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Rock Street, San Francisco

It was 6:30 am when my loud siren alarm went off. It was a reminder about my dental appointment today at 8:15. I got up so I can take a nice hot shower, and get ready to be on my way. I got into my car. The black leather interior of my all black Lexus instantly sticks to me.

The dash reads 87 degrees and 7:40 am. On my way to my appointment the only thing I can think of is the redolence of the waiting room, Joan the receptionist, and of course the dental surgery room.I arrive at the dental office, but before I exit the car I glance at the dashboard; which reads 8:09 am. I push open the white framed glass door of the office. The chime tinkles, with a soft but musical noise. A wave of rubber gloves and disinfectant wash over me as I enter. Plastic chairs are cluttered in the waiting room of the dentists.

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Staggered lines of magazines lie on a long scratched wooded coffee table, in the middle of the floor. The walls are painted a stark clinical white. Photographs of people with toothy grins beam down at me, from the newspaper clippings over the years.A little ways from where I stand is a desk. A smiling receptionist sits there.

Her name tag reads Joan. She greets me and hands me a purple clipboard with papers to fill out, and indicates to the chairs. A few nervous patients are already there waiting. They try to avert their eyes from the closed, threatening doors leading to the dental surgery rooms.One by one, the receptionist calls out the patient’s names, “Stevenson, Shmaia!” or, “Golson, TaQuana!”As I get up, I glance at the clock and it reads 8:23 am.

I push the cold metal doors open. It must be my imagination, but already I can taste the slightly stale bubblegum flavored gloves. The cold hard metal of the examining probe, and the chink clink sound it makes when it sometimes collides with my teeth. I can feel the leather of the reclining chair, which is covered in plastic, also which clammy legs have a habit to stick to. In my mind I see the perfect teeth of my dentist, an ideal advertisement for his clinic.

A sudden tapping of high heeled shoes from the corridor awakens me. I look up and the clock reads 9:36 am. My pulse quickens, and my hands start to sweat. I swallow the lump in my throat that has accumulated somehow. Blood is pounding through my head, but even that could not block out the alarming words I heard next.The receptionist says, “Tammy, Chanira, Dr. Lee has your paperwork ready now.”

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