We’ve just returned from Uwajimaya, the Asian grocery store in Beaverton. Along with the rice and the curry and the shrimp paste and the blueberry flavored bubble gum, we bought a bag of coconut flavored candies.

“These are good,” Kris says. “Try one.”

They’re White Rabbit brand. Each wrapper shows a happy little white rabbit. I pop a candy — which is shaped like an English toffee — into my mouth. I suck on it for a moment, but that’s unsatisfying. The flavor isn’t coconuty, it’s plasticy.

I push the candy to the side of my mouth and chew. Or try to. The candy is stuck to my bottom teeth. I chew again, and the candy comes free, but so does something else. My rearmost molar feels naked. I can feel the thin metal shell that is my crown, floating in my mouth, still attached to the candy.


The dentist makes room for me late the next day (today, if you’re keeping score). In the six months since my last appointment, they’ve modernized the office. All of the patient charts and records are computerized and digitized. In each room, attached to the chair, is a flat-panel monitor from which the hygenist can access all of the patient information. It’s pretty amazing.

I’ve left my crown stuck to the candy, which the staff finds amusing. Dr. Martin wants to know how the candy tasted, but I really can’t say. It was only in my mouth for a few seconds.

As she cleans the crown — chatting about Uwijamaya and how she and her son once tried to find the most expensive thing (per pound) in the store (my first instinct? saffron!) — Dr. Martin discovers a hole in it. It’ll have to be replaced. She reseats it with temporary cement for now, but asks me to come back to have it replaced in a few weeks. “And bring one of those candies with you,” she says. “Removing crowns can be difficult. Let’s see if we can’t get it off with the candy.”

I really do love my cats. I’m typing this on my iBook while seated at the library table. Toto is sitting a foot away, staring at me from the top of the scanner. Behind me, Simon is scrunching the back cushion of the love seat (it sinks beneath his fat ass). He’s propped up, looking out the window. Nemo sits below him, on the actual cushion seat, watching me and Toto. And, just now, Toto has left the scanner and insinuated herself into my lap, where she is purring loudly. They’re waiting for two things: for Kris to come home from work, and for me to feed them.

I wonder if they’d like some coconut flavored candy?

The “on this day” feature is distracting lately. I want to say to my year-ago self: “Don’t do it! Don’t try to play soccer! You’re only going to hurt yourself and it will cost you thousands of dollars to get things fixed and then you’ll get even fatter because you’ll sit around more, etc.”

If only.


On 10 November 2003 (09:03 PM),
Denise said:

How interesting! I recently got an onlay done and part of my still existing tooth just chipped off last Friday. I have to go in this Thursday to start the process all over again!

Whoopee! Gotta love the Dentist!

On 11 November 2003 (08:59 AM),
Tiffany said:

I am so glad those photos are of your candy and crown. When I first opened the page the one on the left looked like a dead duck!!
I only got cavities while I was wearing braces. My braces were removed when I was a freshman (about 16 years ago). So, I am just waiting until the filling come out. My dentist says that most wills last about 12 years, but mine are still holding on. I have already decided that I will replace my fillings with the white porcelain instead of the silver/black metal that is in my mouth now.

On 11 November 2003 (12:00 PM),
Joel said:

But if your past-self hadn’t played soccer, become injured, and sat around a great deal, would your present-self be friends with Rich and Mart? Be interested in Premiere League? Would I have gotten that experience of playing keeper which has changed my whole game?
Er, sorry. I’m reading a time travel novel, so these issues are at the forefront for me.

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