INTERIOR: Jonathan's Apartment – Day
Something I forgot from last week's blog: Ray mentions that he hasn't been to the dentist in fourteen years, which is about how long I went between visits, though it may have been closer to 19 or 20 years. But because of 'Bored to Death' and becoming a member of the Writer's Guild, I finally had health insurance and so I thought I should go. I was a little worried what might be discovered, though for years, as a precaution, I had been practicing self-dentistry - I would buy these scrapers at the drugstore and give myself a thorough cleaning at least once-a-week, since I knew that gum disease and plaque were the biggest issues that a human mouth could face.
Anyway, when I told the dental hygienist that I hadn't been to a dentist since perhaps about 1990, she became very upset. She said I would need to schedule a second appointment, that she didn't have the time, in one session, to clean a mouth that had been so neglected. This got me worried and I asked for gas. She was visibly annoyed with me and seemed further insulted when I told her that at least I had been doing my own cleanings for quite some time.
With passive-aggressive hostility palpable in her every move, she set the gas up, which cost me an extra seventy-five dollars. She put the thing over my mouth and asked if I felt anything. I was still sad and low, my usual operating conditions, so I motioned to the hygienist to crank it up, which further alienated her, but she turned the knob and I immediately started to feel happy and dreamy as my sad brain cells were destroyed. "Better?" she asked. I nodded yes, and she went to work.
After about fifteen minutes, maybe less, she was done and her mood was markedly different. She wasn't angry with me at all any more. In fact, she was quite sweet. She couldn't believe how clean my teeth were - I wasn't going to need a second session. She even seemed now to consider me something of a peer and praised me for the excellent job I had done maintaining my own mouth as a starving artist.
Then the dentist came in and I had no cavities, though some ancient mercury-laced fillings were loose and needed to be replaced. I asked the dentist if my old fillings had been leaking mercury into my mind and he said he couldn't be sure...Anyway, that's my little dentist story, which I feel like I wrote in last year's blog. Who knows? The mercury that leaked into my brain has destroyed, as George Christopher says, my short-term and long-term memory. (That's a line from episode 2 of this season, and I wanted George to add, "I'm like the character in'‘Memento.' I just move from the present to the present." But I cut that. Not sure why.)
So episode 6. Jonathan's apartment. What to say? Well, I have him call the "hero" of his story "Harry Parker," because I've always liked the name "Harry," but mostly because I was reading these novels by Richard Stark (a pseudonym for Donald Westlake) and his main protagonist is this amazing criminal known only as "Parker." I was reading those books while working on season 2 and so became enchanted with the name "Parker"...
About Jonathan's apartment: it's modeled after my apartment, though his place is a lot nicer than mine.