Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 13, 2004
And Then My Teeth Fell Out
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 13, 2004 – July was not a good month and I can’t say that the start of August has been a breeze either. However – I’ve had a couple of weeks off and now I’m officially back to work (sort of) – except I only have a partial computer system to work with – it’s up and running in limited fashion, so here I sit – typing.
I’m not writing on my old third floor computer tonight, but on the one in my office – the one that crashed last Monday. It’s now running on the back up drive, while I await the outcome of the attempted data retrieval process that will take place early next week. I’ll find out if I’ve lost my writing from July and early August, as well as all my client data. All my current E-mails are gone and my Internet Explorer in-box only has my newsletters from January. I feel as if I’m in a time warp – a very strange sensation to have no record of all the things I’ve been working on for six months.
I needed to get out of the house, so I had lunch with friends – Big, Peter and Sima. I don’t do that sort of thing nearly enough – going out for a bite to eat at noon. It was a welcome break in the day. I had to be back home by four-thirty to meet Ben for stage one of my computer resurrection, so I left about two o’clock to run a couple of errands and then head back to my home office. Ben called at quarter to four to say he wasn’t coming until seven-thirty, then arrived at six o’clock instead.
I was hoping for an opportunity to speak to him privately about this entire debacle, but he brought his fiancee with him, so that conversation would have to wait. He was here for a couple of hours, working on setting the system up again. The tension in the air was palpable, and it was an incredibly uncomfortable time for everyone except Augie and Ziggy, whose presence kept things civil. Augie by being his usual silly self, with Ziggy holding up his end with his frequent, saucy hisses.
By eight o’clock I was alone in my house again – thank goodness. I can sit here and talk to my cat, not have to deal with ‘things technical’ or humans of any stripe. Rather than rail against the evils of modern day life as I know it, I decided to continue with my office clean up. My desk is piled high with papers, file folders and the build-up of office stuff from the last nine months. A deep purging is in order. A fine alternative to plotting mayhem against computer technicians in general – I mean – in particular.
I took a break and went down to the kitchen for a glass of water. As I was drinking it, I felt my newly cemented-in bridge come off and fall into the glass. Pain from the exposed anchor teeth instantly shot through my head. Ahhhh – this is all too much! I looked up my dentist’s emergency number, then called him at home instead. His wife Lisa answered and she passed the phone to Peter, who just happens to be Greek and who just happened to be watching the opening of the Olympics in Athens with his children.
“My teeth have fallen out”, I said. He was appropriately concerned and offered to meet me at his office to remedy my toothless situation. I felt terrible, but not too terrible, asking him to leave home and family on a Friday night, but realized that I couldn’t wait until morning – this gummy grin needed to be fixed. The pain had to go.
I drove downtown. Peter and I arrived at the same time and went up to his office in the Flat Iron Building. A bit of cotton packing, a few dabs to dry off the anchor teeth, a couple of dollops of bonding agent and bingo – my toothless grin is once again a semi-radiant smile. By ten o’clock I was back home flashing my pearly whites and talking to Big about anxiety and panic – hers and mine.
Fortunately, laughter brings us both through every time. Thank heavens, God saw fit to instill a sense of humour in “moi” as I travelled down the great assembly line of life. It’s now after two in the morning. My office is topsy-turvy. The Alphabet Boys are asleep, life moves inexorably forward. Tomorrow is another opportunity for me to look for the good points in bad people, and as a bonus – I have teeth. Things could be a whole lot worse!