Thursday, May 3

i spent the day exploring the university of illinois' dental clinic. a wisdom tooth that's been growing the past few months finally decided to start hurting. i was hoping extraction wouldn't be necessary - that there would be some miracle salve with dentist's direction that could justify my continued procrastination. alas. i could feel my face becoming infected. no es bueno.

i was up at 5am to be in chicago by 6:30 to be on the list of patients by 7 because they only take 20 a day. i brought along a book i randomly bought yesterday on a long forgotten recommendation. it was my serendipitous companion on this journey and i finished it by the time the anesthesia wore off.

the time traveler's wife is about a relationship where one partner has chrono-disorder, a condition that causes his to bounce back and forth through his lifetime. it's not the cheese-ball "waking up in the revolutionary war" time-travel novel. it hit me in the gut as i read the opening lines this morning - sitting in a cold reception hall at uic before the staff has arrived. a dozen people wait silently in pain, clutching public aid cards and sleepy-eyed children staring at the gate which won't open for another hour.

the relationship is infused with waiting and longing and the certainty of the uncertain, all of which i can relate to in this strange period of my life/career. in that transient place of the uic dental facility, a strange pocket of humanity that i will hopefully only visit once in my life, this story was perfectly in place. it's also set in chicago, another random unknown until i started reading. that gave it this just-outside-my-window sort of magic. i half expected to see henry walk through the waiting area stark naked. just read the book, ok?

at midday i was scheduled for extraction and told to be back in two hours. i wandered taylor street in the bright sun of a beautiful chicago afternoon. i read and few more chapters and wandered back in that book daze. i was just at the part where henry goes under the knife in the novel when i was finally called in to get extracted.

on the way home i remembered the anti-biotics my mother sent me weeks ago for a sinus infection that now i didn't have to pay for. that annoying detour on 294 i've hated for weeks, which adds 4 miles onto my trip home, now took me right by a pharmacy to get pain killers right as the anesthesia wore off. just as it should be.

in the waining light, i finished the last pages of a surreal day that gave words to my inner mumblings about time-place-love-want and left a new hole in my head that i only paid a couple hundred for.

it was a great day.

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