Dentist Office

Lights Flicker On Again

I’m sitting, now, in a low chair with a rounded back embracing tiny arms around my frame. The olive leaf upholstery is worn by the bottoms of many learners who’ve rested and read in the library.  Looking out the large windows, I see across the street into my dentist office of yesteryear – the one I attended before things fell apart.

The last time I sat in this chair, I had just raced frantically across the street to find an internet connection. While sitting in the dentist’s chair, I remember obsessively flicking my wrist to check my watch and the seconds ticking away marking the moments I wasn’t responsive for a bad-fit job.

I remember my mouth being numb on one side from the novocaine as I opened my laptop and my stomach dropped again with feelings of “not quite good enough.” You could feel their disappointment in my pulse as my blood moved through my shrinking veins.

Little did I know what was about to unfold.

Tonight, almost four years later, I’m watching out the window again and bouncing back between remembering the fear and anxiety and reminding myself to be present as I listen to the soft click, click, click of my typing making music with the woman next to me knitting something on turquoise, two-inch needles.

Still on the second story, I can see across the street. The windows of the dentist’s office are dark. And the sun is setting over the mountains in the distance and a tiny patch of peach is fighting the fog as we move into another cold weekend.

My mouth isn’t numb. My fingers are moving.

I’ve moved and grown and ached and wondered and still, I’m here.

I’m not fearful of my boss, nor am I afraid to open the multitude of inboxes that come with jobs, and side-hustles, and pending freelance projects.

There’s beauty in the sitting, in the looking across the way. Beauty in the unfolding words and the potential when I open my laptop. Beauty in my deep gratitude for that feeling of  “Thank God I’m not there any longers.” Beauty in spaces once filled with fear gone dark.

Beauty in clean bills of health and the no longer numb and the same chair waiting to welcome me back to watch the lights flicker on again.

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