A look of disgust invariably crosses my face when I stand in front of the entrance. What with a glass door, subtly lit veneer walls, the depressingly dull blue stripes on the seat covers and frosted glass in the distance-all signs that scream SUCCESS- the first thought that crosses my mind is Dude this guy must be rich! And not you-and-me rich. More of the fancy car driving, spoiling-the-child kind of rich achiever that makes me sick with the way people have commercialised their talents. No- that isn't right, there's a simpler, altogether more descriptive word for it- sick with ENVY.
Well, I snobbishly think to myself- Atleast I'm an intellectual. I have Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk's celebrated novel My Name is Red in my hand- holding it casually with my finger inside making sure everyone can see the title printed in big red letters. To hell with the air conditioning, the pretty-(actually radiant)- secretary biting her pencil trying to figure out the supremely difficult task of who goes in next, all the time blissfully unaware of the fact that her blouse is too tight and things are playing peek-a-boo. It's then- in the midst of this hide and seek that I wonder why she's playing these devious sexual games with me here of all the places. And it's then that I hear a disapproving cough coming from the toady mouth of an overdressed, overweight high society type who gives me the head to toe look. Cool, I think- maybe she's a cougar checking me out- and then her upper lip curls in disdain when she sees that I'm wearing fading, ancient jeans, a dirty grey T shirt and Woodland footwear so discoloured that it's original colour is unrecognizable.
I sit down between my would be cougar lover and the secretary who's obviously so into me that she knows her top button's open and the- well- twins seem to be much bigger than when I last saw them. She's had a boob job done just for me! If that isn't true love, if that isn't the sweet, innocent love that lit doyen Keats- or was it Playboy- wrote about, then I don't know what is.
Well I think- maybe this visit isn't going to be so bad. I've found someone who's ready to enhance herself for me- that can never be a bad thing.
Absolute power is terrible. There are places where you are so completely under someone's control- and this I don't mean in a wink-wink way- that you just can't do a fucking thing. All you can do is to lie down and take it. Even the Queen of England has to submit body and soul to this man once a year. He enjoys men, women, children, virgins- there's no end to his escapades. And what's worse, even in these days of laws and civilization, this ancient profession exists. And thrives.
And then the moment of truth arrives. It's time for me to get mine. The frosted door opens and there he stands- a balding, short paunchy man- the same man who just had a session with my sister the previous day- and he points to me and beckons. The secretary gets up. My eyes travel down to discover to my horror that she's pregnant. And that I'd been ogling a pregnant much married woman.
Fear. That's what it is. Fear of the unthinkable. Fear- that makes you think all kinds of stuff.
And I go in. And the door closes.
And it is then that the dentist hands me a glass of water and says Rinse.