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Wednesday, June 28, 2000

I was at peace today, for an hour, sitting in the dentist's chair. The only sounds were the office stereo playing soft rock (really, that's what it's called), and Dr. G in the next cubicle, joking his way through another appointment more serious than mine. He's good at putting people at ease by pretending he's known them forever. On my first time in his chair I felt comfortable enough to talk, had I been allowed.

Today it was just a cleaning with the estimable Cheryl. She has a different way of connecting with her patients. She does it by actually seeming interested in your life, and she withdraws her hand from your mouth often enough to let you carry on half the conversation. She found out all about my recent trip to Colorado (as if I've ever tried to make a secret of that).

When she knows you can't respond, she'll tell you about her life. I know that her daughter is eighth on the college cross-country team, meaning she doesn't always get to run at the meets, but she likes to travel with the team because her boyfriend is on it. She drove to Kansas City on her own for the first time last year, and at 21 she was responsible enough not to let any of her friends drive unless she had confidence in their ability. She called every night from the road, just to check in with her mom.

Do you care about these things? I did, when Cheryl cared enough to tell me about them. Plus, I came away with cleaner teeth, and all of this was covered by my insurance. How can you beat that? No booming disco beat coming through the wall. (I swear they were playing disco music yesterday afternoon. Nothing else has that unvarying rhythmic pounding as its signature.) No racing engines, no basketballs slammed against the garage door. Paradise. For a whole hour.

You know, this is all I have the energy for tonight. I know you expect more of me (or maybe you don't, who knows?), and I have some other things I want to say, but they'll have to wait for a day when I can hold my eyes open without toothpicks. Some day I'll get my life regulated so that I get enough sleep every night and still get everything done that needs to be done.

I worked with the Boss until 7:30 tonight, and then hung around the fax machine, waiting for instructions from him that never came. He'd told me he had some letters he really wanted to get done tonight, but in the middle of everything he just disappeared.

It took me a while to get the message. I work on his schedule, of course, and at his mercy. When he thinks something is so important that it has to be done right now, I do it now. I kind of resent being left hanging like this, though, especially when I'm dragging so badly.

So I'm going to give up early tonight and see if maybe I can get enough sleep to be more lucid tomorrow.

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