Friday, 06.29.2018 - 7:03 pm.
Well, this week has been eventful.
Monday: I lost a back tooth, not quite unexpectedly. I'd been in pain for weeks. My gums kept swelling over the weekend. When I went to the dentist's on Monday for what I thought was an infection, another dentist (mine was not available) confirmed that I had a cracked tooth and that there was nothing we could do to save it.
I could have kept the tooth in its place, but it was bound to crack in its entirety eventually. In the meantime, it would continue to behave the way it was behaving, giving me pain and swelling. This new dentist said I could go home to think about getting rid of it or he could just extract it on the spot. I felt I'd need some time to process the loss of a tooth. Then I said fuck it and told him to get it out.
The tooth came out in one piece in a minute or two. I kind of regret not asking to keep it. It was cracked indeed, though, all down to its roots. That sense of loss I feared lasted also a minute or two, and then it was mostly relief.
That tooth was causing a lot of trouble which I would blame on other factors. Also, I read that sometimes teeth might be removed to reduce teeth grinding, and maybe it's a placebo but I feel less pressure in my mouth now. I've been careful this week with the wound, I haven't touched the gap nor felt it with my tongue. I'm relieved but it still makes me nervous to think there's nothing there anymore.
This tooth is a good analogy for getting rid of things, or people, that are dear to you but have turned out to be more damaging than good for you to keep them around.
Wednesday: Andrew and I went to London to see Jack White!
It was a phone-free show, which I think is why Jack White is touring: finally no one will be pointing at him with their cameras and will instead enjoy the goddamned show. I remembered reading how much he hated the phone thing, that was the reason why he wouldn't tour anymore. I honestly thought I would never get to see him live.
Andrew and I took a train to London at noon on Wednesday, and we arrived by 3 pm. We rented a small room above a pub, to chill before the concert and spend the night afterwards. That was very cool.
The concert was...OK. I thought I'd enjoy it more, but (a) Jack White tends to be chaotic and out-of-tune, although that's his jam, and (b) I was somewhat on the edge of a mosh pit. The fucker next to me seemed like a nice gal, but as soon as Jack White came onstage, she started jumping like she was possessed and she scratched my leg. I started to jump, too, until the taste of blood in my mouth reminded me that I was not supposed to do any form of exercise yet due to my missing tooth. So I had to be somewhat calm during the concert, and maybe that also diminished my enjoyment of it.
It was a nice touch getting rid of the phones to enjoy the show much more. However, I was on the fifth row from the stage and I thought I'd get a good look at Jack White, but I had this tall guy right in front of me. The venue was hot. By the end of the concert I was a bit farther behind than when it had started.
Plus, I really did not appreciate this audience. They were pushing a lot, hurting other people, and many were very rude, trying to get nearer the stage (after we, the ones who were already there, had endured one hour under the sun waiting for the gates to open). The sound wasn't also great.
Yes, I guess I didn't enjoy the concert that much. But I still felt very lucky to be there. I couldn't believe I was seeing in person what I'd seen so many times in my Under Great White Northern Lights DVD (minus Meg White, unfortunately). The guy is all raw emotion and it's amazing watching him breaking hell loose. I wish I'd gotten a better view but I still smiled a couple of times out of sheer joy.
On our way back home after the concert, around midnight, Andrew and I stopped by a Burger King in one of the tube stations to get a late dinner. We were waiting for our order when we realized that the guy next to us was a famous Mexican singer, very well-known in the 1990s and 2000s. He wasn't nearly as fit as he was then, and he was dressed like a middle-aged man ready to watch the Sunday football match in his house, but the face was unmistakable.
Andrew and I debated whether to approach him and ask him for a photo. We were not fans, but we'd grown listening to his music anyway, we knew who he was. We decided against it, though. Look, I could run into Steven Tyler and not approach him, even if it kills me (and it might). I'd be too embarrassed to interrupt someone's life like that, even if this person is a celebrity who is used to this sort of thing. Andrew thought the same. It was late at night, the singer was out with friends at a fast food restaurant in the least glamorous fashion possible, and Andrew and I were also messed up after the concert.
When I mentioned our encounter to Andrea, a friend from Mexico who squeed and said she used to have on crush on this singer growing up, she said maybe this singer would have felt happy to come across people who knew him, specially being so far away from home. That may be true, but still.
Speaking of celebrities, Liv Tyler was at the Jack White concert. LIV TYLER AND I WERE AT THE SAME CONCERT. Obviously she was far away from us peasants, and she uploaded photos and videos of the concert, because the phone-free rule is not for rock 'n' roll royalty. LIV TYLER AND I WERE AT THE SAME CONCERT, I SAID.
Lastly, Andrew and I are enjoying having people over for some of the World Cup matches. It all started because of a coincidence:
Last Sunday, he and I went to the city's museum to see an exhibition and to have a light lunch. It was a nice date. As we were going home, before England's match started (we weren't planning on seeing it), we ran into a friend from the PhD who was crying because she'd had a huge fight with her boyfriend the night before. They had possibly broken up.
The coincidence was that this friend had sent the two of us a message early in the morning, asking if we would be up for coffee or something because she was going through a rough time and needed some company. Neither Andrew or I saw this message before going out, so we didn't know she'd contacted us. And then it turns out we run into her at the museum!
We took this friend under our wing, we told her to come home with us and we would watch the England match so she could take some distance from her problem for a bit. So then we said we could invite other people. We called Andrea, my Mexican friend, and the Colombian guy I have a crush on, both fellow PhD students, closer to finishing than Andrew and I. We invited other friends from the PhD but no one else was available.
The five of us watched the match. Or four of us did, as our brokenhearted friend did not stop texting and ultimately she left our house to go talk to her possibly ex-boyfriend. However, she asked if she could return and crash at our house because she wouldn't bear being alone and in so much pain. Andrew and I said yes, of course, and we prepared the guest bed in case she returned, but the four of us agreed -from experience- that she wouldn't. And she didn't. She got back together with her boyfriend.
Nevertheless, Andrea and the Colombian guy stayed for the evening match, too. It was a feast of Latin American accents, theirs, and Andrew's from Chile, and mine from Central America. Then the four of us watched Love Island, which for Andrew and I has become a car crash we cannot stop staring at.
And yesterday, Thursday, we did that again, the four of us. Andrea and the Colombian guy came to watch the England match, we ate pizza, chatted in different iterations of Spanish, and then watched Love Island. Fun.
This weekend I have an assignment: I'll be writing an article for the Doctoral magazine of the university! I submitted a pitch and it was accepted. I have a deadline in a few weeks, but I'm used to writing a lot, as you can see, so I'm hoping to have a first draft tomorrow. I'm excited to finally have something published here, in English. It's a simple text about making the PhD a priority but not let it take over one's life, here's hoping someone will like it and find it useful.