Discover more from Diary of Sisyphus
Sisyphus goes to the dentist
and ponders the illusory nature of truth.
I laid there, mouth agape, like a slut for dental hygiene, while a woman named Cookie stuck her fingers in my mouth. There’s a real BDSM-like quality to the dentist’s office. Too bad I’m not into it. I have a difficult time getting an erection while bleeding.
Am I a good person?
I’ve really been stuck on that question lately. This is what happens when you smoke too much weed. You start asking yourself questions you don’t want the answer to. You start poking around in the subconscious basement of your mind, looking for the uncomfortable truths that your ego hid there. I’m playing a dangerous game.
“I just need you to open a little wider for me,” Cookie said.
There is a way to look at me where you go, man, that guy is a real piece of shit.
I’m broke, I’m an alcoholic, I drive a literal box of shit, I’m a terrible employee, I’m kinda mean to my wife, I have man tits— like, this isn’t a good resume.
I have a terrible attitude, I’m a chronic masturbator, I talk about killing myself constantly— the list goes on. How my wife puts up with this shit is anybody’s guess. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably be dead in a gutter somewhere.
People tell you to be positive but how are you supposed to have confidence when you see Dickhead Magoo staring back at you in the mirror?
Ever since the pandemic, I’ve been a shell of my former self. I’ve been a goddamn walnut. Things really kicked into high gear when I got sober last year. That’s when all the bipolar gremlins came out to play. There was no booze to keep them sedated. My brain became a goddamn free-for-all.
“Are you an intrusive thought? Well get your ass in here, fella, the more the merrier. Over there, on the couch, that’s my deep-seated narcissism. And there, against the wall, that’s my crippling social anxiety. In the kitchen, eating an entire sleeve of Oreo’s, that’s my addictive personality. Come on in, make yourself at home!”
When you throw a party, there’s always a tipping point. The party starts with you being kinda nervous that people aren’t gonna have fun. You might bring out the karaoke machine or a round of shots to break the ice. Then 11 p.m. rolls around, and you pull a complete 180. You suddenly remember that you actually hate these people and you want them out of your goddamn house. You’ve reached the tipping point. Everything you do, from that point on, is to minimize fun. You subtly sabotage your own party. You want awkward silences. You want people to get bored and leave. Get out of my fucking house!
That’s kinda how my brain has felt for the last three years. I’m just tired, man. I’m so tired. I’m tired of having to wake up and do this shit every day. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m on all the pills. I’ve done all the therapy. None of it works. Everybody wants to treat the symptoms, not the cause of the problem. Nobody has the balls to go down that existential rabbit hole and address the larger spiritual issue at hand, which is that I’m not sure if there’s a point to being alive.
“Ow, fuck!” My whole body involuntarily spasmed.
“Seems like you have a little sensitivity there,” Cookie said.
You think? Goddamn it, woman! Is there anything worse than going to the dentist? I think it’s third behind the Holocaust and 9/11.
“I’m noticing some abrasion in that area, probably from brushing too hard,” she said.
Brushing too hard, ain’t that the fucking metaphor? In an effort to scrub away my sins, I’m causing more damage. I’m like a Pokémon, hurting itself in its own confusion. It’s this constant pendulum swing in my life. Whether I’m being good or being a jackass, I’m doing it in a way that hurts me. The common thread is self-inflicted pain. Maybe I am a masocist.
“I’d recommend buying an electric toothbrush,” she said. “They even sell ones that turn off when you apply too much pressure. If your wife wants one, they sell two-packs at Costco!”
“I’ll have to check that out,” I said, knowing damn well I’m not gonna do that.
I like talking to Cookie. I like medical personnel in general. Abby hates going to the doctor but I love it. It’s fun watching people be good at their job. The internet calls it competency porn. I call it an excuse for human contact. I am literally 75 years old.
“How often have you been flossing?” Cookie asked.
This fucking question again. Almost never, alright? Only when there’s a popcorn kernel or piece of chicken stuck in my teeth, OK? Is that what you want to hear!? God, I feel like I’m back in church. My penance is gonna be 10 Hail Marys and a fluoride treatment.
Speaking of which, why the fuck do we have to pay for fluoride now? I guess it’s no longer covered by most insurances? Since when? Somebody at BIG FLUORIDE really dropped the ball.
“Like, a couple times a week,” I lied. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Or have I?
I’ve been lying to myself, mostly— telling myself all this negative shit… I’ve been clinging to this narrative that I’m a bad person and my life is falling apart. I think I’m doing that because I’m afraid of the alternative— that this is just a normal human experience and I’ll get over it.
“You’ll get over it.”
That feels so dismissive. And even worse— if it’s true, that means I’ve been beating myself up for nothing. I’ve been… brushing too hard.
Fuck, I’m an idiot.
Therein lies the problem with value judgements. We say things are good or bad, but we rarely define how good or bad they are, compared to other good and bad things. We’re not thinking about the Armenian genocide when we stub our toe on the end table. Getting fired from your job makes you forget about the military industrial complex. We forget how insignificant our problems are in the grand scheme of the world, let alone the universe. We almost never have the proper perspective.
Seeing an outcome as either positive or negative will only throw our reaction to it completely out of wack, distracting and hurting us in the process. When you try to define the world, you can only be wrong.
I wish there was a dentist for your brain. I need somebody to scrape off the plaque— give it the old factory reset. I’d show up early and stay late for that appointment— I don’t care how long they have to finger blast my mouth.
Cookie handed me my usual goodie bag and I headed for the door. I wish more places did goodie bags. Like if the gym gave you a bag with a dumbbell in it, or if Macy’s gave you a dime bag of perfume. Goodie bags are good for the world. They inspire hope.
Am I a good person?
I don’t think it matters.
I don’t think thinking about it helps, either. It’ll only make me more depressed or puff up my ego, neither of which is good. It’ll only make me cling to a fake idea of myself. I think most “good” people are only considered “good” because they’re “good” at marketing themselves. They know how to hide their shadow and live in their ego. They’re repressed people. But you’re not. You’re free. So how about just enjoy that and stop torturing yourself, you fucking retard.
I pulled into the driveway. Abby was in the front yard with Butter.
“How was the dentist?” she asked.
“The usual,” I said. “Do we have a membership to Costco?”