I asked the assistant if I could have the pieces of my tooth that the dentist just pulled. She said I could as long as I didn’t touch them. I wondered why, but didn’t ask. After all, it’s been in my mouth for almost 50 years. I assumed it was just one of those medical safety precautions.
It was my first time to this office and everyone there was really nice. The dentist was kind and did a very good job. He had to break my tooth into three pieces to get it out. Once again I was grateful for the invention of Novocaine.
When I asked, I wasn’t sure why I wanted the tooth. But the feeling to have it was so strong, I couldn’t resist it.
Later I thought how my tooth had done such a good job for so long. And when it stopped doing that, it caused me face an old fear and brought up in me a strength I didn’t know I had.
My friend Athena called it Sacred. Alchemy. I think I wanted to honor it. It’s more than just medical waste to me.
The ground is frozen now, but in the spring, I’ll bury it outside my studio. I see it as a passport tooth. Bringing me from one place to another.