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August 22, 2003
Finding Dr. Nemovitch

A lady from the office of the dentist I went to visit a few weeks ago called me yesterday. She was speaking with a slight, cold Russian accent and really tried to push some kind of button on me.
"You missed your last week's appointment!" She sounded as if she were the bad mother I never had. "Where were you?"
I was ready to jump into my time machine and go back to that date which I apparently missed. (Why did she call me now? So odd...)
"The Doctor will have time this Sunday."
She was obviously a woman used to speak in important, yet simple sentences.
I had to somehow stop this Stalinesque conversation and told her that I would have to think about this whole thing and that I was not even sure if I would be able to ever see the doctor again. I was not quite ready for the visit to the dentist just yet. I had really forgotten all about the date.
It was after we hung up that I realized that the appointment I had been given was for the removal of a wisdom tooth. The doctor had decided to pull my wisdom teeth one by one, in four separate fun sessions. I was not even ready for the treatment in general. I have been shown x-rays of my wisdom teeth so many times. I have to say that they look better every time I get to see them. One of them might be a bit pushy, but the othes are turning really more and more into pretty healthy mouth citizens. They just happen to be a bit late for the performance and this only got the cheaper seats in the house, ahem, mouth. Oh well. Doctors obviously love removing large teeth. They can not quench their desire with those large front carrot cutters, so they have to settle for the next best thing. The teeth of wisdom. As if those were to give the one who pulls them out some sort of intellectual advantage. (Are they magic teeth?, do dentists have rooms in which the walls are packed with taxidermic plaques of wisdom teeth, the same way a hunter might have a room filled with antlers and ivory?)
This particular doctorchik was just very particular in general. He and his assistant looked as if they had been tele-ported from a Russian version of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. I was really expecting Capitan Nemovitch to enter any minute, as I was sitting there, on the slightly uncomfortable chair, waiting, for about 30 minutes or so.
The bearded assistant entered the room after a while and began to clean some instruments. I thought that I could maybe start a conversation and asked him how long the practice had been in business. (I expected him to say something like... 1866...) Instead he answered about himself. He had been in the country for a year or so. He then continued to tell me that he was a very important professor of dentistry in Moscow. I was almost intimidated. No I was not.
The Doctor had an even more fascinating background. Once I actually got to see him and once he told me about his plans to pull four pieces of wisdom out of my living mouth, he replied to my serious concernes about the procedure in a way an auto mechanic would have reacted (dude, I have fixed Ferraris, I will be able to soup up your Camry.) He told me that he had performed much more complicated operations in Russia. Serious reconstructions of jaws and very complex cosmetic procedures were in his past in Moscow, ... I then helped him to find his pen.
The entire experience was really something of me being a lab monkey in a State subsidized experiment, abandoned, things going wrong, the scientists being high (low) on tranquilizers, the whole big package. It all happened weeks ago, I did not want to write about it then, but it is still in my memory as a very oddly fresh experience.
I still remember how the tool that was supposed to be used to clan my teeth fell apart, how the doctor pulled out some serious wrench and reassembled the whole apparatus with me sitting there, the light still on my open mouth, the suction tube still gurgling in my throat.
As the doctor was cleaning my teeth, he told his assistant about the army spending the entire morning trying to reconnect matter and time. They both laughed as if it had been a real killer joke. I made an asking noise. The doctor repeated the joke for mem now in English. I still did not understand... he then said that I would not be able to understand, because it was a linguistic kind of a joke... "You will not understand, because it is a linguistic kind of a joke."
I thought that matter and time and something being a matter of time and that time mattered... well all these connections did make sense, and it was very nice that they all did... but to laugh about it, as if it were the greatest joke under the sea?... hmm...
I think I am glad that I completely forgot about my appointment last week. I think even if the lady had called me on time... I would have probably kept my wisdom teeth to myself...
Matter and time?... or was it Rhyme and reason?... Why the army?... The Russian Army? hmm... will I ever discover the hidden joke inside of the hidden joke? Will the laughter that is going to follow going to be harmful?... Healing?
Will I grow a beard? Find captain Nemo Nemovitch Nemanov? So many questions... no answers. No answers. At least not now. Too late...


This is really scary.
I hope you will be able to keep your wisdom teeth.

Posted by: T on August 23, 2003 12:59 AM
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