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Despite everything I wrote last week about writing up this blog, I’m actually starting it on Friday. So now I will rush, rush, rush through it until it’s finished. When I get home. I’m at work now and it’s my lunch hour. See how dedicated I am? Using up my lunch hour to write this? I hope you’re all impressed.

I have finished A Confederacy of Dunces and have moved on to Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. I’m up to page fourteen so far and have a little ways to go until I’m done. If I ever get done.

But you don’t care about that, do you? You’re wondering why I waited until Friday to start writing a blog that should be ready to go Saturday morning. You’re wondering what has taken up so much of my time. Well, I will tell you.

It’s all about pain. A toothache. It’s one of those pains that hurts like a flaming bastard but you don’t want to complain about it because it’s a toothache. Because when you don’t have a toothache nothing seems more trivial than that. And when  you do have one it still sounds kind of trivial. It’s not like getting shot, losing a hand, having an arrow in the knee, or bumping your head on concrete. But it sure doesn’t feel trivial.

Before moving to the Austin, TX area my teeth were near perfect. After I moved here my teeth have gone to Hell in a hand basket. I blame the water here because it’s mostly rock. I can prove it. I have one of those netty-not-spongy-loufa-bath-puff things hanging in my shower. When it was new, it was a bright blue. I never use it because I prefer using bar soap so it just hangs in the shower under the shower head. Slightly less than half of it is now white, after two years of doing nothing but collect water dripping off the shower head. Not bleached white, but calcium deposit white. Or whatever it is. It’s like brushing your teeth with sandpaper is what I’m getting at.

So, I have a toothache. Before I had someone that would take care of these things for me. You know, call up the insurance and search around for a dentist and make the appointment and all that. It’s a lot harder now. Especially when you’re at work. Especially when  you’re at work using your lunch hour to write a blog about not being able to take the time to call insurance and dentists.

This time I was more proactive. I remembered that I never did get my health insurance card so I asked about that. It turns out that I was never “entered into the system.” Then I was. But I really wasn’t. So that took a couple of more days to get figured out. I’m not even sure it’s figured out now, but I’m at the point where that doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve found a dentist to go to and will be getting there as soon as possible.

Because nothing feels quite the same as pain stopping. That glorious moment when the throbbing ceases and the pain goes away. Your whole body is washed in that feeling and there are no good words to describe it. Even if it means the loss of something prominent, like a tooth.

As it turns out, this particular pain was caused by a wisdom tooth drilling into another molar. There wasn’t much that could have been done to prevent it. At some point I will need a root canal and then have the wisdom tooth extracted. I can’t say I’m looking forward to that.

And that, really, was my entire week. It wasn’t very exciting, just very painful.

I will make one note about last weeks trip to San Antonio, though. It isn’t something I say very often but here it goes. The Alamo. A mission badly converted to a fort, which was defended by a small amount of people against a very large army. People died there. Many people died there. Many people actually, really, lost their lives defending the place. You can honor these people, remember their sacrifice, by buying a nutcracker dressed up as Jim Bowie or a shot glass in the shape of a shotgun shell. I realize they need to make money in order to afford to keep the place from falling apart, but it seems really strange to me that you can buy chintzy crap (probably made in China) on a site where blood was shed and lives were lost.