I had a root canal in March. Not the highpoint of my spring, but not bad either. Didn’t hurt, but it gave me an excuse to make sure everyone I knew was sympathetic. It turns out they should have saved their sympathies for the follow up visits (yes, plural) which were considerably more uncomfortable than the original. Being the over achiever that I am, the whole sorry mess was caused by a hole in my jaw under a molar that arose from an infection there. The root canal allowed the dentist to pack it with antibiotics and these follow ups were him pulling out the temporary filling, looking to see how the infection is doing (completely impervious) and then stuffing the filling back in. Ouchy.
Mostly, I don’t mind, even the ouchy part is just shy of actually hurting. The office is in the very most fancy schmancy part of San Francisco, just down the block from Saks and the Louis Vuitton boutique. Appropriately enough, it’s decorated in this pricey, usleek sci-fi aesthetic. The walls are frosted glass, the views impressive and the chairs are motorized works of art. All the chair pieces are individually adjustable, your legs, your back, your head; for all I know, your spleen. That’s where what may be the worst part of the treatment comes in: I am about a foot too big for the ridiculous things. I sprawl out of them at both ends and no amount of adjusting can squeeze me in.
The dentist is dear little thing, bald with big sad brown eyes who has a commanding view of my chest since that’s what he comes up to. His assistants are even shorter, so everyone there hoovers somewhere around my elbows. It’s very much like being treated by hobbits.
When the good doctor was whaling away on my mouth this last time, I was concentrating on not thinking about what was going on. From my safe place, I had a sudden fantasy of him perched up on my chest to get access to the back of my gaping maw, sort of like a capuchin monkey. The resemblance is pretty striking. The picture made me snort, which made me choke, which is a problem when someone has their fist in your mouth.
Well, anyway, it’s Gay Pride in San Francisco and that means we are now officially gayer than gay. Here in the Castro neighborhood, the epicenter of queer life, Pride celebrations last for more than a week, culminating in the big parade next Sunday. Before then there are minor parades and festivals and high minded seminars and low comedy and my chiropractor in semi-drag (his description) cowboy costume for the Gay Men’s Choris version of Ghost Riders in the Sky. Don’t ask.
Every year, well aware that Pride is on the horizon, I am still taken by surprise when I look up walking home from the grocery and realize the sidewalks are jammed with lesbians and German tourists. “Oh, right,” I think, “Pride.”
My own contribution to the celebrations and as a counter to my teeny tiny miniature root canaler is Nick Pulos, seriously massive weightlifter and part-time Greek god. Standing 6 foot 5 and weighing in at 290 lbs. with a beard you could smuggle drugs in, Pulos is the kind of man that makes you glad to be queer.
And yes, the Gay Men’s Chorus really truly is singing Ghost Riders in the Sky. I just assume they will never be able to touch the devastatingly bizarre collision of Peggy Lee covering it:
Happy pride everybody! Go suck a dick!