To The Dentist I Did Go And Dying Verbs

8:24 am . . . I have a dentist appointment at 2 pm. I am freaking out. I am maintaining a calm exterior here at work, because I am a professional, but internally I am roiling with anxiety. What if the freezing doesn't take like the time I had my wisdoms out? When I went for my check-up a week ago, the assistant told me that stress can be a factor sometimes in whether or not the freezing takes. Well, I can tell you right now, I'm stressing out. Finding out that stress is a factor has done nothing to help me stop stressing about needles and drills and whatnot. I know, I will think of something else. I will divert my own attention by playing a game. The game shall be called "Things that People Hardly Do These Days", and it will save me from gerbil-like circles that my thoughts have become.

Things that People Hardly Do These Days
Earlier, I used the work "roil", and was reminded of all the verbs that have fallen out of use. It is surprising what things people don't do much anymore (resources are Merriam-Webster OnLine and the Online Etymology Dictionary):
  • Roil - This is a natural one to start with, because my insides are doing it. It means "to make turbid by stirring up the sediment or dregs of". It began with the Latin noun robigo meaning "rust", in the Old French rouiller it was "mud, rust", in the Middle French rouil it became the adjective "muddy, rusty", and in the Middle English roil it became a verb meaning "to roam or rove about". It has been about in its present form since 1590.
  • Gnash - Maybe we use this one less because there is less fear of Hell these days. It means "to strike or grind (as the teeth) together". It possibly originated with the Old Norse gnastan, meaning "a gnashing", and it may have been imitative. It shows up around 1300 in Middle English as gnasten, which meant "to gnash the teeth", and then as its modern variant in 1496.
  • Gambol - This one still shows up in poetry, but that's where words often go to die. It means "to skip about in play". This verb first showed up in 1508. The Greek kampe meant "bend", then the Late Latin gamba meant "horse's hock or leg". From there, the Middle French gambada moved to the 1513 word gambolde, meaning "a leap or spring".
  • Whelm - We are often overwhelmed, I have even experienced being underwhelmed, but there is not a whole lot of whelming going on these days. I can't even recall the last time I whelmed. Its first definition is "to turn (as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something; to cover or engulf completely usually with disastrous effect", and the second definition is "to overcome in thought or feeling". There is no first date of appearance, but it showed up in Wessex Saxon as hwielfan, in Mercian as hwelfan and ahwelfan, which meant "cover over" and was probably altered by association with the Old English helmian, "to cover".
  • Plash - This word is so close in meaning to another very like it that it could be considered almost useless, but not by me. There is a feeling to this word that the other doesn't have. Sadly, this, too, has been relegated almost solely to poetic works. It means "to cause a splashing or a spattering effect" or "to break the surface of (water)". It was first recorded in 1513 as meaning "noise made by splashing", derived from the Old English plæsc, which meant "pool of water, puddle".
  • Bogart - This one is not very old, seeing as it originated in 1969. It meant "to hold a joint in your mouth" and leave it dangling from your lip like Humphrey Bogart instead of passing it on. The verb was first used in the movie "Easy Rider". The word was also used in the 1960s, meaning "to get something by intimidation, to be a tough guy". When I was in grades eleven and twelve, my friends and I sometimes referred to cigarettes as "bogarts", so this is one I have quite a fondness for.
  • Jape - This is a word I use in Scrabble to piss people off. It means "to say or do something jokingly or mockingly" or "to make mocking fun of". It first showed up around 1300 as "to trick or beguile", possibly from the Old French japer, which meant "to howl", or from the Old French gaber, which meant "to mock, deride". It took on the slang sense of "to have sex with" around 1450, and then disappeared from polite language. It found its second wind in Middle English with the meaning "to say or do something in jest".

    11:34 am . . . I leave work in twenty-six minutes. I am going to go home, eat some lunch, and maybe resort to some creative visualization in order to try to remain calm. The above list helped to keep me focused on something other than my impending dentist thing, but now I am peeing every twenty minutes. Anxious tension makes me pee. I hate the word "pee". I know it sounds just like saying the letter P, but still I hate it. In a book I read as a child, peeing was referred to as "making". "I have to make," a character would say. Oh, god, I am suffering here. Maybe I'll take those knock-em-out antihistamines that the Fiery One brought home and force some relaxation on myself. Why don't red and pink go together? I know that they don't go together, but I just don't know why. If a lighter shade of a colour almost always goes with the darker shade, why not pink and red, when pink is merely a lighter shade of red? Maybe it is because we all know deep down that pink should be obliterated. What am I saying?! I loved Luva's pink sneakers, and I have a pair of pants with a hot pink stripe down the side of each leg.
    11:43 am . . . Seventeen minutes. In seventeen minutes, I will still have two hours before I have to crawl up into that dentist chair. I think I'm so anxious about leaving work today because it symbolizes another leap toward the inevitable. Okay, maybe it's not inevitable. I could do what I did as a kid and hide out at the ball diamond, toeing the red ball diamond gravel with my sneaker and waiting for eternity to end so I can go home at a less conspicuous time. No. That's ridiculous. I am a grown-up (mostly), so I will go.
    3:45 pm . . . I weathered the dentist’s waiting room, I weathered the fifteen-minute wait in the dentist’s chair, and I weathered that raincoat thingy and the needle and all the drilling that took three different drill bits and a pointy metal hook. I didn’t even cry, even though I almost did a handful of times while they left me staring at the ceiling watching the floaties in my eyes swirl around the fluorescent lights. I warned them that even if the freezing did take that it would probably wear off quickly, and it did. I mean, it did take, and then it wore off quickly. Just as she was finishing up, I felt a twinge of pain shoot up a nerve like I was chewing on tinfoil. It was nearly impeccable timing on the part of my nerves. At any rate, I am at home, I have no pain at the moment, and I am hungry as hell and have to wait for a couple of more hours before I can eat anything. I think I will lie down for a nap and sleep off the residual anxiety. I have to keep my strength up for next week’s round, which will include three times the dental work. Wee!

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