A voice calls me into the back from the waiting room.
As I get up, I notice that her eyes are dark against her fair skin, almost black. They’re piercing, but gentle, never intimidating. Her face is kind and welcoming, full of youth, like the younger sister of your girlfriend.
I follow. Her hair is pulled back in a neat, braided ponytail. Wrapped around the curves of her body is her dental gown, and she looks like a small, sterile package of energy. She asks the usual questions, speaking with unrivaled confidence. It’d be intimidating as well, if it wasn’t for the control in her voice.
Even after I’m seated in the chair and the ultrasonic scaler starts to whirr, I’m surprisingly calm. The unique buzzing, spinning, squirting, sucking sounds begin their symphony.
She rests her forearm on my chest for leverage as she works on the posteriors.
I start to wonder how appropriate it is, if anyone has ever spoken out. Or have they not had the heart, like me?
I feel objectified.
As she works, she makes one-sided small-talk, saying every word with conviction. With her tools in my mouth, I answer only in mumbled positives and negatives. She goes along the arch systematically, molar to molar, lingual to buccal.
I want to see her eyes again, to take a closer look at what struck me first. To avoid making an obvious, darting glance, I preemptively look where her eyes will be soon as she follows her predictable path, and wait.
Her eyes arrive, and I look away. It’s too uncomfortable. I’m peering into the world of another who’s distracted, not returning my gaze.
Her physical intimacy was innocent, I assume.
Mine may have been less so.