The worst place to have a conversation, aside from between bathroom stalls, is in the dentist’s office. When I’m reclined, staring up at an artificial sun, I feel vulnerable. Time can’t move quickly enough for me. Naturally, there’s a bit of small talk about the weather and such, but once devices start entering my mouth, my vocal cords should be considered out of business. Regardless, the life of a dental hygienist must be lonely.
“Hello. How is your day going, Mr. Tore … Torsh … um, …”
“What? Oh, I’m sorry. I guess I should take this thing out of your mouth first.”
Out it comes, dripping spit on my light blue paper towel tie.
“Fine, thank you. Tor-SIVE-eee-ah. Please call me Phil.”
“Yep, just like it’s spelled.”
She reinserts the saliva suck tube.
“So, do you have the day off?”
“Oh, well, good for you. What do you do for a living?”
Rolling eyes, while pointing to mouth.
“You’re a dentist too?”
“I give up.”
Making writing signs with hands.
“Oh, you’re a reporter.”
“You’re a writer, yes, I understand.”
Shrugging. Close enough.
“Do you write books?”
“So, what do you write about?”
Here’s where I should consider my audience and censor myself. She’s a woman, around thirty, wearing a wedding ring, and her pupils are partially dilated, which means she’s attracted to me. Sadly, these are the actual thoughts that traverse my mind. Far be it for me to deduce her dilation is relative to the ambient lighting. Nope. I immediately entertain thoughts of her fellating me like we’re acting out a porn plot. She must like me. To make her like me more, it’s time for me to make funny.
I use my sign language to cross my chest with an X. She’s confused. I take a bold leap and make a vagina out of my left hand by circling my index finger to my thumb and inserting two (that’s my thing) fingers into the hand vagina. She doesn’t stab the drill into my left eye. So far, so good.
“Ha ha. You write about sex. I get it.”
“Anything I might have read?”
“Oh. Well, I’d like to. You should give me a book.”
“Awesome. Don’t forget to sign it.”
Winking and smiling as best one can while his gums are being blasted with ice water.
Once the stretching, stabbing, scraping, spraying, sucking, and spitting are through, I’m escorted out to settle up and schedule the next appointment.
“And, remember to bring my [making the hand-fuck signs back at me] book next time.”
The receptionist gave me a look with an odd combination of curiosity and disgust.
“I’ll bring two.”