I have really felt out of sorts lately, between a weird lingering cold-type virus, secondary bacterial issues, and side-effects from various medications – especially the hard-core antibiotic to which we finally had to resort and the massive gastro-intestinal celebrity death-match brought upon by said wonder drug. And I haven’t been sleeping very well either.
So I get home at 2am Monday night/Tuesday morning just beat to shit after sitting at a laptop at the Rock Hall for six hours straight (one potty break), loving doing the live blogging of the Induction ceremony (the best one I’ve ever seen), but with neck and shoulders virtually seized up from the experience, and feeling the full weight of all the other crap I’ve already complained about.
Everyone is asleep of course, and I’m tiptoeing around, going through all my getting-ready-for-bed rituals: taking all my stupid pills, washing my face, dropping in eye drops, whiffing up my allergy spray. And I am fanatical about oral hygiene, since the last time I had dental coverage was around the end of the Reagan administration. So I floss to the bone and work my Oral-B Advance Power Bright Electric Toothbrush Oral Care 980TX that Dawn gave me for Christmas with a diligence approaching mental illness: no matter what else is going on in my life, at least I know my teeth are clean and my gums as pink and jolly as a field of cotton candy.
I lift the brush off the handy recharging stand, push the rubber-coated button to start it, and start vibrating. Strictly observing ADA-approved directional, temporal, and geographical brushing methods and techniques, I feel my cares being scrubbed away along with bacteria and food particles until the built-in timer says my task is done.
I reach for the rubber-coated “off” button – nothing happens – the vibrations continue apace. Perplexed, I push the button more forcefully. If anything, it pulses even more madly.
I jam my thumb into the button again and again and realize I am grunting like a rutting boar and hopping up and down causing the floor to throb menacingly at 2:30 in the morning, with five other people asleep in the house (my oldest daughter is visiting from school).
I am jamming, shaking and beating the thing like a Taliban wife, and still it buzzes on. Suddenly, it occurs to me in this long dark tea-time of the soul that my toothbrush is possessed.
No, I mean really.
The oral poltergeist mocks my every effort to shut it down. I am perspiring and feel the walls closing in, the more I shake, slam and bam it, the louder it gets, the more viciously it palpitates. I feel a feral cry rising in my throat which I am barely able to stifle.
In desperation, I ram Satan’s tooth scrubber back onto its recharging post. It stops. I lift it slightly. It whirs back to life before I shove it back down. I pull the plug on the recharger. It’s alive again. I plug it back in. Silence.
I stand there shaking for at least a minute, scenes from The Exorcist running through what’s left of my febrile mind, before it occurs to me to feel around the brush and the recharger to make sure they aren’t heating up. They aren’t – I go to bed.
In the morning everything works normally, as if nothing untoward ever happened. The demon has moved on.