Thursday, April 3, 2008

I remember

I remember I remember I remember I remember... soccer and the ache of muscles and bones.
I also remember other "fun" things from childhood. I remember the dentist explaining her theory about why I kept getting cavities. I think she based it off of the one time my mom mentioned that I had strep throat off and on for almost six months as an infant. So, the dentist thought it was possible that my enamel was weakened during that time frame, because my teeth were forming. Whether or not she was correct, I remember paying dearly for whatever caused my cavities.
I remember sitting in the dentist chair fearing for my life. My mom was with me. I couldn't ever go to the dentist without someone there. I remember the one time the dentist's assistant thought she'd be alright if I squeezed her hand.. she never tried that again. My mom used to tell me to pretend that I was a spine on a cactus outside the window. This dentist office was a little less sterile-looking with desert landscaping outside each window, but that still didn't help much. I do remember the desert scenery outside because of what my mother said during that one visit, though. I knew that what she said was born out of her love for the desert. To be honest, I didn't understand why my mother loved it so much. I didn't think she could justify a beauty that seemed so barren, so ugly. I remember when I finally got it. Comprehension hit me in the face after I finished reading one of my favorite parts of a book I've read recently. According to that author, the desert has a beauty that isn't about the spiny vegetation that sprawls itself across the ground-- it has more to do with the exposed shape of the land and the way it captures and holds onto the sun. I'm positive my thoughts were a little less accepting back then than they are now, but who knows? For me, every experience at the dentist was a new horror.
Now, I remember that day again. My mother still attempted to tell me what she does when she's scared or in pain. She said that she pretends she's something else. She pretends that she's something other than human. I thought about that as I sat in the dentist chair. I remember thinking two things.. Either she was crazy or that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. Then, I was calm.
I remember looking at the tree outside of English class, watching the branches sway and blow as the leaves twinkled in the sunlight. I remember wishing I could go back to that dentist chair. I remember wanting to show my mom that----- I understand.

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