20 August 2019:
The white walls of the dentist office is not comforting. I sit in the dental chair, signing pages of documents allowing the dentist to perform the procedure. However, as I read and initial the documents, my thoughts are jumbled into an uncoherent scattering of madness. “I should get up and walk out right now!” To quiet my mind, I ask questions about the procedure. “What is the recovery time? Am I on a liquid diet again?” My doctor provides me with the answers to my questions and I hand back the documents.
He stands and pulls on his coat and mask, then he sanitizes his hands and puts his gloves on.
“Open your mouth and try to relax.”
I try to speak but he swabs my gums and prepares to insert my implants. I close my eyes and pray that the procedure is over quickly. To be honest, I don’t know what type of tools he used to insert the implants, but some type of object was placed in my mouth and the drilling begins. The smell of burnt flesh flooded my nostrils and I am transported to Fallujah.
“Oh God no, please forgive me. I’m sorry.”
My heart races furiously and I have a hard time breathing and swallowing. Suddenly the blaring of the alarm sounds and I feel rough hands pushing on my chest.
“Larry, you have got to breathe. Come on, breathe!”
I struggle to find my breath but finally, I can breathe again.
There seems to be no limit to my tears, or my remorse. Will there ever come a day when I no longer feel stained from the war?