Dr. Jaws
Saturday, March 13, 2010, 7:38 PM

I mean Dawes. His name was Dawes.

My biggest childhood fear, not including spiders or what might have been hiding under my bed at night, was my dentist. A week ahead of appointment time, I would start counting down the days with dread. It felt like being on death row, not that I know anything about being on death row, but how else can I explain about that sucking black hole in the pit of my stomach?

Every appointment time--every time I went--I was more nervous than I had ever been, ever. I'd brush my teeth to Kingdom Come on the day of, too, just in case it mattered. But as soon as I caught my first whiff of the office, my internal organs shrank and I felt like barfing or taking a crap right then and there. It's too bad I never fainted from this fear because I wanted to. Surely the evil people who worked in the office of Jaws would take the fears of an unconscious child on the floor more seriously than a bawling one.

I'd go stiff and whine as soon as my butt slid into the patient's chair, which I always thought looked like a beetle without legs. The light above my head was The Evil Eye. It never blinked. It saw every tear, every muscle twitch, every look of horror on my face. I used to pray to it.

Please, please, please get me out of here, amen.

Once Dr. Dawes said to me, "I haven't even done anything yet, there's nothing to cry about."

Only I thought he said, "You’re a rotten kid and I'm going to feed you to The Boogieman," because then I was really really crying and they had to get my little sister to come and sit with me. Crap, was I the biggest boob. I think it's hilarious now, but it sure wasn't back then.

I won’t even mention the cavities.

Okay, maybe I will. Just the sound of the drill was enough to make my pulse do the funky chicken. It was loud and unrelenting outside of my head, and when it was inside my mouth, there was the ow-ow-fricking-ow factor.

Leaving Dr. Dawes's office was always a huge relief. It meant I’d survived, that I’d live another day, and I really really liked that part.


And now I have to go and see a guy about my jaw. There's no way around it. I'm kind of afraid they're going to have to break my jaw and reset it.

Why does it always have to be my face?

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