Wednesday, February 06, 2002

I felt like I was in California.

My dentist is a modern gal. And expensive too. But those dollars go for patient-comforts like a CD selection so every patient can listen to what they like. Yesterday, I took advantage of her new toy - video headsets. That's right, it was a headset with two little screens in front of my eyes so I could watch a DVD of Steve Martin's "Roxanne" while she reduced two of my back teeth to pulpy stumps.

Happy, happy.

The mixture of dental gas and movie was a lot different than my previous mixture of dental gas and light classical music. Last time, when listening to music, I found my mind slowed to such a point that I was able to sink back and really enjoy the tunes. I heard the music as the composer probably intended - forget melodies and hooks, I heard emotions and landscapes. It was quite a pleasure. I started to like opera.

Watching "Roxanne" was totally different. First, that movie and I have something of a history. It was the first film my ex-girlfriend and I saw together more than a decade ago in NYC (we went to a free screening in midtown). I recall thinking it was a fun, well-written film. This time, under the influence of dental gas, I mentally dismembered the film. Instead of watching a movie, I saw the script. I saw every scene in the context of motivation and context. I was a screeenwriting teaching discussing if the joke was part of the plot or just Martin injecting humor into the script or how this bit of dialog revealed that plot set-up (I still can't figure out why Steve Martin was Shelly Duvale's "God Brother" except that it allowed them to be friends and not sexually interested in each other). I saw all the actors acting - some better than others - which is something I rarely notice unless it's outstandingly bad.

In short, I became a totally different sort of audience under the influence. And it was a lot different than getting drunk and watching a DVD. When that happens, I tend to like everything except the out and out crap.

So anyway, it was an experience. On Natalie's advice , I took two Alieve before going to the dentist. I ended up having virtually no pain last night or this morning. Not bad.

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