Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Journey of major dental restoration

I had some dental work done yesterday. Nothing serious, just two fillings, one that was very minor, both were re-dos of older fillings. I started this journey of major dental restoration ten years ago, almost to the day, and I’m now finding that some of those fillings are at the end of their lifespan. I always thought of fillings and crowns as permanent, but now I’m seeing it’s more like working on your house, and having to repaint or reside or replumb every decade or two. At least my new dentist is okay, and cheap. He’s also about 100 yards from our apartment, which helps.

BUT… last night I had an extremely horrific dental trauma nightmare. I dreamed that some of my front teeth were fucked up, and I didn’t have the money/time/gumption to go to the dentist. So I took some of those gold-colored helical roofing nails, and nailed them into my mouth, so the rounded heads of the nails would look like a gold tooth, ala Flavor Flav or whatever. Then I got really nervous that I did permanent damage (no shit, I had nails going into the roof of my mouth) and was freaking out trying to find a dentist before some bacterial plague would set in. Then I woke up and ran to the bathroom faster than a Taco Bell-induced colon explosion, so I could look in the mirror and see if all of my fucking teeth were intact. I hate that feeling, but also love it – the feeling that you’ve dodged a major bullet, missed getting killed in a major accident. I’ve heard that it’s similar to doing cocaine, which is why I’m glad I don’t, or I would have cashed out my 401K long ago and bought stock in a Columbian processing plant so I could buy direct.

Speaking of unending nervousness, I am still working on the zine, trying to get the next issue squared away. I have some very good stories in the can, and I’m trying to finish my own story, which might be pretty good. (It might be horrible, nobody’s seen it yet, so who knows.) I am nervous about pagecount, though. It was about 57,000 words last time, which is about 170 pages. I wanted it closer to 200, maybe more. I have 10 stories, 35,000 words now, which is about 100 pages, plus another 7500 words in my story. I guess I want like 20 stories, and I need some killers as far as length, because I have some shorter pieces, and only a couple of longer ones. I realize all of this nervousness is completely masturbatory right now, but I’m always nervous about this shit right down to the point where I send in the PDFs.

I bought this pencam thing for like $30. It’s about as big as a snickers bar, maybe a little smaller, and takes 1.3MP pictures, albeit with a shitty plastic lens. I bought it thinking maybe I could hide it in my bag and easily get it places my current huge camera wouldn’t go, like in museums or something. Or just so I could walk around with the big tourist cam out. But I’ve found that the pictures are mostly awful, unless you’re outside in broad daylight. They do have a sort of artsy-fartsy lo-fi thing, though, like an old 110 camera. The other problem is that it beeps incessantly and loudly, when you turn it on, off, take a picture, low light, etc etc. I wish I could crack it open and cut the speaker out of it. Maybe I will.

Going to brunch in an hour. I should probably work on my story more and then find some shoes and socks.