I find myself hanging on to wise things wise women have told me, and I find myself fingering the iron ring on my right hand, remembering what it's there for.  Remembering its silver lining. 

In the dentist's chair, I learn that all of my teeth's pockets are of normal depth.  All thirty-two teeth, one through sixteen up, around, and back, seventeen through thirty-two down, around, and back.  The dentist sticks his little crook into one of the wisdom teeth the old dentist never took; the crook sticks; I know it's small bad news; and indeed it looks as though I'll soon get my life's second filling.  Briefly we talk orthodontics, the possibility of tooth removal and re-straightening.  Only later do I realize how fully another stint in braces is not in my future.  And only later than that do I realize how much Parker Posey has to do with my refusal to get re-braced.  

All day--except for a brief spell in the late morning when the sun shines through the high windows of the campus auditorium--the sky spits snow, hurls tiny balls of ice at us.  I wear my winter coat for the first time in weeks.  I think, and I think, and I think, and it turns out to have been a down day, and that, I trust, will turn out to be all right, when all is said and done.