Tuesday, October 16, 2012


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.

No comments: