Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Over the past few days, and in the future

In my sci-fi future, you will walk into the office and plug yourself — your brain — into a control panel. A technician will quickly survey your neural circuitry and temporarily deactivate the pain receptors associated with today's dental procedure. With a flick of a switch.

No needles, no time wasted waiting for the freezing to take hold, no realizing it didn't take.

In my sci-fi future, the technician will also adjust your speakers, so to speak — you can listen internally to, say, Erik Satie, instead of the grind of metal on tooth that no external input can drown out.

I assume though that if we were capable of this technology, we would also have nanotechnology keeping one's teeth forever healthy and white.

(J-F is extremely bothered by sci-fi movies that feature people wearing glasses. Laser surgery, anyone? Never mind that he would fight to the death anyone attempting to laser, let alone clamp, pierce, poke, or discuss in any detail, his own eyeball. Me, I like wearing glasses: I think they're cool, and I like having the option to remove them, to move through life as if in a haze.)

Today's extraction was unpleasant. Had the procedure lasted 23 hours, I might put it on par with childbirth. I tried distracting myself, thinking about the novel I've been reading, considering how to manage my workload. Not really strong enough ideas to hold my attention for long. I tried visualization, imagining I was being probed by aliens, but only until I realized this perceptual shift was in fact making my experience all the more horrific.

Walking to the dentist, I hadn't though much about pain or discomfort — it was nothing compared with the extraction of my life savings to pay for the procedure. Hah! The physical extraction was hell.

On the up side, walking to the dentist, on the other side of street than last time, I discovered a chocolatière. I will have to investigate further.

I'm so glad to have run away this weekend, if only for 12 hours. The sense of freedom achieved was just large enough to outweigh the enormous guilt. But I'm still paying for it.

I'm deeply resentful of the fact that just after J-F and Helena dropped me off at the bus station before 3pm, Helena fell asleep, and stayed asleep, till about 10 minutes before I returned home. That it was my job to stay with her, soothe her. That the guilt for having left them was telling me I had to make up for it now.

(By the way, photos are available of Saramago and others in Ottawa. Now you have something by which to judge my sketching abilities.)

For reading material for the bus ride, I left behind the hardcover novel I'd started and chose instead the relatively lightweight The Golden Notebook. It's not what I'd expected. The dialogue, and tone overall, is almost gossipy. I'd expected to be intimidated, to have to weigh every sentence carefully to glean its Importance. But it's enjoyable in a very easy way. I'd had it in my head that I would be diligent in providing a running commentary with profound insight here, but it doesn't feel conducive to that sort of reflection. Not yet.

Work this week is not progressing as I'd hoped.
Post a Comment