short story by Rodney E.J. Chang
Dr. Charlie Swanson, a 59-year old dentist in Honolulu,
was disappointed. His planned
vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii was canceled.
His partner had to take emergency leave so he had to remain and cover in
the clinic. So it can go for a small
private dental office.
One evening as he laid in bed awaiting sleep, he thought of his Big
Island retreat in the rain forest, up close to the national park with volcanoes
still fuming. In his mind's eye he
saw his favorite poster of pop stars that graced a wall of his private dance
It was the one of Whitney Houston, his favorite disco singer for whom he
had a crush on in the '80s.
The memory would later lead him to play again DVDs of the singer on the
television sets, installed in his dental treatment rooms for patient
With such a mind set, Charlie dozed off.
“Miss Houston,” said Charlie, “you have two cavities on your upper right teeth.”
“Go ahead, Doc, do your thing. But numb me good.”
It was an honor to have this super star as a patient. The singer loved to
vacation in the islands and Dr. Swanson was her local dentist.
He cleaned her teeth, removing green stains caused from smoking.
After the procedure were done, this time Charlie dared to ask,
“As you know, I'm a big, big fan of yours. I brought a photo of you to the clinic. Would you be so kind as to autograph it for me?”
“Why sure, Doc. No problem.”
As he admired the autograph, Whitney said,
“Hey Doc, lean over and check my front tooth.”
She could be a rascal. When he came up close to examine her tooth, Whitney quickly laid a kiss on his cheek, catching him by surprise.
“That's for all the good work you've done for me. I wanted to show you my appreciation.”
Loud, rattling noise shattered the precious moment.
Charlie's hand reflexively slammed on the bedside alarm clock, shutting it off.
From downstairs, his wife, an earlier riser, shouted,
“Hey lazy head, breakfast is getting cold. Ya better get up - I'm not calling you again. Get out of that bed NOW before you're also late for work!”
this story is exactly how it occurred in real life.