Apr 30, 2004

No longer "demoralizing or confusing"

Yesterday, my dentist replaced a cracked filling. Such things have to be filed down and I had to keep biting on carbon paper. But my mouth hurt and I told the dentist that was as good as it was going to get. She said to come back in if the filling needed further filing; it would take only a minute, no appointment necessary.

This morning, I was late for work – again. (I'm sort of "on report" for it, too). I stood outside my apartment building, not looking forward to clocking in late. My mouth no longer hurt and I could feel my bite better. So, I finally decided to go back to my dentist and get the filling filed. (This meant clocking in late with a good excuse.)

I took the same bus I took yesterday. This time, my bus card was renewed and I got on in the rear. I didn't notice if the woman who sat next to me yesterday came on the bus.

I got off in town at the same bus stop as yesterday. Now I was wondering what would happen if the bum was standing on the same corner as before. But he wasn't. I felt a little silly worrying about a thing like that.

I got to my dentist's office, only to find it was locked. I had just assumed that by 9:30, it would be open, there would be a patient getting treatment already (my appointment yesterday was at 9:45). So I decided to wait. No sooner had I thought that thought, when my dentist showed up, very surprised to see me. It turns out she doesn't work Fridays and had come in today only to finish the taxes (due April 30 in Norway). But it was no problem to take care of my filling, which she did. In 5 minutes I was done, bite feeling just like it did before the filling was changed. I was quite amazed at my luck, too, since normally my dentist wouldn't have been there at all.

On my way back to the bus, I met my bum; he'd moved a couple of blocks. He looked straight at me, moved towards me, and I could hear him clearly asking if I had anything to spare. "Do you want money today, too?" I asked with a smile. He said, "Tomorrow's the first of May." (International Labor Day and a holiday.) While getting my wallet out of my purse, I saw more details about him: His navy blue coat and his shoes were shabbier than I realized. I stuck a 100-kroner bill in his hand with the yellow fingers, and he thanked me. I wondered idly what anyone would make of us two because he was almost two heads taller than me. I wished him happy celebrating and felt a tad stupid right afterwards for that, but was very happy that the whole exchange with him went far more smoothly – almost automatically – today than yesterday.

Somehow, I feel like I was given a second chance.

May you too have a happy May Day celebration!

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