| surgeons & streetcarts |

Everything was fine. Everything was just fine.

Then I woke up to excruciating pain one delightful Thursday.

Cue events.


When I woke up at 5am in pain, I thought it was just a headache until I noticed that it was pulsating from the right side of my mouth.

Rewind a few years ago: dentist visit. He tells me my wisdom teeth were coming in a bit drunkenly aka sideways. He insisted that I have them removed muy pronto. I smiled and nodded and never did a single thing about it.

So when I felt the pain, I figured that my teeth were just giving each other a nice tight hug at my expense.

Did I mention this was at 5am?

Anyway, popped a pill to zap the headache but after my pain doubled in the span of an hour and a half, I knew something had gone horribly wrong.

Somehow I managed to navigate my insurance site to find a dentist who pitied me and got me an appointment.

I managed to pull myself together, skipped my shower, and hopped a train downtown. A couple stops on the way, I started getting dizzy, nauseous, and sweaty. This grouped with the pain that was now shooting through the rest of my face.

A couple thoughts went through my head. I was going to either 1. completely lose any food left in my stomach on these poor commuters; 2. faint and be traumatised by lying on a subway floor; or 3. die.

I avoided all the options by deciding to bite the bullet and take a car the rest of the way.


Got in the car and HELLO! 5th avenue late morning traffic, great to see you.

Now I’ve been trying this thing where I resign the things I cannot control. It’s very zen and I recommend it to everyone.

In the middle of my zen moment in the car, my driver decides it’s the perfect time to roll down his window and order a coffee and a bagel from a street cart.

Like, are you EFFING KIDDING ME.

And it wasn’t even like a black coffee, it was a mocha. How basic.

He then proceeds to glance back at me and say, “hey, sometimes you need a break, yanno?”

No. No I don’t know. What I do know is that if it wasn’t illegal to break his face, he would have needed to sweep himself out of his leather interior.

Instead, I channelled all the horrible things I wanted to do to his face into a death stare. My best yet, if I do say so myself. Watching his jokester demeanor dissolve into shame was a bit more enjoyable than I’m willing to admit.

Ended up getting to my appointment an hour late but was still able to be seen. And my wisdom tooth? Infected and had to be removed muy pronto.

Oh joy.

I listened this time.

Lesson Eight…

I feel like this should go without saying but I know I hate going to the doctor. Makes me irritable beyond all. It’s not because I don’t have health coverage (although if I didn’t, all the more reason to avoid), it’s just a hassle. Plus, they’re usually never open when I’m actually free.

Off work at 5:30? Closed at 6.

Free on the weekend? Nope. No weekend office hours.


But really, you should listen to them and do what they tell you lest you should be confronted with a $200 bill that you weren’t really prepared for.

*sigh* Oh adulting is fun.

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Steven Sharpe Jr is a social media strategist in New York City