“Uh, J? We’re ready for you. You wanna follow me on back?”
I sat in the chair, which would have been comfortable if I were sitting back to relax. Only I was sitting back for a good conversation with someone’s hand inside my mouth. I tried to make conversation while I still could. I asked the nurse, “How was your weekend?” But she put this thingie over my nose—a white thingie with a white hose—so I’d inhale the gas from there—but my mouth was still free and easy, and I could breath the open air. That’s important for the story.
I don’t remember what kept it on. Maybe it was attached to my ears. And maybe I can’t remember now because I was already breathing it in. I’ve never been on the gas before, and I started to wonder. Wonder. Wuuunder. Does it make some people sick? “Well, some kids say they feel sick,” she said. “But who knows. It mostly just makes your hands feel droopy.” So I lifted up my hands and dropped them down on my lap. They felt droopy. Dr. Allen walked in, and I faked like I was wide awake. J, are you okay? Oh, yeah, I’m fine, Doc. Is the gas too strong? No, it’s good. How’s your iPad?
The needle was coming. That’s what the doctor does: he greets you and then shoves a needle in the roof of your mouth. Hi, how’s it going. Thhhhick. Right in there. I could feel it. Don’t worry. It’s just a little pinch, and I’ll ease it in real slow. And I could feel him easing it in. It was longer than the width of my face. The needle attached itself to my upper jaw on the right side. And it was pulling on the entire bone up there. Pulling. Ah. Pulling. And I looked at the mechanical arm—the one the light’s attached to—the light shines into your face. And it was pulling. And I had been breathing through my mouth so that I didn’t overdose on the gas thingie over my nose. And he’s pulling, and I breathe in deep, right through my nose. Right on through, because i need as much gas as I can get. And he’s like, we’re just going to move it just a titch. And I’m thinking, I don’t mind, doc. Just a titch. But don’t use words like that. And if I’m going to write this, how am I supposed to spell titch? I mean it rhymes with... that other word. You’re so vulgar when you’re looney. I blame him. And I could hear Michael Buble singing, i swear. And I think he was dancing. And doc’s like, is that the Zac Brown band? And I’m faking coherence, so I’m like, yeah, I think it is. And he says, they’ve had a lot of good songs lately. I bought one on my iPad. And I’m still stuck on Michael Buble from ten minutes ago. I really like that one. and i breath in through my nose. And i breath in through my nose. And i think, if you’re in a dream, it lasts longer. so if i suck in too much, this needle could be in my jaw for five minutes, which is one week in the dream world, and so i breath in through my nose, i mean my mouth, because i don’t want to go that deep under, because i don’t want this to last any longer than it has to. and it was at that moment that i realized my mouth was the size of a space station, and you could fly inside in little ships, but they were huge ships and it was a port with docking stations and blue fire burning out the back, and i could see the blinds reflected in the little light on the arm above my face shining right on it and the docs is like okay, now were going to fill the filling with just clean it with some diamond floss to get the edges off and i’m like doc you don’t have to waste youre diamond floss on me. that’s kind of ritzy don’t you think? and i noticed that the blinds weren’t the color of blinds. they were more of a rainbow color in the reflection because it’s a different kind of plastic. And I breath in through my mouth. And doc’s looking down at me. And he has this little zooming-in monocle on top of his right eye on his glasses. And I can tell they’re basically done. And I breath in through my mouth. And I’m still pretending like I’m fine, and I say, are you going to just switch it to oxygen?
And he all of a sudden he’s sitting right in front of me, like he was there the whole time.
“Yeah, the law requires at least five minutes on oxygen before you can drive.”
And I’m thinking, I’m glad you want to be on the safe side, Doc, because that laughing gas is some powerful stuff.