Dear Joanie,

Friday, 17 June 2011

Last appointment with Severin, today. I suppose it’s nice that my tooth is fixed, but I did come to enjoy those weekly visits. Well, not the noisy, invasive goings on in one’s mouth.  But it was quite clear, almost from the start, that Severin has a thing for me. And I find that fascinating.
What is so unusual about that? you will say. And, of course, men having a thing for me could not be more commonplace. Barely a day goes by when someone doesn’t fall head over heels in love with me. I suppose it delighted me once, long ago – when I was 14? By the age of 15 it had already become so much boring routine.
But, you see, a dentist…I’d have thought dentists would be naturally immune, wouldn’t you? How horrid it must be, to look into all these unappetizing mouths! It would revolt me. Of course I know that my teeth are nearly perfect, and my former dentist, Marc Unzinger, complimented me on my ‘aesthetic’ mouth – teeth nicely lined up, not too large, not protruding, gums not even thinking of receding. And of course my oral hygiene is excellent, I make it a point to brush my teeth with full attention twice a day, come rain or shine.
Yet any mouth remains a grotto of saliva, unpleasant odors (this would hold true for the general populace, if not for you or me), food rests (horror!) and grotesque slabs of meat called tongues, positioned ever so unflatteringly when the dentist’s equipment enters (I beg your pardon for that most suggestive phrasing.)
I wouldn’t look into one for the world. Even when I am deeply in love, I prefer not too think too much about what’s inside, when I kiss a man. The body does not hold up to close scrutiny, I always say. Good – that is, sparse – lighting is of the essence. I cannot emphasize this enough.
So I never imagined that a dentist could fall in love with any of his patients, even me. I suppose an internist might, a podiatrist, or even a surgeon – once everything is sewn back up, one can forget the bloody nightmare one has been privy to. And I have received most flattering attentions from all such medical men. But not a dentist. As Freud did not consider his own children and family to be people with a subconscious, so the dentist probably considers his loved ones immune to plaque or tooth rot. How else could he ever kiss his wife?
And yet, Severin fawns over me every time I sit down in that clunky chair, flirting with me even as his tools probe the depths of my mouth. I try not to look into his eyes while he labours away. But that’s hard – whenever he can, he looks into mine. Which, naturally, disturbs his concentration, so that the dental work suffers.
Proof, once again, that being the object of so much male desire isn’t always a pleasure!


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