Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Monday, May 18, 2015


I'm just back from a coronation.


Yes, I'm back from almost two hours at the dentist's office where I got one of my upper molars crowned--an upper molar I'd somehow cracked recently (I'm sure it was not the popcorn at the movies, right? No, it was something some Evil Thing performed on me while I slept), and when I was in for my "routine" exam not long ago, I got the coronation news.

My dentist actually said to her assistant (as if I were not even in the room): "Look! It's the last of his six-year molars without a crown!'

I failed to feel the same excitement. All I know is: I'll be making my dentist's next yacht payment for her.

I just found this tidbit on a pediatric dental site on the Web: The first permanent molars, or 6 year molars, come in around the age of 6 and they erupt behind all of the primary teeth. That's a daunting word, erupt!

So ... that means I've had these particular teeth since about 1950. Truman was President.We were living in Enid, Oklahoma. My dad was back from World War II, teaching at Phillips University (RIP) there in Enid. My mom had three little boys (9-6-2) and was dreaming of a professional career (she would have one). I was in first grade. Adams Elementary School. And for the life of me I cannot recall the name of my teacher--the only teacher I've had whose name I can not remember. A puzzle--because I liked her. (See, I'm not totally gone: I can recall my teacher's gender!)

So now I'm home from the dentist. I have only the foundations of those teeth that erupted (!) back in 1950 (or so) in Oklahoma's Garfield County. And I'm trying to avoid seeing all of this as too ... metaphorical. You know? Loss as we age? That sort of thing ...

There was one moment of amusement as I was leaving. I was at the counter, setting up my subsequent appointment when I will get the True Crown (only a temporary so far). One of the two receptionists was going through the routine for billing and payment.

The other one--a veteran--interrupted. "Oh," she said, "no need for this. He knows the drill."

I told them that was not a kind thing to mention in a dentist's office. Knowing the drill! Oh, do I!?!!?!?

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