For the relief of unbearable interactions.
The dentist drilled my tooth without any anesthetic, but in the air was, maybe I need an anesthetic. He said, “Raise your left hand if you feel any sensitivity” but I’m like “Why the left—because I’m a liberal?” but he’s like “Hey, I’m from
Brooklyn!” so I said, “If I raise my left hand due to
sensitivity, will you raise your left
hand to acknowledge my sensitivity?” We tested it out once, in the absence of
sensitivity, me raising my left hand, he raising his left hand, but in the end,
it wasn’t the moment I’d hoped for—you know, a camaraderie amongst everyday
people in my life: train conductors, specialized personnel, troubleshooters,
certificate holders, dentists, et cetera. He continued to drill my tooth
without anesthetic, so I got to thinking about sensitivity. Am I too sensitive?
Are we Americans too sensitive? How many people, at the moment, are raising
their left hands due to sensitivity? Shoot:
how many people, at the moment, are raising their right
hands, due to sensitivity? Isn’t that the crux of the political problem we
face? If more Americans raise their left hands than their right hands then
maybe we could elect the sensitive guy. A small piece of metal sprang into the
back of my mouth but the dentist plucked it out, deftly. “Thanks for not swallowing
that!” he said. He sat down and took
off his mask. “It’s all over,” he added. “You didn’t need any anesthesia.” He
stared at the far dentistry horizon. I said, “That’s a good thing, right? Not
needing anesthesia.” Because if we put aside the sensitivity then we might not
need to signal our discomfort again—and we could raise any hands we wanted, or
better yet, no hands at all.