Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Dostoevsky Conundrum

Any idiot can survive a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that grinds one down...

Beep, beep, went the camera capturing images of my teeth. On the monitor in full living color, cracks and chips encircled the filling at the center of the molar. We'd been keeping watch on it for a while, and finally the time for a crown had arrived. Feh.
I drove home in the rain and a cloud of self-pity. Double feh. Tried to use rational-emotive therapy on myself, reminding myself that it's an inconvenience, not a tragedy. It would be better if I didn't need this done, but that's the way it is. Triple feh.
After self medicating with chocolate, I checked my email. A message from a friend whose mother has inoperable pancreatic cancer acted as God's foot in my butt. Crowns are no one's idea of a good time, but compared to concurrent courses of radiation and chemotherapy, hey, I'll take it.
I'm looking at two hours to get the tooth prepped and the temporary crown popped into place, then a followup for molar 3.0 to be installed. I can load my iPod with soothing music and take it with. I'll be able to enjoy a bowl of soup or some pasta when the Novocaine runs its course. My friend's mom? I'll live, but will she?
What is it in the human psyche that enables us to endure the toughest stuff life deals out with grace and dignity, yet we--I, anyway--hit the ground and roll behind the love seat in the fetal position over minor speed bumps? The good and wise Mr. D. had it right. The crises, and that which we perceive as such, activate our inner troops. The daily routine lulls them into a nap. Maybe we need to find other ways to keep them alert than tragedy.

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