Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ode to 'Wisdoms' Gone By

O Wisdom, your name!
You send notions of splendour,
with due respect and fame,
rarely met with real candour.

Four corners you strain,
at the point of a finger,
and a thought so lame,
"Why am I borne?" you wonder.

Your short lived acclaim,
stays through your peers - much grander,
but never the same
will your end be any kinder.

An end with no maim,
a mouth no less slender,
an end with no shame,
not even of murder.

Once thought of as game
to dispose of, like a vendor
who calls to proclaim,
invitation to tender.

O Wisdom, you came,
cutting through from way way under,
your words far from tame,
far from idle, far from banter.

Now you're just a frame,
can't lean on - you've gone tender,
a real tooth (exclaim!)
you're found in any gender.

The dentist proclaimed today that the best solution for the deep cavity lying beneath an already partially cemented and fairly subdued existence of a wisdom tooth was extraction. The words sent shudders through my root canal. 

My wisdom teeth have had their share of varied opinions from the haves and have-nots of extraction. There were those who saw it as affording itself the right to exist just by having gone through the effort of breaking through my gum surface and sitting in an egalitarian sense beside a 'regular' tooth, ready to observe its dental duties just like any other tooth. There were others who just saw it as another nuisance of a wisdom tooth that had to be destroyed forever more lest it should do future harm to the teeth nearby. In the end my gentler notions gave in, mostly due to my fear of dentists, injections and anything related. And over the years I never ever thought of these four 'pearlies' as my wisdom teeth. They were just like any other. When someone would speak about their wisdom tooth needing extraction, I would smile smugly and say that I still have mine and it was a case of till death do us part. There were occasions when I did have to visit the dentist for a sanity check - my teeth's that is. But so far it had always been more than one lucky fluke for these wisdom teeth of mine. No dentist had uttered the words extraction since my teens and the dentists I saw went about their tasks of cementing and filling in cavities that they were meant to bear. Of course, until today. 

It seems that everything does have to come to an end. My love affair with my wisdoms was under cut-throat-knife threat. The dentist stood there and bluntly gave me my two options. Root canal, treatment then crown if there is anything left of the tooth by then (he said casually) or extract it and forget about it forever (again casually). Shamelessly and without a shred of hesitation it was the instant judgement of: death of a tooth. And almost immediately, I felt its traits come alive. Don't call me tooth. Call me by my name. I'm nothing but a wisdom, shunned and unloved destined to an end, sometimes even before its begun. Momentary guilt pangs were no sooner than washed away. 

Finally, I can say that I am removing my wisdoms! And while the other three remaining wisdoms will mourn its loss in 2 weeks time when I am due to visit my evil dentist, I am sure that the only thing that will remind me of the missing wisdom is the post-mortem pain from the surgery. Perhaps a roaming, wandering tongue too...

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