Temporary Crown

Melody was on her way back from the dentist when the guy from Building Management came around to remind everyone about the evacuation exercise.

“Aw-righty then folks,” he said through his mustache, “we’re going to start in about ten minutes. Once again, follow your team leaders to the designated...” and at this point no one was listening anymore, and everybody knew it.

Afterward Rajesh stopped by Melody’s cube, something he did throughout the day. He asked Garrett, her cube mate, if Melody knew about the fire drill.

“I think so?” said Garrett, with as much certainty as he said anything, which wasn't much.

“She should be done by now, don’t you think?”


As they spoke Garrett’s right eye darted between his monitor and his phone.

“Did she say whether she would be coming back after her appointment?”


“OK,” Rajesh said, and walked back to his desk. Talking to Garrett always made him feel like punching Garrett.

When Melody got back to the building, she went straight to the women's restroom on the mezzanine level. It was smaller and out-of-the-way, and particularly in the late afternoon it provided a haven from the pressure cooker up on the ninth floor. Because it was connected to the restaurant on the ground floor, a fancy place with cloth napkins, it had nicer smelling soap and higher quality paper towels. And unlike the bathrooms on the ninth floor, you rarely heard anyone crying in the next stall.

Melody leaned toward the mirror to check for swelling and dried spit, setting off the automatic faucet in the process. She washed her hands and stuck a finger in her mouth and pulled her cheek aside to get a better look. Today had just been the prep work for the once and future crown on her lower left second molar, yet the temporary crown looked like a legitimate tooth.

“Way to go, little guy,” she said as clearly as her half-numbed tongue would let her.

She ran her hands under the water and dried them. She wondered how long she could get by on a temporary crown. She wondered if she would be able to pay for the crown by the time the bill came. She wondered if they repossessed dental work. She moved to a stall and had just sat down when the first alarm went off.

Image: Twin Rivers Bathroom by talented flickr user Svadilfari, used under a Creative Commons licence


Nick said...

Tom Selleck, Sam Elliot or Wilford Brimley mustache?

Lee said...

More of a shaggy Uncle Rico.