Exhaustion, Lead Blankets, and Other Things

It’s late again. And the exhaustion is heavy on my shoulders, sort of like the lead blanket they drape over you when you get a  mouth x-ray.

You know, that thing they use at the dentist that presses you back into the already uncomfortable chair while you hold your head in an awkward position with your mouth in a weird grimace or sneer because the x-ray film is poking into your gums and making your eyes water. You can swear it’s making you bleed, and if they don’t hurry up, you’re going to begin to drool. And you just sit there, trapped under this weight while they arrange the x-ray machine that looks oddly like a projector right up against your cheek, leave the room, and then there’s that groan and click that sounds like the machine has stalled and radiation is leaking everywhere, but it’s actually just the noise that means it’s over.

The hygienist comes back into the room, and you start debating whether or not to wiggle your arms out from under this heavy, heavy blanket and take that darned gum impaler out of your mouth yourself.  So usually you just stay still, rather helpless, trapped by the weight of the blanket, because you just might mess it up and then they’d have to go through the whole process again. And while they pull the spit soaked x-ray film out of your mouth and arrange the next one between your molars, you wonder where you should put your hands.

During the second groan and click, it occurs to you how strange it is that they go to all of this effort to protect your body from the x-ray radiation, but they do nothing about the rest of your head. I mean, you’re a big fan of not having your body poisoned, but isn’t your brain the most important part of them all. Why don’t they put you in a lead helmet?

And while you think about those things, the blanket begins to get even heavier. It’s not the comfortable weight of having a child sleep on top of you or the nice pressure of a tight hug. It’s just there, and it weighs on you.

However, I’m not going to the dentist right now.

My next twice yearly appointment isn’t for months.

But darn it, if this exhaustion doesn’t feel like that lead blanket.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

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4 thoughts on “Exhaustion, Lead Blankets, and Other Things

  1. Good writing puts the reader in your shoes (or, in this case) the dentist’s chair. Reminds me of every little detail of how that chair feels & the larger metaphorical possibilities of the experience. Nice post.

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