My jaw has PTSD, it seems.

I was asleep through the whole thing, yet the nerves reminisce like the chemically induced snooze only slipped a paper-thin coating between itself and it’s brutal reality.

Four wisdom teeth—yank, yank, yank, yank—gone.

I wondered if they were plinked into the bottom of a waste basket or if the oral surgeon keeps them in little glass jars, locked away in a rusting file cabinet he tries to hide from his staff (although they all know and say nothing about it—like it’s normal, or simply out of fear).

I wanted to ask him for the teeth, but I knew that would be weird — sick, even.

What would I do with them?

I’m trying to be more minimalistic in attempts to downsize and stop using money as a bandage for my emotional fuckery. What good would a jar of useless adult teeth do for me?

It’d just be more stuff.

Creepy, repugnant stuff, but stuff all the same.

The nerves are going haywire.

I spent years on painkillers—the light stuff, like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, only around thirty-six hundred milligram daily doses—I swore I’d never take them again, only to find myself bitchier than normal and taking them for the sake of my family’s happiness.

Random outbursts of searing pain up into my ears, cupping my head and pinging back behind my sinus cavity.


The prescribed hydrocodone sits on the little Lazy Susan in the medicine cabinet. It calls to me, beckons me to stop this madness.

It’s okay, it says. You won’t get addicted to me. I’m non-habit forming.

I only make you feel relaxed, ease the misfiring nerves, dull the pain, soothe the ache in your core that makes you feel rotten and wrong. I clear your mind just long enough to give you a moment’s peace.

There can’t be anything wrong with that, right?

It’ll be like drinking without the emotional roulette and potential diarrhea the next morning.

It’ll be fine.

Plenty of people take pain meds, especially after having four impacted teeth pried out of their splayed mouths.

How bad could it get?