I brush my teeth every night and every morning. Well every morning, at least. Anyway, I was in the shower flossing last night (I know!) and the floss got stuck. Determined, standing in streaming hot water, on a timeline, I tugged on the floss a bit, trying to dislodge it. It didn’t budge. I tugged on it again. Suddenly something hard popped up against the top of my mouth and fell onto my tongue. I took it out of my mouth and looked at it. Tiny. Whitish, with a little bit of blood red washing away in the shower stream.
I leaned against the cold shower tile as everything in sight was suddenly lined with black. I could feel my ears ringing, like I was going to faint, but my brain was screaming, “No, it’s already 11:00 pm and we have to get our hair rinsed and dried before Mama goes to bed and if you faint we’ll never get all of that done andblahblahblah….”
So I rinsed my hair (I think) and stepped out of the shower. Still had the floss in my hand. The bathroom was too hot, so I opened the door and leaned against the counter recovering.
It can’t be a piece of tooth. It can’t.
My cell phone rang, andit was Tony, but I couldn’t talk. What do I say? Can’t talk baby, teeth bleeding everywhere. All night I said nothing to no one. It’s not tooth. It’s some really old popcorn? No. Jordan almond? No. Must be tooth.
It doesn’t hurt. But it bleeds. Boy does it bleed. I disturb it by trying to brush my teeth (what was I thinking), like that will make it all better. Can I finish flossing? Who the Hell knows. I didn’t. I went to bed ignoring it.
My teeth are disintegrating and being chopped up by dental floss. I was soooo proud of myself for flossing because my front teeth are very tightly packed (very) because my stupid wisdom teeth are mashing everything forward. Can’t afford to get that fixed. Yet. Without insurance. I am still paying on a single root canal I got over a year and a half ago.
I hate flossing. Floss always gets stuck in the lower front teeth and I can’t pull it out, and it gets shredded, and I am afraid of cutting my gums. But I was trying, making an effort to be good when I broke a tooth. I worry constantly about my teeth, and now this.
So I have a dentist’s appointment tomorrow. To see what’s broke and what it’ll take to fix it. I was so afraid to make that appointment. What if it costs a lot? I don’t have a lot. What if I get laid off soon and I have to fix it myself, with no job and no money? I know I will lose this job soon, it’s just a matter of when. I wish it could be after I get dental insurance. I just need dental insurance. PLEASE!!!!
And that “friend” that I have been contracting for? He hasn’t paid me for the last work I did on November 17. He may not. He won’t call me, he won’t meet me for lunch. When I see him at my other job, he smiles, gives me a hurried, “distracted” hello, and another promise to call me. We can’t talk at work because, ooh, the company might think he’s trying to steal me away and this company is so important to him. He hasn’t called me. He won’t tell me why he won’t let me continue to work. So fuck it. Seriously. Maybe he hates my work. Myabe he already hired someone else to do it and just hasn’t told me. Maybe he’s just a busy asshole with no consideration for people with shattering teeth who need the money they made. Maybe he forgets that I did so much work for his stupid projects that he said I couldn’t charge him for because it was bad business to charge for prep time. Don’t even want to talk to him anymore, really. Fuck it. Suan le ba. He and my assboss deserve each other.
I am so worried that I will lose my job because of a dental appointment that even though I am making up the hour before I even go, I am filling out a vacation-request form. To have it in writing. I know they’re after me. Which makes me want to surf the net the whole time and just enjoy the ride in flames. But I have that nagging stupid work ethic which makes me feel guilty for it, and I stop. I work for them. I remind myself that they are currently paying me to work for them, and regardless of whether they have drawn a big red target on my dossier, I am currently their employee. A VP-level guy can be absent, “sick”, but returning the next day and popping other dudes on the arm, an average of 3 days a week, but me?
If I am gone five minutes, the Troll notices. And the Snake notices (though he notices nothing else). And Assboss will unerringly call me at that exact moment wanting to know why I am not at my desk so I can call the mall and see if his expensive-ass watch is ready…brag^3, detail about why it’s so chi-chi. What? You never heard of that kind of watch, Colleen? I guess you just don’t have enough money to know what kind of watch that is.
I am found away from my desk, and a massive investigation will ensue. When I return to the office from the bathroom if I didn’t tell anyone I was going, I will find everybody out in the hall, looking in the copy room, the server room, everywhere, making sure I really am “gone”. Conversations will start like,
“Oh, I hope she’s not gone.”
“Do you think she’d just leave?”
“Well, I saw she had her purse in her hand.”
“Then she must have left.”
“Did she ask you if she could leave? Did you hear about this?”
“No, did she ask you?”
“Well, this must be unauthorized, we’re going ot have to dock her.”
“I think so, leaving in the middle of the day like this.”
“Oh, hey, Colleen, where’ve you been? We’ve been looking for you.”
I shit you not. Because people in this office hunt each other down, and that toasty-warm spot under the bus? They’re all looking to shove me there. Shove anybody in the office there.
Self-preservation through distraction: If someone else is getting canned, no one notices the smallest thing about you.
Assboss bloods himself on a weekly basis, and after that person’s life is miserable, he’s happy, because someone else is more miserable than he is. Momentarily. I can’t wait to satisfy that need for him. He’s one of those people who jump to conclusions, always the worst ones, and see the world in black and white. Appreciation for nuances and feelings and anything not specifically outlined in his WASPy nouveau-riche Humvee-gilded flashy^2 “look how rich I am I come to work in dirty jeans while you poor stiffs wear suits” world is not important. And I used to hate him so so much. But half of me pities him now. Because there’s no way someone like that can be content, happy. He’s a miserable-ass bastard. Jesus. I just hope I am not around when the shit hits the fan, because they’re all going down with him.