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October 31, 2001
Sitting in a dentist’s chair, mouth wide-open, staring up at the blinding light with the putrid smell of plaque. Only a few days earlier this was just a figment of my imagination. I never even once expected an appointment so soon. I thought it’d be weeks.

But my teeth are getting cleaned.

It was less painful than I figured it would be. He worked quickly. Gently scrubbing, scrapping and polishing. While the assistant had the tube in my mouth, sucking out saliva. Occasionally it gave my tongue a hickey. That vacuum doubled as the drain for wash, rinse and spit.