I went to the dentist

and she told me… “You are grinding your teeth at night. What’s bothering you?”

“Oh—the usual things,” I said. “Our lawyers are fighting with their lawyers, where I work.”

“And it’s keeping you up at night?”

“Sure. I can’t keep the bad thoughts out of my head.”

“Well, you remember last time we met, I was pregnant?”

I thought I had, but I didn’t want to say anything, because she was a big girl. What if I was wrong? She continued…

“Now my son is 1.4 years old. It’s been a long time since you’ve been to the dentist.” She scolded me with her eyes. “Now, open wide, and I’ll clean your teeth.”

She was sweet, even though most people hate the dentist. They’re the number one suicide risk profession. My job is number two—psychologist.

“You have acid in your mouth,” she said. “I think I know what this is—you have sleep apnea.”

“What? But I’m a young guy.”

“Young—has nothing to do with it. What happens is, your throat contracts like a straw, closing your air passage. Your subconscious mind wakes you up, but not all the way. Then you grind your teeth, in a reflex response. We can provide you with a sleep study. It will cost you 200 dollars, out of pocket. What do you think?” She asked.

“It sounds like a con. You dentists are con artists. Before—you used to drill holes in teeth and fill them, if you needed a little extra cash. Now, it’s sleep studies.”

She was taken aback. “Well, you don’t want to die in your sleep,” she said.

“Sure, I do. It’s the best way to go.”

“Yes, but not when you’re 35. You want to live to be 95, right?”

“I’m going to live to 105. Heck—115. I will never die.”

I could tell, she thought, she was dealing with a lunatic.

“Now—about your anxiety…” she said. “I’m sure you’ve heard of the following study, I’m about to tell you?”

Why do people assume I know everything? I must look competent. Everything, isn’t worth knowing. It’s kinda like books. I believe there are only a few worth reading, lost in the trillions of bad words written. Good books are like good friends, and I hate most people.

My mind had drifted off, again…

the way it usually does, like a survivor, floating on the boring seas…

“Think of the color you hate,” she said. “For me, it’s brown. After my pregnancy, I was having some bad ideas. My psychologist told me to push the bad colors out of my body. Then, I should swallow my favorite color—green.”

No wonder people think my profession is for quacks, I thought. Clearly, brown represents human waste.

“I’ve never heard of that,” I said.

“Well…you learn something new every day. Stop trying to help me out when I clean your teeth. You keep flexing your jaw, and I don’t want you to get tired.”

“I’m not trying to help you,” I said.

She giggled. Apparently, I’m funny. “Now, my secretary will give you the machine.”

When I went to see her secretary, I was looking at a very young girl. “What’s your birthdate?” She asked.

I told her.

“Oh, that’s 10 years different from me,” she said. “The CPAP machine will cost you 3,000 dollars.”

How am I going to make it in this world? My competence is in decline, while everybody is so serious about their work. It sickens me, that they love to do, monotonous tasks. They murder their curiosity. Strangely, as I get older, I have become more curious, and less competent—useless, to society—only useful to myself.

“Hey, this might seem like a random question,” I asked, “But, do you get many patients who still have their wisdom teeth?”

“No. Why do you ask?”

“I thought so. Why do we pull them out?”

“Because people aren’t using them,” she said.

“That makes sense.”

The End

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