Way back when I was 13 I had to undergo a few operations. The whole shebang is kind of a long story, but what's relevant for today is that basically I was terrified. Not terrified because they'd be cutting me, or terrified of being put into a medically-induced coma, or terrified of being in a hospital, or anything normal like that. No, this being me, I was terrified because somebody told me that in the process of going under from the anesthesia a lot of people start to talk about random stuff that they can't control and don't remember later, and this threw me into a full-on panic because WHAT IF I START TALKING ABOUT MASTURBATION. Oh, my god, those doctors would KNOW! And what if I said something like "Hey Doctor so-and-so, your breath smells!" Well, it did smell, but if I actually said that?!
When I woke up after the operation this was the first thing I thought to ask about. Not "How'd my operation go," or "Where's my mom." No, the first question out of my mouth was, "Did I say anything embarrassing?" The nurse assured me that I talked about dolphins, but I know she was lying. I just KNOW I told Dr. Smelly Breath that I knew about masturbation, and OH MY GOD, BURY ME NOW IN A HEAP OF STEAMING EMBARRASSMENT.
What's amazing to me about this particular childhood paranoia of mine is it's longevity. I mean, I used to be scared that I'd die in the middle of the night, and scared of worms, and scared of dogs, and I hated avocado, but I've gotten over all that. But this fear of being unable to control the words that come out of my mouth? I think it's here to stay.
The dentist that I go to in Austin, for example. I am terrified of dentistry, largely because of a hard-to-forget episode in my life called Drilling Right On the Nerve Without Novocaine. Ugh, just remembering it gives me the heebie-jeebies. Well, my dentist is nice and, knowing how scared I am of dentistry, he always offers to give me a little laughing gas to relax me before he does any work, or, you know, a cleaning. This sounds wonderful to me. A little shot of something to take the edge off, so I don't leave my permanent handprints on the arms of the dentist chair. But can I do it? No, of course not. Because my dentist is cute and married, and WHAT IF I TELL HIM I LUUUURVE HIM? Oh, earth, please swallow me whole.
So here's the point of this story. I have to go to the dentist, I think. I was eating chicken for lunch and I bit down on a bone and sweet lord it hurt. Two hours later it still hurts a lot. If it keeps hurting in two days, I'm going to a dentist. And you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to find a dentist that doesn't speak a word of freakin' English and I'm going to say, "Drug me up, you crazy dude! I'm going under and no matter what I say, YOU WON'T UNDERSTAND ME!! YAHOOOOOOO! SEX SEX SEX, YOUR BREATH SMELLS, MASTURBATION MASTURBATION, YOU ARE SO SEXY!!! YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND ME!!"