness and the world of the senses. It's like being a cable-car that has become detached from the cable and is just rolling one way or another, still attached to the track but without any continuing thread of motion.

Well, this is all the price I'm paying for having neglected my teeth. I would say that I've learned my lesson after all these years, but I don't like making statements like that (they are harbingers of failure). But unless the man dies or I move away, I am never changing dentists again, and I am never going to skip a yearly checkup and cleaning. I am through fighting the idea of dental hygiene. Even without dental insurance, it is so much better to pay a few hundred out of pocket once a year, and avoid these nasty surprise root-canals in the future. I guess I just have to accept that my teeth are deteriorating apace, but I still can't afford a proper full set of dentures (nor am I ready to be a denture-wearer... that's kind of yucky when you think about it; especially when you think that you have to spend at least two weeks and up to five weeks being entirely toothless, waiting for your gums to heal from multiple extractions and while they build your dentures for you).

Well, anyway, it's going to take forever just to get my teeth in good working order. This root-canal has to sit for a while, as the bone and gums heal from the trauma, before they can prep me for a post; then it will be another two weeks or so before they can put the crown on (assuming that I or the crown-makers don't screw up the crown mold, like happened last time, and have to have it redone). And once that's done, we can start looking at some of the other problems, notably that bridge or implant that I need in my lower jaw (that's going to cost a fucking fortune). And I'm sure there are other problems just waiting to jump out at me as soon as we get out of crisis mode and can do a thorough cleaning and poke-around.

Well, anyway, that was my Wednesday. Today is just yucky, but at least I got my paycheck on time and all the bills and stuff... now I'm just waiting for the second signature on all these, and then I can go home if I want to. Tomorrow after work (where I have to do banking... always a blast and a half) I have to drive back down to San Jose and retrieve the Grandmother. She's been staying with my cousin Kellie this week (I've dropped the whole romàn a clef initial thing... l don't care if my family reads me talking smack about them), keeping an eye on the kiddies as Kellie goes on job interviews and otherwise helping her settle into her new place. I miss her when she's gone. But I dislike driving to San Jose in the commute hours. It's kind of an ugly drive anyway, but this way it takes a lot longer, giving one so much more opportunity and leisure to observe the ugliness as one ooches bumper-to-bumper for forty-odd miles.

Then comes Saturday. My sister is moving again this weekend, and she asked me to help. Like an idiot, or like a good big brother (very fine line between these two), I agreed. I'm sure it won't be too bad... she hasn't lived there long enough to completely unpack from the last time, and certainly not long enough to have hung a lot of pictures with an upholstery staplegun, or stored away a lot of things that she's forgotten about, or painted her windows, or generated a lot of waste-paper, or hung wall-mounting shelves (the most time-consuming portions of her last move). But still, it's work and I don't like work. The price of family, I guess.

Then on Sunday I run back out to the City to find out what part I got in the Living Sober Musical. Part of me is hoping for one of the featured drag-queens (the ones who have solo lines), but it's a small part of me that wants the glory... the rest is really hoping to hide out in the chorus. We shall see.

The audition on Sunday last was really interesting... I'd never been on an audition before, so I didn't know what to expect. It was rather nerve-wracking, not knowing what to do or when or how. But I talked to the director, and he put me at my ease to a certain extent, and then I sang my little song for him. It's amazingly uncomfortable to sing unaccompanied, all alone and directly at someone, in a big white echoing room. My voice wavered a bit, but I got through it fairly well. My ass didn't fall off, I didn't explode from the blush rushing to my face, the director didn't throw anything at me.

So that's what my life is like just now. It sucks, but it's not the worst it's ever been. I am not bleeding from anywhere, my pain is fairly negligible, I still have a home and a job and a lot of jewelry and clothes. I don't live in the Midwest. Nobody is shooting at me. I'm warm and dry. So I guess I shouldn't complain too much... just enough to remind myself I'm alive (I always say that, if you can't complain, you probably aren't trying hard enough).

And on that elevating note, I now return you to your own life. Kisses!

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