Thursday, June 4, 2009


Quite how I came to be present in the dentist's surgery whilst Alice was having one crown fitted and an impression taken for a further one is a complicated story - as I kept whimpering to all around me, this is the last place in which I would expect to find myself voluntarily.   But I sat quietly in the corner, and in fact it was fascinating (and reassuring) seeing a dentist and her assistant at their careful and competent work - normally, of course, I'm at the receiving end of what feels like a pneumatic drill being randomly and sadistically applied within my mouth (actually, I'm not usually aware of very much, being blissed out on nitrous oxide, without which I more or less refuse to open my mouth in the first place).    My own highly wonderful dentist has taken plenty of pictures of my own imperfect jaws, and I've admired his high-end Nikon dental equipment, but I've never had the opportunity to photograph the scene of action/torture before.

Nor did I really dare to whip out a camera on this occasion - I was to all intents and purpose checking the latest emails on Rutgers budget cuts, etc, on my iPhone... with the sound turned off, there's little to give away the fact that I'm in fact taking a photo.   This is, in fact, the technician at work - but what strikes me as deeply, deeply implausible (and yet, I promise you it's not posed) is that Alice is not only calmly lying there, but reading - and reading, moreover, a magazine not exactly unconnected with the mouth, as though this orifice was not a site of distraction and discomfort.   Very strange - but I'm also extremely glad that the end result is not just an image (using, again, the Toy Camera app - I completely love its arbitrary effects) but a recipe for Kale and White Bean soup - tomorrow's dinner.

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