“I have a cavity”


Working at a Dental Office you hear these diagnosis quite often. I work in a Dental Clinic that provides services for low income, uninsured and under-insured patients. I’m not categorizing all of my patients this way, but the majority of people we see have terrible oral hygiene practices. Some don’t feel the need to brush, let alone floss. So it’s inevitable. These patients will have cavities. Even some patients who observe extraordinary oral hygiene develop cavities. Granted those who brush and floss will experience less cavities than those who don’t, but I digress.

You know the feeling when you hear or say a word over and over again and the word loses its meaning, and starts to sound really funky? That’s how this term has become to me. I turned this word over so many times, letting it fill up my mouth and rotate over my tongue, that I started to develop a relationship with it. It was personal. This odd sound in my head and out of my mouth that meant nothing, and still something all at the same time. Me and Cavity. My Cavity and me. I had found this companion in a word that meant a little and a lot. A companion, not a friend. Just something that was always with me, and came with me where ever I would go. To church. To the store. To bed. In the shower. At work. On the drive home. Both of us dwelling and residing inside the same body.

Being pregnant makes you feel full. All the time. You start to expand and everything inside you feels so squished that there’s no room to be empty. Except with me there’s always that cavity. Always that space that doesn’t fill up, and makes me wonder why (if I’m growing a Tiny Human inside of my body, and it’s not really that big of a body) do I feel like I’m still not full. The cavity may be in my head, but it feels like it’s in the center of who I am. There’s this empty, airy, open space that is hard and calloused. This enclosed circle that is surrounded by rock, with no possible cracks or crevices to let anything through. Even the really drippy emotions that cause lots of reactions couldn’t flow into the space. It’s completely enclosed – and I don’t know what to do with it. It’s untouchable, unfillable, and unbelievably stable. In fact, it’s probably the most stable thing about me. And I think that’s scary.

I have a Cavity.


I have a relationship with the Cavity, and it’s the longest relationship I’ve ever been in.



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