In approximately twenty minutes I will be sitting in my dentist’s chair. As I stretch out my legs, Dr. Gracias will ask if I’d like the back massager on (yes, please). She’ll prepare to fix my teeth, and I will nervously shift in the seat. As the needle comes forward, I’ll start sweating and clutching the armrest, and then a little novocaine pinch, and then everything will be numb. “So,” I’ll ask, “Got any more of that stuff? For my head? My heart?”
And now I’m back from the dentist, my tongue moving over the newness of the filling. As it turns out, the dentist decided that the cavities were so small that novocaine wasn’t necessary. So the drilling occurred with no numbness, and I didn’t get to present the grimly witty request listed above. At least I’ll be able to brag about my resilience and toughness all week. “Yeah, I totally had fillings done with no novocaine. That shit is for amateurs,” I’ll tell an enthralled gaggle of mopheads at Thursday’s mod night.
I re-read Prufrock again today. I’m not a fan of poetry—I find much of it too flowery, the rest too jumbled—but this poem always puts things into perspective for me. I think that’s one of the things I appreciate most about the poem, that at the end of the day, I did dare to eat the peach, and I’m better for it.