Opening My Mouth

February 28, 2008
By Anchin Liaw, Mason, OH

Opening my mouth as wide as it can go, I can taste the tart paste foaming in my mouth. As I study the peeling auburn walls, a slight glare from the piercing light causes my hazel eyes to twitch and water. My lip and the skin around my mouth cracks and splits from being stretched open for so long.

Reclining in the firm, peach-colored dentist’s chair, specks of grape-jelly toothpaste flies out of the whirling brush and up my protruding nose. Knowing the dentist must’ve done that on purpose; I snort indignantly and settle deeper into the chair.

The beehive-haired lady has made the first move, now it’s my turn to return the serve.

As the humming buzz of the electric toothbrush drones on, a Mickey Mouse clock ticks annoying loudly. I restlessly move my tongue to follow the probing brush and the dentist clicks her tongue impatiently. Rolling her eyes, she takes a gloved finger and pushes down on my porous tongue, causing waves of saliva to seep throughout my mouth. Grimacing in disgust, her contact-blue eyes narrows and she hastily removes her soaked finger.

That was a smashing forehand I just sent right back to you, I gleefully think, comparing our “battle” to a tennis match. You thought you got me on the serve, well, let me just tell you that it’ll take more then that to beat me.

Winking impishly, my tongue begins flailing about my mouth once again. She tries to ignore the moist mass of flub that continuously blocks her work inside my mouth, but I can tell that she is getting increasingly frustrated by the wrinkles that are starting to appear on her freckled forehead.

I’m not too big of a match for you, am I? I haughtily think. My moves aren’t that much better then yours are they?

The dentist tries to get back to me for the tongue incident by jabbing viciously at my gums with her pointed hook, drawing blood to my mouth.

Nice hit, I grudgingly admit, wincing because of my aching gums. However, your pathetic return has set up for me a smashing volley that I can hit right back at you.

Casually drooling blood on her sophisticated blouse to distract her, I happily thrust my arm sideways and just happen to knock over a small tube. Hitting the ground, it immediately begins vacuuming everything near it, transporting curiously colored articles through a clear tube connected to the writhing vacuum.

“Oopth, thilly me. Did I juth do thath? My, my, I theem to be awpully clumthy today,” I innocently mumble through a mouthful of dribble.

Through the blinding lamp, I can see the dentist sucking on her cheeks. Slowly releasing a breath of air, she coldly upturns the corners of her mouth in a mock grin and venomously bends over to pick up the tube.

That was one point for me, I nastily think.

I’m in the act of “accidentally” taking the water squirt and “just happening” to squirt it on the dentist’s protruding back when a prim and quick thump sounds from the general vicinity of the doorway.

I happily smother a gleeful chuckle as the dentist snaps her head up stressfully. She gives me a subtle glare and deftly snaps the tube back into place. Her gaze warns me not to try anything, then she steps to the door.

I am halfway through the process of squirting water in the dentist’s chair (it was my turn to serve) when I hear my mom’s voice. I pause, all my mischief on hold.

My mother appears, framed in the doorway, giving me a solicitous wave. The dentist follows triumphantly and smoothes out her rumpled pink blouse. Formally, she tells me that my mom is here to pick me up early. Her smirk tells me, Ha-ha, I bet you didn’t expect me to be able to end this match early.

I quietly stare back. I think, okay, you got lucky this time. That knock on the door brought you some good news, but next I’ll be here the entire time. And I will finish this match.

As I walk out the door, I casually brush my shoulder against the wall, sending the ticking Mickey Mouse clock crashing to the ground. The last I saw of the dentist, she was furiously stuffing screws and wires into the destroyed clock, muttering under her breath.

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