Yesterday was a friend’s going away party at work.  We had lunch at Uncle Julio’s, a local Mexican restaurant.  I was munching away on a basket of chips when I thought I bit on a course piece of cornmeal.  It wasn’t cornmeal.  It was my tooth.  Crushed that sucker to bits.  All that remains is the remnants of a filling and part of the back tooth.

I nearly went insane.  Not because of the pain, mind you.  I was going nuts because I could not stop licking the jagged stump of my tooth.  I was NOT in pain.  But I could not stop myself.  My tongue almost went raw from probing the broken tooth.  The only way I could stop myself was to buy “tooth spackle” to fill the hole.

That is when it hit me.  I was causing my own hell.  I had a mouth full of perfectly healthy teeth.  Nothing was protruding.  My tongue could lay flat in my mouth with no ill effect.  But I had to focus on the one tooth that was not working properly until I made myself miserable.

Religion is my tooth.  I have so many things in my life that go off without a hitch.  I live a blessed existence.  According to Forbes magazine, I live in the second most affluent county in the country.  I am married and have a brilliant son.  I have health insurance.  I have a secure job.  But what do I focus on?  How my religious upbringing wrecked my life.

Wrecked really???  Hmmm…

And You May Find Yourself Living In A Shotgun Shack
And You May Find Yourself In Another Part Of The World
And You May Find Yourself Behind The Wheel Of A Large Automobile
And You May Find Yourself In A Beautiful House, With A Beautiful wife
And You May Ask Yourself-Well…How Did I Get Here?

–Talking Heads, 1984

I live in heaven and I obsess about going to hell in the afterlife.  Note to self:  It’s not about you!  Get over it.  There are real people in real hell right now.  Do something about it.

I think I am a little too focused on my broken tooth.


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