Everything is awful so you just get dogg0 memes this week. Look upon them, and bring thyself some furry, good boy comfort in these trying times.
I bought myself dental insurance for Christmas last year.
I’ve talked a lot on this web site about the hard road I had getting here, but that hard road was paved with a lot of crap I put on hold until I had any space at all to deal with it. One of those things? My fucking teeth.
The last time I had been to any kind of tooth practitioner at all was in 2008 when I got my wisdom teeth out and then proceeded to embark upon a week long percoset bender because who the fuck takes painkillers for actual pain? Getting your wisdom teeth out is barely anything. Why do you get like 40 percosets for something that hurts for a day and would be fine with like two aleve? This is fucking why everyone is hooked on opiates. Whatever, anyway. My teeth seemed fine, until one day in maybe 2012 or so, I just noticed some slight sensitivity to hot and cold on the lower right side of my mouth. Weird, but I can deal, just don’t eat hot or cold things on that side, fine. I was too busy being a piece of shit because I was grieving. I didn’t have time for things like personal responsibility or self care.
Over time, things get worse, and I ignore them. A pain starts on the other side of my jaw. Eating gets super difficult. I’m so stressed out and messed up that my jaw starts locking overnight and sometimes when I wake up in the morning I can’t open my mouth until I take a couple of minutes to work my jaw open. My right ear starts hurting all the time like I’ve got an ear infection. Ignore, drink booze, take ibuprofin, repeat. Things get worse and worse until one day early last year, I took a bite of something and a searing pain shot down the right side of my body that was so intense that I freaked out and finally went to the dentist.
Long boring story short, I had cracked a molar and it had gotten infected, and over time, the infection had spread and become quite virulent. While they were in there they were also like, yeah girl, you also have like A BUNCH of cavities and you need to deal with that. So I got that tooth pulled, and I got it pulled while I was awake because it’s a million goddam dollars to get gas for that shit. I was a wreck. I was like, “I literally cannot do this Cronenbergian body horror shit, I can’t do it.” I almost bolted from the surgeon’s chair right before they pulled the tooth, I was so scared. I literally thought living with the pain would be better than going through the awfulness of getting a tooth pulled and being fully conscious while it happened.
But as any of you who have been in this situation know, getting that tooth pulled was the best fucking thing that’s ever happened to me, no matter how horrible it was during the actual pulling. You just have no idea how much a fucked tooth messes with your whole body until it’s gone and you feel insanely better in all kinds of ways. I’m paying so much goddam money to fix all my cavities, but I feel so much better. My whole body is just better.
This is what we do. We ignore problems until they have affected every part of us, causing permanent damage and scars we can’t erase, and then something explodes violently and we’re so scared of what is required of us to fix things that we avoid it at all costs.
You guys know at this point that I’m talking about Charlottesville and the racism that is endemic to white culture in the US, right? Like, we knew this was coming, we’ve been watching it get worse and worse for years. And we really didn’t do a goddam thing about it.
I know that I’ve failed every person of color in my life about whom I care deeply every time that I have witnessed racism and I have not stood up against it, loudly and without fear. I have let this problem fester alongside all the rest of us white people who know better. YOU GUYS, WE KNOW BETTER. I’m done being a fucking shitty coward. I don’t care if I get shot or punched in the face or run over by a car by a psychotic neo-nazi. I’m not important. Why do I get to live when black men and women are being shot by police every day? I don’t care if my family members stop talking to me because I’m a liberal snowflake or whatever the fucking insult-du-jour is for commies like me. I don’t care if racist assholes don’t like me for what I know. I know that human beings are all expressions of one larger being, and each is beloved and important, and it is the truth, and that’s that. I’m enforcing consequences on people in my life who are racist. I should have been doing it the whole fucking time, but I was too scared.
Will it be uncomfortable? Yes, horribly. I’m terrified, frankly. But avoiding that discomfort is my privilege in action. A black person can’t change the subject or sweep it under the rug, she has to hear it and feel it and she will internalize it and it will silently kill her from the inside when nobody demonstrates solidarity with her when she’s under attack. She faces that WHEN SHE LEAVES THE HOUSE IN THE MORNING. I mean jesus fucking christ, the toll that must take on your fucking soul. I am so sorry.
I know that with all my talk of civil liberties, queer stuff, punx stuff, lady stuff, etc. on this site, like, if you’re reading this, if you’ve made it here with me, you’re probably woke af, generally. But we need to check ourselves and take our private wokeness out into the world at large where MOST white people are not exactly tipping the sales of wokeness - what I mean by that is that even if your aunt Nancy wouldn’t harm a person of color physically, there was that time last year when she had to hire a new assistant at her job and she just passed over the resumes with “ethnic-sounding names.” That shit happens all the time. That’s where you and I need to do our work.
And you know what, it wasn’t even that painful getting the tooth out. After it was over, the surgeon turned around, snapped off his latex gloves, put his hands on his hips and said, “Well Miss Karol, that molar just slid right out like butter - that’s how you know it was time for it to go.”
Maybe if together we just face what we have to do, we’ll be surprised at how natural it is to make the change.
Friday August 18
At Blue, Shannon Pierson hosts her songwriters circle and then Sam James and Miss Maybell and Slimpickins are up.
The Fogcutters are at PHOME with Native Isles.
Fat Knuckle Freddy and BB Webber are out on the deck at Amigos.
Salvage has Steve Jones.
Dogfish has LQH.
Saturday August 19
There’s a show happening at Bayside Bowl tonight that I’m particularly excited about: Phantom Vanity with Renee Coolbrith and Sarah Violette and Mosart212. Phantom Vanity is from Brooklyn and her music is what I’d call folk-inspired R&B? She has a beautiful, psychedelic-feeling voice that meanders all over the place, and what I love about her music is how ultra-feminine it is. I’m just super into women right now and that sacred place where our power and wisdom intersects with our softness and vulnerability to create a special magic. Phantom Vanity really embodies divine feminine and mysticism for me here in the desperate days of 2017. Like, I think we’ll all feel better after we go see her sing? Let’s go see her sing.
Jeremiah Freed and Jon King are at PHOME but it’s sold out.
Ben Kilcollins and Pete Witham are at One Longfellow Square.
Minibeast, Insect Factory and Cushing are at the Apohadion Theater.
Sunday August 20
Bread and Circus are at Rising Tide Brewery and North Carolinian bluegrass player Tennessee Jed is on the roof at Bayside Bowl during the day. Later, go see the Stick Men (King Crimson’s rhythm section) at OLS, The Mallet Brothers at PHOME or EX EYE and Nat Baldwin at SPACE Gallery. It’s a good Sunday.