Wake Me Up When the Light Turns Green


I’d started a post this morning titled “What Really Saved Elizabeth Gilbert,” in which I was going to reveal the true lifeline that hauled the celebrated Eat, Pray, Love author’s soul back through the doughnut hole of salvation, but then I got a root canal.

Or half of one anyway. My endodontist (I never wanted to be able to say that) wants to see me again next week, and I don’t think it’s because he didn’t get enough of admiring my hairless nostrils (see yesterday’s post, The Ex-Con’s Rule). But that may be modesty or the Vicodin talking.

I hate Vicodin. But it hated me first.

After C-section #2 two years ago, I popped one, desperate for some pain-free sleep. I got it, except all night long I dreamed my mother (Passengers in Zone 4…) was doing laundry in the next room. Loudly. It sounded so real that I had trouble believing her the next morning when she said she’d slept through the night and all of Husbot’s boxer shorts were still dirty. But I’d been so tired since the arrival of Mbot, sixteen months before, that I didn’t even notice if it made me drowsy.

The Wilcox-Jewett Obtunder, used at the turn of the 20th century that used a periontal syringe to inject anaesthesia, usually cocaine. (www.dentalassistantschools.net)

Today, when the anesthetic wore off right after dropping Mbot at preschool at noon, my world was reduced to the size of my tooth, which felt as big as my head, and like someone had just slammed it in a door. I felt sorry for all those people in the Stone Age whose  endodontists’ tools were limited to stones. I felt sorry for myself. Not the least because now I wouldn’t get to eat the smoked salmon tortellini that was on the menu tonight. Or drink a glass of wine with it. With a chaser of Brie and ibuprofen, a good red wine is my painkiller of choice. A bad one is my second choice.

I hauled Gbot back to the car and toward the CVS Window of Mercy (our old friend, see Eye-Found-It!). Because I couldn’t open my mouth, I held up a piece of paper with my name on it, as if I were meeting someone I’d never seen before at an airport. I swallowed a pill in the parking lot.

But like I said, Vicodin and I, not BFFs, and by Mbot’s pickup time at three, I would not have passed a sobriety test. And I had a tick under one eye. I put the car into park at intersections because I was afraid of nodding off before the lights turned green. By the time we landed at Grandma’s, my head was doing the loll-and-jerk thing that it hadn’t done since I was nursing Gbot and Mbot was on strike against sleep. I probably should not have been driving, especially with Midgets in the car, but of course without Midgets, I wouldn’t have had to drive. One of those hilarious little Catch-22s life throws at you like a rotten tomato.

Bottom line: Elizabeth Gilbert will have to wait. I’ve got sudsy underwear to dream about.

What’s your painkiller of choice?

2 thoughts on “Wake Me Up When the Light Turns Green

  1. I got hydrocodone a few years ago for an ovarian cyst (which is the reason my insurance put a rider on my left ovary), and (yes, you guessed it), felt no effects except relief from pain. I was confused by “House” for a while as to why it was an issue for him to be on Vicodin.

    Painkiller of choice? Mimosas!!!! As Glory says in episode something of season 5 of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Mmmmm…..vitamins.”

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