My mouth aches from the violent hands of a psychopath and my mind fills with questions. Why do I allow this abuse to happen, over and over again? How do I so totally forget about the pain of the last experience to sit in the waiting room without apprehension and allow it to happen all over again?
The assailant, Lashes, led me back to her lair and gestured for me to sit in the dental exam chair made of leather. Such opulence for such a dark place of torture, it barely made sense. I would feel better on a plain metal chair, no frills allowed. Mentally, I could be more ready by remaining uncomfortable and instead I sank into the plush chair and foolishly lowered my guard for what was to follow.
On my left, I noticed that Lashes was armed with multiple weapons, tiny daggers and swords for scraping, poking, and general destruction. Not surprising, they were all perfectly sharpened and polished on a tray. Lashes wore a paper mask and safety glasses, perhaps to make it harder to pick her out of a police line-up? It was a clever disguise. Lashes looked just like the other female hygienists in their bright scrubs, crocs, and blonde hair tied up in ponytails.
Lashes stabbed and speared my gums with one tool after another. She carelessly hopped from tooth to tooth like a flea on a cat’s back. There did not seem to be a plan or a method to the woman’s madness. Suddenly, she snapped off her gloves and shuffled a stack of papers; then she was back, pulling on another pair.
“Open up wider,” she demanded without an explanation.
“Not that wide, close your mouth halfway.”
“Ok, a little wider.”
There was no making this lady-demon happy.
I could see the concentration in her beady eyes through the plastic protective lenses as she continued to scrape and scratch in my mouth. Not for the first time, I tasted blood during the appointment and felt tears welling up in my eyes. I willed myself to endure the pain in silence with a reminder that this too would soon pass and checked my watch with the classic stoicism of a martyr.
Nearly an hour had passed; this was officially the longest, most excruciating cleaning I had ever experienced. Simply doing a job that she either detested or loved, the passion that Lashes had for the work was apparent, but also quite unclear as to which pole it leaned.
Afterwards, I still wasn’t sure that I could pick her out of a lineup but knew the major difference between Lashes and every other human, was her preference for pain; the pain of other people, to be specific.
However, I suppose as far as torture standards go, she is quite good at her job so I naturally scheduled another appointment in six months.