Arch bar removal, as it turns out, involves little more than several shots in the gums, both top and bottom, and then much tugging and twisting with pliers so that it isn’t unlike pulling staples from the gums with a pair of pliers as an assistent sucks your mouth dry with a tube and pats you on the shoulder saying the worst is over. Yes the worst was over when I woke up in this contraption of metal, because nothing was more unsettling than my state before the doctor did me this way. I was almost sad to see his workmanship go, I had wanted it so much.
They showed me my gums in a mirror, which I could accurately describe as trashed. They said I’d need to do warm salt water swirls starting tomorrow. He offered to write a prescription for another narcotic but I told him no thank you, I’m in this as deep as I want to be. Also I told him he could probably be a decent electrician on the side. He was a resident, not the doctor.
Then the doctor came in and told me I’d done a good job. Sometimes people don’t keep their gums clean and a two month layer of food makes the removal harder. I decided long ago when I first started hurting myself to always follow the doctor’s orders. The doctor told the resident in the hallway as I was brushing my teeth, and I don’t think I was supposed to hear, “Well that’s one more for you. Good job.”
I did stare at the pile of mangled metal on the little blue napkin before they took the tray away. There was no moment to be had, but I still wanted to see it. I shook the doctor’s hand, thanked him sincerely for everything, and I walked out of the UT Medical Center a new man.
Not before I asked to receptionist if I could call for a ride. Ashley had lost her phone again but she has since found it. She called me later to borrow the truck. I had been in the attic with Scott, and my mouth waking up, and I asked her to bring my old friend the hydrocodone elixer.
I took a little nip and got by and have spent the day in a rather grumbly mood. I’m watching the fire now, having just returned from the laundromat because every thread in the house was dirty and there is no sign of sun this week for our line-drying. We are warming by the fire now, Ashley eating her popcorn, frustrated at me and I with her.
So I read a little of A River Runs Through It, which was actually a very famous novella before it became a daydream about Brad Pitt’s dimples and his four count fly rod cast. For a moment I was going to do some more serious writing, which I tried while at the laundromat, but “Dancing with the Stars” was on and I can’t detach myself from a television when there is one. So I came home to be disgruntled at Ashley and my sore mouth and have pretty much wasted an otherwise pleasant evening with the cozy fire and unoffered popcorn, but at least the metal is gone and I’ll be able to find some socks in the morning.