I went to a new dentist, and one of the questions on the medical history sheet was “Any unresolved stress in your life?” I left it blank for a little bit, then went back and circled Yes.

The dentist asked me about it—I said it’s just general stress, downplaying it. I wanted to say I’m an assistant professor, and we are all stressed—about the book, about tenure, about the eighty projects we’ve got floating around in our minds. it’s not like I’m going through a divorce, or layoffs at work.

But yeah, pretty much living in a permanent state of tension.

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