Root Canals & Oil Changes

I spent the last half of the nineties having a total breakdown.  For most of that time, I was unemployed and/or working odd jobs for shit pay.  Thanks to the good graces of the people in my life, I wasn’t homeless and I never went hungry.  During that entire time I spent what money I had on cigarettes, food, and gas.  Everything else I had was either given to me or something I’d received as barter for designing a web site.  The one thing I never spent any money on was my truck, even though I could see it falling apart week by week.

Finally, in the summer of 2000, a job fell into my lap and I took it and slowly started to put myself and my life back together.  During the first year I worked there, I spent about $2000 on repairs to my truck, and damn near that again in the second year.  Ultimately I had to buy a new truck, but the point is, I’d let things go for so long that it wound up costing me twice as much to sort of (not really) fix the truck than it would have to just properly maintain the fucking thing in the first place.

So here I am, seven years older and wiser.  Only, by “wiser” I mean “as stupid as I was seven years ago”.  I quit the job I took in 2000 because the people I worked for were the sort of people who believed that firing an employee the day after Christmas was a good way to “send a message” to the staff.  Two weeks before I quit, I had a toothache.  I took a bunch of Motrin and ignored it and it went away.  Six weeks later, my insurance expired.  The toothache appeared and disappeared at regular intervals for another year or so.  Then one day it didn’t disappear and after two weeks of constant pain, I went to the dentist and had a root canal.  Worst experience ever.  The dentist asked me to come back so he could take a full set of x-rays.  I did so and he discovered that I had to have another root canal.  Fuck.  So I had another root canal.  A full set of mouth x-rays ran around $150 and the root canals were $1500 each for a total of $3150.  That dentist was a bit of an asshole, so I went to this new dentist recommended to me by my mother and they turned out to be wonderful people, who told me that I had to have deep cleaning done on all four quadrants of my mouth, which was only going to set me back another $2000.  I blew that shit off, I couldn”t afford it.

Which brings us to right now.  My health insurance at my current job just kicked in a couple months ago and I’m now going through this whole deep cleaning thing, which will still probably run me a couple hundred bucks.  That’s $3350 I’ve spent on my mouth in the last two years, all because I was a stupid asshole and didn’t go to the dentist for 15 years.

On top of that, I’m going to my doctor about once a month to monitor my fucking blood pressure.  This week I was at the dentist on Wednesday and the doctor on Thursday.  And I’ll be at one or the other, or sometimes both, literally every week for the entire month of October. But my truck is in excellent condition.

I think I’m getting dumber.

About

Tim Hatch lives in a secret volcano headquarters somewhere in the South Pacific, where he controls the world economy and writes confessional poetry about his disappointing childhood.

His poetry has been published in MungBeing, East Jasmine Review, The Pacific Review, The Vehicle, Touch: The Journal Of Healing, Apeiron Review, and he is the recipient of the 2014 Felix Valdez Award.

He finds writing about himself in the third person to be an overtly seductive invitation to tell lies.

He once captured a French Eagle at Talavera.

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