A root canal means a trip to the dentist. Something most people would frown on. Personally, I used to dread the dentist. That's precisely why I've decided to write about my trip to the dentist.
The prison I am currently housed at does not have the facilities to treat dental problems. Or, even give X-rays for that matter. Instead, they transfer you to another institution for all your dental needs. Previously, I wrote about my need of dental attention. Well, last week they called me in for a dental exam.
I was called into a tiled room where a middle-eastern dude was standing beside a purple felt chair. He directed me to sit in the purple felt chair. Then he asked me to lean my head back. He switched on a coal-miners head lamp he had Velcro-ed to his head. He leans over me and sticks his finger in my mouth. He then states the obvious..."it appears the tooth is still intact." I think he's talking to me, until someone gives a reply from the shadows somewhere deeper within the room.
I then see the detnal assistant holding a clipboard. The whole experience was gangster.
The middle-eastern man, wearing the coal miners lamp, then tells his assistant, "We will need a new X-ray of his tooth since the last one was taken just over two years ago..." Gosh, I hadn't realized that much time went by. They send me on my way. Honestly I wondered how many more years would pass before the X-ray. Well, well....
The very next morning an officer wakes me up at 4:15 a.m. A hell of a time to head to the dentist. That was my thoughts exactly. I'm taken with six others into a loading area. We are told to strip nude, shake our clothes out, then hand them to an officer to inspect. We are then told to spread our butt cheeks, squat and cough. Obviously before the dental exam, they take a rectal exam.
After being humiliated we are told to redress. I'm the only white guy so obviously I feel humiliated....well, and it's cold at 4:20 a.m. for Christ's sake. Now that our rectal exam is complete, we can be handcuffed.
Each time you are transported, quite the lock down takes place. Feet are shackled together. Then handcuffs are installed. A chain is wrapped tight around your waist, so the cuffs can then be securely pulled close to you body and attached to your waist. Once all these restraints are in place, and your circulation has successfully been obstructed, you can then begin transfer. That's after you march half a mile across the compound to where the van awaits your pick up.
At the van, an officer identifies you with a file of you personal information. He asks you questions like..."What's your mother's maiden name?" "What's the place of your birth?" "What's your social security number?" And....if you're like me, you are never asked this shit. Too much time has passed. I'm cold, it's now only 7 a.m. and I have to pee. My mother's maiden name? I have no clue.
So that officer gets pissed. Calls you a dumb ass, a= few other things, and then pushes you onto the bus. From there the van drives a whole 200 feet. Then your at some other gate and the officers get some guns and now we can finally blow this popsicle stand and get an X-ray. Except instead you drive an hour, then arrive at another prison where you have to pick up two more dudes.
And the whole earlier process is reversed. Guns dropped off, gate opens, drive onto compound, van stops. You sit while guards smoke a cig, then load up the other guys. Once again, you're back on the road and headed to get an X-ray. At last you're moving down the road.
At the first intersection I can see people pumping gas. This makes me smile. That used to be me. Standing beside my car, pumping gas. That person at the pump is free. I used to be free. And I forget that the circulation to my feet and hands has been cut off.
I'm watching free people do free world stuff. What I would give to be the man at the pump.
Don't take your life and freedom for granted, and make sure to brush and floss twice a day! Doctors orders.