So as some of you may know, I’ve been suffering from a terrible toothache that began midway through my cruise. This has been held at bay over the past week, to varying degrees of success, by: 4 different prescription painkillers, salt water, half a bottle of Chloraseptic, Anbesol (Thanks, Grace!), whiskey, Scotch, brandy, and more ibuprofen than anyone should ever take. I know; I’m Matthew Perry. But the worst part is not that I’m a walking poster for the Betty Ford clinic, but rather that none of it has made a bit of difference. I mean, from the sound of it, I should be drooling peacefully in a corner somewhere — literally, after the Anbesol! But instead, I have been privileged to little bouts of pain-free existence that disappear without notice and leave me feeling like the inside of my mouth is that scene in the mine with the seven dwarves, although I think there were more than seven in that scene? But wherever they went when hi-ho, off to work they’d go.
Either way. The problem has been exacerbated by God’s comedy act, in which it seems every other ad I’ve proofread since returning to work has been for a dentist of some nature. And can I just say, WTF! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve gone to the dentist, hence the Grumpy/Dopey party in my mouth, but since when do dentists offer private televisions! Massage chairs! Aromatherapy! Like, where are the mud wraps and eye cucumbers, while we’re at it! This world scares me.
But my point in writing about all of this is not to make y’all feel sorry for me, although if anyone wants to send some Vicodin et al. my way s/he is more than welcome to! (Just kidding.) (Not really.) It is to share with you the unexpected joys of this thing known as “morning!”
I awoke with a start to see what was the matter, as inside my head there arose such a clatter! And since Dr. von Rockenstein and Chip are staying with my parents, it could only be one thing — the inside of my head.
HORRIBLE. I couldn’t get relief, no matter what I did. And I totally had 2 more hours of sleep I could have gotten! And I was sleepy. (Fitting, I guess, what with the whole dwarf theme.) But no matter what I did, my whole head throbbed and throbbed.
I tried taking 3 ibuprofen. I tried taking half a Vicodin. Kids, don’t try this at home! The Chloraseptic spray mocked me, for every time I sprayed it in my mouth, the pain would cease, but then would return the second I swallowed it.
(That’s what she said.)
Moving on! So I lay very still, trying to figure out a way to keep the Chloraseptic in my mouth long enough to fall asleep, without succumbing to a John Bonhamesque death, but to no avail. Finally, I had to admit defeat.
I bitterly tore off the covers and stumbled into the shower. What a freaking waste of Vicodin — on pain. And it didn’t even work! And my shower — what a disaster THAT was! I had to keep hopping out to spray more Chloraseptic in my mouth. This sure isn’t going to work in public, I thought to myself. So I tried to breathe and relax myself out of the pain, while I glared at my clothes that were still in the suitcase, thinking that if bending my head down weren’t so agonizing, I could totally wear a cute skirt outfit — conveniently forgetting, of course, that if I felt fine, I would be sleeping in bed until the last possible second, then throwing on a sweatshirt and doing my makeup in the car. For this is how I roll. Literally and figuratively!
Anyway! I did begin to notice some good things about this waking up early phenomenon. For one thing, I got to find out how Veronica Mars got back Polly the Parrot from the rival high school team. For another, I got to deliberately choose a necklace that matched my outfit. I couldn’t find it, but that is neither here nor there.
Finally, I was outside, and this is where I broke down and turned to the dark side, ironically speaking. Because seriously, early summer morning is the Achilles’ heel for this hardcore night person. And every time I experience one, which is rare, unless I am falling asleep DURING it, I wish that I were a morning person.
And yes, I know it’s not summer yet. But you know what I mean. There is that perfect point in the day when the sun has not completely risen to the top of the sky, but things are past the point of full-on dew, and the result is this sparkly, crisp, clean air that manages to feel somehow like every early summer morning you’ve ever known. It looks and smells fresh, untouched, and like a secret that only a privileged few are getting to share. Actually, I think I like early mornings for that especially — the secret part — which happens to be exactly why I love late nights.
There is also something surprisingly lovely about driving to work and knowing that regardless of how many irritating trucks burst out like Christine in front of you, only to slow down about 70 miles for the rest of the one-way drive, you will still not be late to work. In fact, I stopped at Town Bagel, and it was delightfully enough, NOT filled with Plainview ladies and their loud, screaming children! So uplifted was I by the whole thing, that I deliberately picked out a fruit/nonfat yogurt breakfast. To my health! 27-drug cocktail notwithstanding!
THEN! I get to work and man, you can count the cars in the parking lot at 7:45am on…well, two hands, but ya know, it was like a deserted cemetery compared to the Indy 500 I am accustomed to at 8:37 in the morning, when everyone rushes like madmen to the earlier time clock by the cafeteria, just to hedge their bets.
And the reactions of the usual early birds? Awesome! Double — though unfortunately, not spit — takes were involved! And it was very relaxing, getting to sit and nestle into my desk without the usual banal chatter coming at me from every direction like suppressive fire.
So maybe I will do this again tomorrow. Actually, since I can’t seem to get my stupid dental insurance information, I will probably have to. Only tomorrow will probably be even earlier, since I am out of the aforementioned Vicodin. As far as I understand it, that time of day is less pretty, but more artistically interesting, due to everyone’s being either an insane jogger, an insane business executive, or an insane drunk person left over from the night before. Not that I’d know anything about the last one. Actually, maybe I’ll just be the last one tomorrow — same results, but more fun getting there!
© May 23, 2006