Not That Kind of Royalty

By Lea Page

April 26, 2021

Not That Kind of Royalty

 “So, you lost your crown,” the dentist says.

“Yes,” I reply. “Down the hatch.” I’ve learned that jokes are the best and maybe only antidote to terror.

My daughter often reminds me, “Don’t relive past traumas,” so I won’t describe the horror show of dental malfeasance that got me here. Not to the dentist’s chair—that’s simple: I swallowed a crown while eating a bowl of leftover rice. Here being: imploding dread, the body’s memory of pain.

I’ve had thirteen permanent crowns applied to six teeth. This is my fourteenth. I should be prepared for the aftermath. I’m home when the numbing medicine begins to wear off.

My daughter insists I call the dentist back. “You don’t have to suffer,” she says.

I’ve said a version of the same to her a multitude of times when she was hurting and there was nothing I could do. I would have done anything, but she wouldn’t—couldn’t—accept my help. I recognize the wild look in her eye, the willingness—no, desire—to go to battle.

She sits beside me on the sofa, pulls my head to her.

“Let me tell you about the funniest meme I saw today,” she says, leaning her cheek against my forehead. I’m already laughing, ready to be broken in this best, only, way.

“It said, ‘Let that sink in,’” she says. “And then there was a picture of a sink at the door.”

And I do. I let that sink in.


Lea Page’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Rumpus, The Pinch, Stonecoast Journal, Sycamore Review and High Desert Journal, among others. She is also the author of Parenting in the Here and Now (Floris Books, 2015). She lives in rural Montana with her husband and a small circus of semi-domesticated animals.


Picture by RU Recovery Ministries courtesy of Unsplash 

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