La Reine de Rien

"We write to taste life twice: in the moment, and in retrospection." - Anais Nin

One of those annoying lyrics posts
I just couldn't help it.

And I can't just sit here thinking
'My fleet is sinking,
Make room at the bottom of the sea'

Or, 'Don't upset the wealthy,
It's unhealthy,'
Everyone has a price, Sometimes I have two

And if I lack point or purpose
On the surface
It's only 'cause I was trying to fit in

And some years are uneventful
And some years I don't show up at all

And I will build a wall to watch it tilting
Knock it over, start rebuilding
Just to keep from wasting time

Salute the march of the newly peaceful
From the mine shaft to the steeple
To the courthouse and back again

Why don't you don't I join the protest
I'm still asleep, you're not impressed
And we'd be better off uninvolved

Oh come on, come on tell me something
Sell me something or I'm jumping
And I cannot live that way for long

And you know this requires discussion
Or preferably, a concussion
Why can't we talk about something good?

- I Will Light You On Fire, Golden Shoulders

"Eternity was in our lips and eyes..."

Everything in the world makes sense, and I am in love with it all.

+ 2Collapse )

If the Impressionists had been dentists by Woody Allen, 1978
Dear Theo
Will life never treat me decently? I am wracked by despair! My head is pounding. Mrs Sol Schwimmer is suing me because I made her bridge as I felt it and not to fit her ridiculous mouth. That's right! I can't work to order like a common tradesman. I decided her bridge should be enormous and billowing and wild, explosive teeth flaring up in every direction like fire! Now she is upset becuase it won't fit in her mouth! She is so bourgeois and stupid, I want to smash her. I tried forcing the false plate in but it sticks out like a star burst chandelier. Still, I find it beautiful. She claims she can't chew! What do I care whether she can chew or not! Theo, I can't go on like this much longer! I asked Cezanne if he would share an office with me but he is old and infirm and unable to hold the instruments and they must be tied to his wrists but then he lacks accuracy and once inside a mouth, he knocks out more teeth than he saves. What to do?

Dear Theo
I took some dental X-rays this week that I thought were good. Degas saw them and was critical. He said the composition was bad. All the cavities were bunched in the lower left corner. I explained to him that that's how Mrs Stotkin's mouth looks, but he wouldn't listen. He said he hated the frames and mahogany was too heavy. When he left, I tore them to shreds! As if that was not enough, I attempted some root-canal work on Mrs Wilma Zardis, but half-way through I became despondent. I realised suddenly that root-canal work is not what I want to do! I grew flushed and dizzy. I ran from the office into the air where I could breathe! I blacked out for several days and woke up at the seashore. When I returned, she was still in the chair. I completed her mouth out of obligation but I couldn't bring myself to sign it.

Dear Theo
Once again I am in need of funds. I know what a burden I must be to you, but who can I turn to? I need money for materials! I am working almost exclusively with dental floss now, improvising as I go along, and the results are exciting. God! I have not even a penny left for Novocaine! Today I pulled a tooth and had to anesthetize the patient by reading him some Dreiser. Help.

Dear Theo
Have decided to share office with Gauguin. He is a fine dentist who specialises in bridgework, and he seems to like me. He was very complimentary about my work on Mr Jay Greenglass. If you recall, I filled his lower seven, then despised the filling and tried to remove it. Greenglass was adamant and we went to court. There was a legal question of ownership, and on my lawyer's advice, I cleverly sued for the whole tooth and settled for the filling. Well, someone saw it lying in the corner of my office and he wants to put it in a show! They are already talking about a retrospective!

Dear Theo
I think it is a mistake to share offices with Gauguin. He is a disturbed man. He drinks Lavoris in large quantities. When I accused him, he flew into a rage and pulled my D.D.S off the wall. In a calmer moment, I convinced him to try filling teeth outdoors and we worked in a meadow surrounded by greens and gold. He put caps on a Miss Angela Tonnato and I gave a temporary filling to Mr Louis Kaufman. There we were, working together in the open air! Rows of blinding white teeth in the sunlight! Then a wind came up and blew Mr Kaufman's toupee into the bushes. He darted for it and knocked Gauguin's instruments to the ground. Gauguin blamed me and tried to strike out but pushed Mr Kaufman by mistake, causing him to sit down on the high speed drill. Mr Kaufman rocketed past me on a fly, taking Miss Tonnato with him. The upshot, Theo, is that Rifkin, Rifkin, Rifkin and Meltzer have attached my earnings. Send whatever you can.

