The Dentist's Office

  1. In the Dentist Office - wherein I discover the Inner Playground: (mp3)
  2. The Inner Playground - defined
  3. My Inner Inner City
  4. My Own Private Hollywood
  5. Part Two: Games for the Inner Player
  6. Freeze Tag
  7. Mother May I
  8. Simon Says
  9. Part Three: Building an Inner Playground
  10. The Inner Seesaw
  11. My Inner Swingset
  12. Part Four: Introducing Serious and Silly
  13. Serious and Silly (mp3)
  14. Kick the Can

There I was, lying on my back listening to something Bach-like, my mouth locked open while a masked man and woman probe my major orifice with tools of intimate discomfort. Utterly absorbed in the rites of oral coronation, unable to speak or swallow, incapable of cracking joke or smile or voice appreciations for apparent acts of cleverness, and I found myself saying to, well, myself:

  • "O mighty one, let us find something to do with our impeccable mind that will take us away from all this.
  • "Let's see, for example, if we can imagine an elephant. An elephant with very long, white tusks. Tooth-like tusks. That are being cleaned by a uniquely adapted elephant tooth-pecker bird. Peck. Peck. Peck.
  • "Or perhaps we can contemplate the truth that can be extracted from this experience, like a tooth.
  • "No, let's instead meditate on the bizarre mating practices of dental hygienists. Of potentially libidinous purposes that might be pursued by one trained in the use of a saliva-sucker.
  • "On the other hand, maybe a game of hide and seek might be best. I'll go hide.
  • "Or perhaps I might find some more obvious way of indicating my interest in the affects of additional doses of Novocain."

And there, my body stretched flat and open by the incapacitating machineries of modern medicine, the state of my numbness reaching vivid questionability, I rediscover that most blessed of all mental abilities: my Inner Playground.

For, even there, under certifiably physical duress, my mighty mind can take me away from the all too personal now. I can, instead, should I so choose, talk to myself, joke with myself, fool myself into some semblance of squirmlessness, even when the world whereinI found myself proves so profoundly squirmworthy.

And I realize now that this skill is something upon which the continuance of my veritable sanity sometimes depends. That without this ability to play with myself, to amuse myself, to surprise myself, I could lose myself utterly.