In my life, I have been punched, burned, busted, stomped, cut and
generally mutilated. Once a 105mm shell hit me in the side of the head.
No big deal.
I have had a few stitches, a lot of splints and a ruptured appendix.
That was about a dozen years ago.
Once upon a time I played a rugby game with an open fracture in my
right ankle and never knew it until the match ended and I crumbled as I
walked off the pitch. Doctors said something about adrenaline.
This is not to say I am immune to physical pain. All of the above hurt,
hurt a lot. Heck when that 105 hit me, I lost a tooth and spit blood for
most of a week. What it is to say is that I can tolerate physical pain.
This does not include moral, spiritual and psychological pain, which I
do not and cannot tolerate any better than the next human being. But
what I can say is that physical pain has not been a cause for tears on
my part since I was a tad. I have cried, of course, a thousand tears
because of moral, spiritual and psychological pain. I once cried across
four states when the mother of my children ran off with them and
transported them out East. That one hurt a lot. But it was not physical
All of this is preamble to what I am now about to confess.
In the past two weeks, in the village of Monahans, in the county of
Ward, in the Great State of Texas, I have found physical pain that can
place a new emphasis on the terrors of Hades, physical pain that almost
reaches the soul-searing intensity of moral, spiritual and psychological
By Jerry Curry
For the last couple of weeks, the only thing between me and outright
screaming and crying has been a few milligrams of codeine-laced Tylenol.
Now don't call Eric White or Ben Keele or Dave Watts. This is legal
stuff. It was not cooked by some Bandido in Ojinaga, although it might
well have been produced by some maquilidora plant that flourishes
because of the ill-advised and misfortunate North American Free Trade
Agreement, which has restored the legality of slave labor, in Mexico if
not the United States.
This stuff is purchased by prescription (written by a Monahans dentist)
and, as the dopers would say, is pharmaceutical grade. It is
administered in conjunction with an antibiotic prescription of what
appears to be about a gallon of big red pills which if they don't cure
you will surely keep you regular.
Now you know. My problem is a tooth ache.
Go ahead, laugh. Pain is a personal thing.
This toothache has gotten to be the most personal physical pain I have
suffered in my existence on this planet or any other. I laughed when my
right shoulder got busted with that baseball bat in a conversation with
a bunch of Black Panthers back in '73. I don't laugh now, people.
This thing hurts. It hurts bad. It started hurting at 0300 hours on
Sunday, June 1.
I fought it and I ignored it until Friday June 6 when I decided to
produce Spotlight in about 30 minutes and find a dentist. I did this
because boss Steve Patterson was getting tired of me crying and moaning
as if Elvis had died all over again.
At noon that day, I rolled into the offices of Dr. T.V. Longbotham of
Monahans, who after appropriate technological and scientific
examinations determined that in fact I had a tooth ache. He gave me a
shot for the pain. He gave me the prescriptions and said he expected me
to see an oral surgeon for the problem which can be rectified as soon as
the antibiotics get rid of the infection, which he promises, eventually
The culprit is a wisdom tooth. Wisdom is pain.
Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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