I lay back in my chair, willing myself not to sigh audibly as I put my feet up. She might be numbing my mouth in preparation for dental work, but it feels like a mini vacation for the moment.
I open my copy of Bittersweet, wondering if the dentist or assistant will comment on a book with so much sugar on the cover appearing in a dentist office. But they don’t seem to notice my book or its cover, so I delve right into the words.
There’s something so charming about the stories Shauna tells. Or maybe it’s the way she tells them. Light and lilting, heavy and tear-inducing, they’re all mixed up and bound up in a hardback book with chocolate on the cover. And they reach down into my heart and make me want to cry in the dentist chair.
A tear or two does roll down my cheek, because even after two rounds of shots I still jump with the pain of the drilling. The third dose is close enough to a charm, I decide. The pain isn’t enough to make me jump, so I find a focal point even though I can’t breathe like I would in labor (or any other time) considering all the paraphernalia in and around my mouth.
The book is discarded down on the floor, but I’m still mulling over her stories. About the way becoming a mother changes you (even in such silly ways as finding a dentist’s chair relaxing). About the fact that there are always more questions than there are answers.
Her stories weave in between the questions of life. And I wonder if it isn’t in the living through the stories that we are able to understand the answers — after we’ve asked the questions.