“I spent half my life thinking dying was the most important thing I could do… or — at least — that dying was my most likely accomplishment. What the fuck did I care about what shape my teeth were in? Who knew, ten years ago or fifteen years ago that I’d be here ten years later or fifteen years later needing to have a tooth pulled so my jaw doesn’t get infected which will require even more surgery?”
“When You Spend 6570 Consecutive Days Wanting To Kill Yourself The Little Things Get Neglected… Like Dental Hygiene”; Me, June 13, 2007
Sometimes just the act of delaying a defeat can be a victory.
I had another tooth pulled last week. It wasn’t a surprise. This was the second time it had become infected, and even though the infection was again killed by penicillin, there was just too much damage done to the tooth. I couldn’t even close my mouth properly because the infection had pushed the tooth up just enough that chewing was difficult, and painful.
So the dentist pulled it out, and I have another giant hole in my face… and now I almost have enough holes they’ll soon be turning into ditches.
But it’s not as bad as it could have been. The tooth was originally supposed to be pulled way back in November of 2008, but once the penicillin killed the infection, and knowing I would have to lose it sooner rather than later, I decided I was going to keep it for as long as I could. Which was last week.
“When I made the decision I was actually sitting in the dentists chair, with that paper bib chained around my neck, waiting for the freezing to kick in. I kept thinking “yeah, it’s still tender, and the roots are so close to the surface there’s a definite issue with heat and cold… but fuck it, I want my tooth.”
This would have been the fourth one in less than two years, so I don’t think the dentist was entirely surprised I was rebelling. She agreed keeping it wouldn’t be a bad idea as long as it wasn’t infected or painful.”
Drawing A Line In The Enamel With A 7.2 Blood Sugar Level; December 17, 2008
So instead of four teeth pulled in two years, I managed to make it to almost four. It doesn’t sound like much, but every time I flossed that massive molar I smiled a little because I remembered making the decision to keep it, and how I felt getting out of that dentist’s chair with the same number of teeth as when I sat down.
Of course I made a video of the extraction. I made one of the last one as well, so far it has received more than 30,000 views on YouTube. I’ve taken a lot of photos in my dentists office as well. They love me. This time I managed to get the actual tooth in the video, I missed it the last time because I couldn’t feel anything.
I don’t know what happened between now and when I was a kid… because back then, when the dentists put both his hands into your mouth and jammed stainless steel pokers straight into the holes in our teeth so they could tickle our nerves, they’d barely use more anaesthetic then what’s found in the average Aspirin.
But now, somehow, we have what’s called a “No Pain Clinic”, where they juice you up until you can’t feel daylight. Seriously, is ‘anaesthetic’ just that much less expensive now?
Enjoy, it’s only a couple of minutes and any shaking comes from the Lithium, not from the dentist jerking a huge piece of bone out of my head… remember to floss at least once every day.
Anyway. So… a couple of weeks ago my mother received her income tax return and decided I needed a new bed.
Which actually sounded like a good idea because the one I’ve been using for the past six years, since I moved back here, is almost twenty years old.
The springs in the mattress had become a little sprung.
Until I inherited the twenty-year old frame, mattress and box spring, I hadn’t “owned” a bed since I was eighteen. Some of the rooming houses I lived in came furnished, for the unfurnished ones I’d find a mattress and sometimes a box spring, and just drop them on the floor.
For a little while, in Toronto, I was living in the basement of a friends place and using an inflatable mattress… until he found me a really flimsy, and very sprung mattress that I’m sure was meant for a dog. But once I figured out where the really sprung springs where it was comfortable enough to sleep on.
There have also been more than a few weeks where I had no mattress, or box spring or a frame.
But now I have an (approx.) four-foot high $880 mattress and box spring (I kept the old frame).
My old mattress was definitely falling apart, and there weren’t many white spots left. But it was disposable. If I were ever to move again, I could just chuck the fucking thing off my balcony and walk away.
Which, until I moved back here, was pretty much how I rolled. My first apartment was a rooming house in a nearby town, where we shared furniture in the common area, and for a bed I used a sleeping bag.
When I moved to Ottawa I brought a radio, a small digital alarm clock, a sports bag filled with clothes and some books. Nine years later, when I moved to Toronto, I brought the same radio, the same clock, the same books and a larger sports bag filled with clothes. When I moved back home three years later, I brought the same radio, the same clock, a computer, the same books and the same sports bag.
I’ve never had a lot of “stuff” before. When I was living in Toronto I used a cab to move, twice. Here to there, one load, all done. Now I look around and wonder how the fuck I’m ever going to get out of here. Or if, in another six months, I’ll even fit in here.
I’ve got a couch and armchair; four bookcases full of books; a dining table and four chairs; a CD rack; lamps; a long desk for the computer; a stereo; two dressers; a trunk; dishes; cutlery; two pots and two pans; curtains; three comforters; four sheets (that came with the mattress); a cat; a litter box; a garbage can; a TV; thirty photos on the walls; stuff for the baby to lay in; two oscillating fans; meat in the freezer; a recycling box; cleaning products; twelve rolls of toilet paper; three boxes of Kleenex; a bike; a calendar next to my front door; a place to put important papers hanging next to the calendar; a broom; eight cloth grocery bags; a phone; a blender and a hand mixer; a mountain bike; three clear large storage bins; a coffee table and an end table; a table for the printer and a large, red office chair on wheels.
But pretty soon, at this rate, I’ll have nowhere to wheel to… I also have a dehumidifier.
Then, just for kicks, empty four garbage bags of clothes on top of it all.
There are paths to my couch which have been totally, and permanently, cut off. I can still remember a time where there was only one path to my couch, and it was the width of my apartment. Actually, I can remember not having a couch. Just the rocking armchair I found on the street. I threw it out a month ago. I miss my chair.
I don’t know how I managed to accumulate all of this crap in just four (or so) years. But I feel like some of it has been thrown at me in an attempt to turn me into an adult… or something.
Them: “Let’s go Gabriel… we’re going to Ikea.” Me: “Why?” Them: “Because you need bookshelves.” Me: “…but I have a couple of boards and some bricks.” Them: [strange look of bewilderment] “Get in the car.”
I’m partially… maybe even mostly serious, I think people (re: my mom and girlfriend) are trying to pile enough stuff into this apartment so I won’t be able to find the door, let alone get on a bus and fuck off somewhere with my digital clock, my little stereo, a sports bag full of clothes, and some books.
All of which I still have.
And I do want to find a way out of here.
I just have to figure out what to do with all of this stuff.