Saturday, January 22, 2005

of teeth and other preoccupations

So back in India, I'd been to a dentist to fix a tooth that had got chipped off. It turned out to be two front teeth and the guy put one filling for both. I didn't care much about it at the time, thinking that yay, another bullet evaded, and was especially buoyed by the fact that he said that the nerve was just out of danger etc etc. After a year or so, the movement of the teeth seemed to have loosened the filling, and one fine day, as I was heading down to the biology courtyard to meet the great man (see prev. post) himself, as I was saying to someone that the only reason I'm going to meet the great man was to avail of the free beer, the bloody filling flew off and hid itself in the undergrowth. So I managed to go thru that day without talking too much, because there was an alarming gap, big enough that I had to avoid using words starting with ph. The next day I made some discreet enquiries and somebody told me that there was a dentist on campus, but the place was closed and I spent a fruitless hour trying to figure out if and when it opened. Seriously all they had to do was put up a board saying "trading hours" and I would have been happy. And then somebody else told me that there was a dentist at the Macquarie Centre, which is a shopping megalith that has sucked the blood of all the small shops in the area, and so I wended my toothless way there. The security guard gave me impressively accurate directions to a dentist clinic which did not exist.

So I was there anyway, and decided to go to a movie, and my heart lifted a bit after I realized that they were showing "The Motorcycle Diaries"- a movie about Che before he became Che. But I had some time to kill before it started and so I wandered over to the Borders bookstore, and swayed by good reviews, I bought Light by John Harrison. I mean China Mieville himself raved about it, so it must be good right? right? Well lets say for the first 100 pages I'm still bemused. And if a hardcore SF fan like me has problems with it, then I don't know...Still, it's getting better, so I still have hopes for it. Speaking of SF, I thought, since I really am leading a very boring life at present, to write a post to counter/contrast JP's proposed series of posts on the master SF short story writers. I even thought of writing something on Walter Jon Williams, who is absolutely fantastic, but I just can't muster the energy. Read Facets. He's got one of the most gorgeously imagined other worlds that I know of. Back to the point, The Motorcycle Diaries is awesome. Spanish with english subtitles, and it really took me to another world, another time. There is a sentence from the movie (from Che's diaries) saying" How can I feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?" I felt just the same. I don't know when I will ever get to South America, but I already know that I will feel like I'm returning. (of course, I'm probably setting myself up for a massive letdown, but can dream, eh?)

So the next day, surprise surprise, the dentist on campus was open and I decided to get my teeth fixed there instead. The guy was quite cool and all that, even a bit macabre- he was poking a root canal with a small wire like thing and saying, I can't believe it, there's no blood, see there should be blood...- and once, this tooth is dead, completely dead., so it was um...entertaining. He finally put a temporary filling so I don't have to whistle accidently anymore, and more or less gave me dire warnings that I have to return to get it fixed up etc. By then I realized that it would be much cheaper to go back to India and get it fixed than pay this guy, so I'm taking a chance with the filling as it is now.