Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"We do have a zeal for laughter in most situations, give or take a dentist."
Two years ago Mater paid a much-avoided visit to her dentist. After an examination he was forced to perform some extensive surgery on her mouth, and warned her before he proceeded.
"You'll feel very dizzy after the surgery, and you won't be able to walk properly. You might feel like you're drunk," he said, trying to be helpful.
Mater indicated her comprehension with a nod and was immediately swallowed by the dark mouth of anesthetic.
When Mater opened her eyes, the architecture on her teeth had been completed and the deed was done. My cousin was waiting to drive her home and he observed Mater gather herself together for the journey.
The dentist had transferred his attention to the files of another patient and was oblivious to the grand picture of Mater sweeping her legs from the operating chair as she tried desperately to find her belongings and the solid floor beneath her feet, wherever her feet might be.
She did locate her handbag eventually, and made several uncoordinated efforts- and failed- to push her head through the handles, to wear it around her neck like an enormous necklace.
At length, she stood up, grinned- or imagined she did- and was most pleased to find that she could walk to the car without assistance.
She marched in exaggerated slowness as though she were climbing stairs and not shuffling along an even pavement. Each footstep saw Mater raise her leg high off the ground until the invisible step was conquered, then down again for the next bit forward until my cousin, no doubt relieved, identified the correct vehicle and she climbed into it.
All that bothered Mater during the journey home was that the handbag would not, despite repeated attempts, fit around her neck, and that she could neither feel her neck or her handbag.
She was otherwise untroubled. Best foot forward, indeed.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 1:23 PM