I'm out of the chair. I have so much Novocaine in my face that my left ear is numb. I only noticed this when I put my sunglasses on to ride from the dentist's office to the bike shop.
In about 15 more minutes I'll be able to get that blissful first cup of coffee.
After successfully evading major dental work for about 30 years, I prepared to face it with meditative calm. Yeah, right. I feel like a human sacrifice on that chair. Its curves don't seem to match mine. Rather than cradle me in comforting contours, it seems to thrust my soft midsection up for the priest's plunging knife.
My dentist is a very nice guy and a careful craftsman. But for all my resolve to trust him implicitly and relax completely, within 30 seconds I was twisted in the chair, head pulling back in defiance of my will. We stopped, chatted a bit. I subsided. But I noticed as the procedure went on that my legs were sprawled off the lower part of the chair as if my body had been dumped there. My feet occasionally gripped the sides of it.
Then there was my swallowing problem. The spray of water the assistant used to direct the chunks of my demolished molar toward the vacuum cleaner she held to catch them collected in exactly the wrong spot on my tongue. Involuntarily, I swallowed. The dentist jerked the drill back. We all laughed nervously. Then something I said made us all laugh harder. I don't remember what it was. Then we laughed at laughing.
As nice as it must have been for the patients in the waiting room to hear riotous laughter rather than groans of agony, you don't want people operating power tools inside your mouth to have a case of the giggles. Fortunately, these people are professionals. They got it back under control.
True to their word, the dental team finished in an hour and a half.
Now I just need my face to come back to life.