Dear Theo
Toulouse-Lautrec is the saddest man in the world. He longs more than anything to be a great dentist, and he has real talent, but he's too short to reach his patients' mouths and too proud to stand on anything. Arms over his head, he gropes around their lips blindly, and yesterday, instead of putting caps on Mrs Fitelson's teeth, he capped her chin. Meanwhile, my old friend Monet refuses to work on anything but very, very large mouths and Seurat, who is quite moody, has developed a method of cleaning one tooth at a time until he builds up what he calls 'a full, fresh mouth'. It has an architectural solidity to it, but is it dental work?

Dear Theo
I am in love. Claire Memling came in last week for an oral prophylaxis. (I had sent her a postcard telling her it had been six months since her last cleaning even though it had been only four days.) Theo, she drives me mad! Wild with desire! Her bite! I've never seen such a bite! Her teeth come together perfectly! Not like Mrs Itkin's, whose lower teeth are forward of her uppers and inch, giving her an underbite that resembles that of a werewolf! No! Claire's teeth close and meet! When this happens you know there is a God! And yet she's not too perfect. Not so flawless as to be uninteresting. She has a space between her lower nine and eleven. Ten was lost during her adolescense. Suddenly and without warning it developed a cavity. It was removed rather easily (actually it fell out while she was talking) and never replaced. 'Nothing could replace lower ten' she told me. 'It was more than a tooth, it had been my life to that point.' The tooth was rarely discussed as she got older and I think she was only willing to speak of it to me because she trusts me. Oh, Theo, I love her. I was looking down into her mouth today and I was like a nervous young dental student again, dropping swabs and mirrors in there. Later I had my arms around her, showing her the proper way to brush. The sweet little fool was used to holding the brush still and moving her head side to side. Next Thursday I will give her gas and ask her to marry me.

Dear Theo
Gauguin and I had another fight and he has left for Tahiti! He was in the midst of an extraction when I disturbed him. He had his knee on Mr Nat Feldman's chest with the pliers around the man's upper right molar. There was the usual struggle and I had the misfortune to enter and ask Gauguin if he had seen my felt hat. Distracted, Gauguin lost his grip on the tooth and Feldman took advantage of the lapse to bolt from the chair and race out of the office. Gauguin flew into a frenzy. He held my head under the Xray machine for ten straight minutes and for several hours after I could not blink my eyes in unison. Now I am lonely.

Dear Theo
All is lost! Today being the day I planned to ask Claire to marry me, I was a bit tense. She was magnificent in her white organdy dress, straw hat, and receeding gums. As she sat in the chair, the draining hook in her mouth, my heart thundered. I tried to be romantic. I lowered the lights and tried to move the conversation to gay topics. We both took a little gas. When the moment seemed correct, I looked her directly in the eye and said, 'Please rinse'. And she laughed! Yes, Theo! She laughed at me and then grew angry! 'do you think I could rinse for a man like you!? What a joke!' I said, 'Please, you don't understand.' She said, 'I understand quite well! I could never rinse with anyone but a licensed orthodontist! Why, the thought I would rinse here! Get away from me!' And with that she ran out weeping. Theo! I want to die! I see my face in the mirror and I want to smash it! Smash it! Hope you are well.

Dear Theo
Yes, it's true. The ear on sale at Fleishman Brothers Novelty Shop is mine. I guess it was a foolish thing to do but I wanted to send Claire a birthday present last Sunday and every place was closed. Oh, Well. Sometimes I wish I had listened to father and become a great painter. It's not exciting but the life is regular.

cheshire grin

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed 
is here... in my heart
Words are very 
They can only do harm...

I am the happiest girl alive.


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