Forty-five minutes with a dental wedge and a latex dam, I can take. The last half-hour is dear God please get this the fuck out of my mouth. It's not my first rodeo, I told the dental assistant during her pretreatment warning spiel. In twenty minutes it's this too shall pass while listening to Spotify with one ear. Because the other ear is needed for important instructions like turn this way and relax your jaw. As if. Lenny Kravitz helps a little but nothing drowns out the whine of the highest-pitch drill thing. Does closing my eyes help, all the accoutrements of the room disappear yet these things remain: the numbness and a shaky trust in it, the smell of the latex, a reluctant appreciation of the time-space continuum, and always the sounds. That determined drilling in one unshutable ear and now Nightswimming in the other, a slender moment of coalescence: piano like relentless water, voice a soothing hypnotist, but comes the oboe, that thin, persistent, inevitable reminder: of this chair, this hour, this infinite now.
After that afternoon? We're taking the easy way out