Family Trees and Wise Teeth
January 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
On Sunday night, my parents went to the airport to pick up a distant relative, who is currently a freshman at Virginia Tech. Apparently, his great-grandpa is my grandpa’s oldest brother, which makes this boy a distant nephew of mine, and it makes him my mother’s cousin. My mom said she would draw me a family tree, but she never got around to it.
His flight arrived around 11:30PM [way to be considerate of people who have work the next day…], and I made sure to leave my makeup and normal clothes on until they got home because I expressly wanted him to see how I normally look before getting my wisdom teeth removed the next day LOL. Is that vain? I just wanted to make a good impression.
They didn’t get home until 1:45AM, by which time my brother was already asleep. I padded downstairs and met a skinny boy who towered over both my parents.
“You can call him dà wēi,” my mom said.
“Do you have an English name?” I asked him.
“Mahoné,” he replied.
“…Is that a Hawaiian name?”
This boy was clearly atypical, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. At least he was a lot cuter than our last house guest. My parents set him up in the guest room and we all went to sleep.
The pre-surgery instructions directed me not to eat for six hours before surgery. I thought it would be easy, since I’m usually not hungry in the morning anyway. The instructions also prohibited makeup and nail polish, which made me laugh. I mean, I wasn’t about to make myself pretty for surgery, but how would nail polish affect anything? I typically always wear both, and I wasn’t about to remove my nail polish for no reason. What a waste.
The next morning, I woke up in a foul mood for some reason. I was hungry but couldn’t eat anything, and sat in the car hating everything about the world on the way to the oral surgeon. Mother didn’t help things. I dislike being in the car alone with her because there’s no way to escape if she starts lecturing me, and I certainly didn’t want to hear it that morning.
But it came anyway.
“Are you being serious about looking for a job? Do you understand what your choices are after graduation? What use is it if your father and I came to America if you’re going to be as poor as we were when you graduate?”
During his sermon the previous day, Pastor Alex said that on average, parents and children have 38 minutes of meaningful conversation a day. In my family, I think it’s less than 10% of that even if you combine my brother and me.
Mother was left in the waiting room as the nurses led me into the operating room. I felt nervous. I hate the thought of surgery, the thought of being cut open, the thought of drugs making me lose control of my body, everything. They fitted a tube around my nose for laughing gas, but I still felt too aware. When the IV needle pricked into the back of my hand, I closed my eyes and tried hard not to think about that one summer in China when I got pneumonia and had a needle stuck in my hand every day for two weeks.
One of the nurses fitted something onto my fingertip.
“Let me see if this will read through your nail polish,” she said. Oops. I wondered if they had nail polish remover in their office, but it turned out to be okay. Good thing I only painted two coats this time.
Eventually I lost consciousness. I vague remember the feeling of plastic instruments being shoved into my mouth, which is quite undignified if I think about it, but that’s all I can recall. I awakened with gauze in the far corners of my mouth and a numb bottom lip. We went home and I removed the semi-bloody gauze, sipped on a bit of chicken rice soup [while avoiding the chicken & rice], took my three pills [one for swelling, one for pain, and one for infections], put more gauze in and went to bed.
That night, my aunt’s family came over for dinner to welcome Mahone to town. They made dumplings — I’ve never wanted to eat dumplings so badly in my life [well except maybe when I watched Kung Fu Panda]. Instead, I sat next to Mahone and silently sulked over some bland egg pudding my aunt kindly made for me. She also kept asking me questions about my jaw, which I had difficulty answering due to the swelling. Moral of the story: Don’t try to get me to talk to you if I can barely open my mouth wide enough to stick a spoon in.
I noticed that Mahone wore one tiny earring in each earlobe. Interesting. During dinner, someone asked about his hair, which seemed an artificial brown color.
“Actually, I have naturally brown hair,” he replied. “My mom says that my father had light hair when he was young too, and it turned darker as he got older.”
We all looked at him. I mean, the kid wasn’t that old, but 19 isn’t that young either, to have that kind of condition still lingering about.
“My hair is usually lighter than this, but I dyed it a darker shade of brown,” he continued. What an interesting fellow.
After finishing my meager portion, I took my meds and went back to my room. It was too depressing to watch other people eat what I couldn’t have. I eventually started feeling nauseated and dizzy, so I curled up in bed again and watched Kuragehime, which was an absolutely delightful anime.
I woke up around 9PM to take my medicine, went back to sleep, and awakened again around midnight still feeling nauseated. I really didn’t want to eat, but I had to take my pills, so I went downstairs to reluctantly scoop a bowl of ice cream. It was Oberweis Black Cherry, but I couldn’t even eat the cherry chunks.
Surprisingly, Mahone joined me in the kitchen. He was by the sink making himself hot water when I walked out of the bathroom.
“Thirsty?” I asked.
“Just not feeling well.”
I had brought my laptop downstairs with me.
“What are you watching?” he asked.
“Just…some Japanese cartoons,” I replied.
“Cool.” He took his cup of water and a small bowl of mixed nuts and bid me adieu.
I turned my attention back to my bowl. Ice cream is one of those foods [like chocolate cake and PB&J sandwiches] that I can eat forever and ever, so it was weird having to force myself to ingest it this time. The texture was smooth [once I scraped off all the freezer burns], but the enjoyment simply wasn’t there. I wasn’t even allowed to brush my teeth that day, so I just stumbled back into bed afterward.
The past few days have pretty much followed the same pattern. Wake up, nibble on something liquidy, sleep for a few hours, repeat. I didn’t shower for two days because really, there was no point. The good part is that my mom is actually taking care of me, unlike that one time I stayed home sick in elementary school and she made me clean out my closet, and nobody questions my strange eating or sleeping schedule.
On the other hand, I still have a squarely defined jawline, I can only open my already-small mouth partway, attempting to chew anything is exhausting, and I eat so slowly that my food gets cold before I’m even half done with it. Also, I’ve contributed even less to society than usual. I wonder when this parasitic lifestyle will get old? Life would be much easier if my house had a better Internet connection, too.
This is me as of yesterday [feel free to check out the “About Me” page for what I normally look like]:
And so I continue to sit on the couch while watching anime. Hopefully I will be well enough by tomorrow to pick my dad up from the airport!