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Believing Is Seeing

Believing Is Seeing

Certain calls that come into my cellphone automatically get clicked into voicemail. The dentist's office would be one of those. I pretty much expect a call from the dentist every six months. After a few weeks of repeat calls, the courteous thing to do seems to be to pick up the call and actually bother to schedule an appointment. So I do.
Nowadays, a patient no longer just sits in the dental chair. You lie down. It's a strangely vulnerable position. With mouth wide open, you are suddenly at the mercy of someone holding very sharp metal instruments in her hand. A bright light details every imperfection of your complexion.
I stare up at the dental hygienist, hoping for some gentleness on her part. She, in that blue paper mask, stares down my throat while asking pleasant questions, questions which are always impossible to answer. How do you speak when someone is poking around inside your mouth with an instrument that resembles an ice pick.
It is a peculiar 25-minute relationship. T