Monday, April 26, 2010

The End of an Affair

The human mouth has a surprising amount of saliva. I discovered this once again on my most recent trip to the dentist’s.

Ah, the dentist’s. That chair holds several joyful childhood memories. For me, it has always been a place of great happiness. Looking back, it’s rather ironic that they gave you lollipops when you left. Always loved the dentist’s. Until my teeth became adolescents and started rebelling…i.e. got cavities.(Not milk.)

So the other day I traipse on over for a visit because one of my teeth is hurting. This may have been the beginning of the end of the passionate love affair that was me and the dentist’s chair. I mean dude. It vibrates. And acts like Robocop, with all the fun-sounding whirring. Love was destined to blossom in such optimum conditions (as opposed to in the time of cholera).

So anyway. After waiting for like 2 hours, I finally saw the dentist. (And sat in the chair. Don’t ever forget the chair.) He told me what was wrong with my tooth, etc. During this, of course, he had to look inside my mouth. Then something had to be done in my mouth; enter the suctioning thingy. After annihilating any chance of a steamy rendezvous with the dentist (who really was cute, but really, after you see a girl drooling uncontrollably, a date isn’t the first thing that comes to mind), he gave me a mouthwash that was supposed to have a ‘pleasantly flavored aqueous base.’ The long and short of that was: LIE!!!

There was still hope for this relationship when I came back the next time, toothache again. I got in to see the dentist almost immediately (at last! Reunited with my love: the chair). My dentist this time was a lady (yay! Face: Saved!). I don’t think I can ever really get used to the whole let’s-talk-about-mundane-things-while-doing-surgery thing. You see it in the movies, but assume it never happens…oh, it does. I was thinking the whole time, if I move my tongue, it will be sliced off by the lethal-looking instrument she’s waving about, seeing as she’s not even LOOKING at my mouth while laughing about sijui whose outfit.

And then there’s the 3 injections. As if I wasn’t drooling enough already, she numbed the entire right side of my jaw. It’s really disconcerting when your lip won’t listen to you. Especially when you’re telling it to close. On the plus side, if I had gotten into a violent brawl with say, the dentist’s assistant (or the chair), I would’ve totally won, because I couldn’t feel a thing. My pugilist ambitions would be well realized…as long as she kept hitting my right jaw. (Don’t touch the face? HA! You can’t hurt – um, touch, this!) I was tempted to punch myself, but I settled for chewing nervously on my inner lip.

What bothered me was the fact that I had gone in for a simple check-up, only to be told that I had a broken filling, a cavity and a soon-to-be cavity (when I grow up, I want to be…decaying?). As you can imagine, I now no longer drink soda. The price of sugar is too high to pay. During the surgery, I kept thinking when will it be over…and WHY ISN’T SHE LOOKING INTO MY MOUTH, DAMMIT…

I got out of the chair. At last. I went to the counter to pay my bill. The receptionist then tells me, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, your insurance doesn’t cover dental. And your last bill wasn’t paid either.’



p.s. Can you believe I only just watched Set It Off? Great movie. Who knew Organized Noise wrote Don’t Let Go (En Vogue)? Me neither. Yes, I don’t know what I was doing with myself in 1996 either. Maybe I was at the dentist’s.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Epilogue slash Continuation...

Apparently the quickest way to get over one man is to get under another one. So I hear. The problem with this mantra is that it assumes that there’s a mass of men about just waiting to be flipped into horizontal positions. It also assumes that it is healthy to constantly be in a relationship or chasing one. Which really cannot be healthy, can it. Because most women know that you shouldn’t need a man to validate you, you shouldn’t be pegging all your happiness on just one person, yaddiyaddiyadda. But the truth for most of these women is that men are like chocolate when you’re on a no-sugar diet. It’s probably bad for you in large quantities. You don’t really NEED any. But you definitely do WANT some.

And so here I was, back to the singlehood that I had never really left. It felt familiar; I knew all my neighbours. (It much resembled the gutter.) I spent inordinate amounts of time staring at my phone and wondering why it was so quiet – then remembering that it had no reason to make noise. I hate that stage, when your foot isn’t completely back through the door and you’re trying extremely hard not to let your (semi/pseudo) ex become your rebound, because it is so ridiculously easy to fall back into the pattern that you know oh so well. What clearer path to follow than the path you have already trod.

In a bid to forget my so-called woes (because really, in life, believe it or not, there are much bigger problems than just singlehood), The Girls and I went to get a cuppa at the nearest Java. I listlessly glanced around, expecting the usual crowd – who did not fail to deliver – and of course, JavaGuy.

So JavaGuy is….drumroll….a guy. Who I always see at Java. In my wildest fantasies, he’s a top secret CID agent/international crime lord/fugitive/random guy under a witness protection plan who is now living undercover and trying to mingle with the common rabble as he gets back on track to whatever he’s planning on doing next. Which, because he’s so uberexciting, is very exciting. So he saw me once from a distance and was so enamored by my ephemeral beauty and noticeable wit (as all my friends were conveniently laughing at a joke I just cracked, and saying things like ‘You’re so funny!’ and ‘Wow, you should totally have a stand-up comedy show…’ This is what is supposed to happen in real life.) that he immediately hired his strongmen/other CID buddies/himself to follow me and trace my every move.

The reason this fantasy exists is because every single time I walk into Java, either he’s already there or shows up within 15 minutes. It’s creepy and exciting all at the same time. Although more exciting than creepy, because he’s not a middle-aged Caucasian male, which is the most common standard profile for serial killers.

So of course he was there. And of course our eyes met, because they always do. And of course there was the usual flicker of recognition, and the appreciative up-and-down glance, because, quite frankly, it’s me – and of course there was me walking away, because I knew him. He was the kinda guy who irritates me so very much – check a girl out, raise her hopes then don’t do anything about it, no, never, can’t do that. Punk.

We sat down and he looked my way. I thought DAMNATION. You already know bloody well what I look like. And you clearly don’t have a pair to your name. So I turned around and continued to chop it up with The Girls. Really loudly, as per usual.

At some point, the waiters begun to put up the chairs, and we thought, perhaps that’s our cue to leave. We had been biding our time until they brought us the bill, but they were taking ages, so we grabbed the excuse to not depart. So we called our waitress over and asked for the bill.

“Your bill has been cleared.” We looked at her, confused. We hadn’t paid our bill. What were these words coming out of her mouth? Maybe she was really tired after a long day. But at the same time, she was looking at us as if we had taken a couple of hard knocks as children, or our mochas had been clearly laced. “The gentleman who cleared it left his card, and asked me to give it to you.” And with that, she placed a card on the table and left.

The Girls and I peered at the card as if it was an alien specimen that was the secret to no wrinkles.

“Nice card,” said MM.

“I guess…”I agreed grudgingly.

“Good quality paper is always a plus,” added PK, who has a knack for summarizing a man’s entire fiscal potential by his shoes and whether he orders a double espresso or a single cappuccino.


“Will you call him?”

“Well…..we’ll see.” But really? Call him? Classic move of a man who’d rather be chased than do the chasing. Was I really ready for that?


Ps. Young Kenyans are garnering an obsession with perceived depth through poetry slam sessions and spoken word thingies and the like. But half of the people who perform at these things don’t have friends who tell them they can’t sing/perform/write poetry for sh**. Same thing happened before Caroline Nderitu became ‘famous’. You have been warned.