The view beyond the windowpane is green grass, dotted with two-and one-story houses. Children learn to ride bicycles, training wheels in place. Grown-ups power walk along the curving sidewalks, deviating from their courses to avoid other adults wielding weed-whackers. The sky is so blue, dotted with puffy white clouds and wheeling birds. I want to join them—any of them. I want to be just about anywhere else but where I am: reclining in a dentist’ office with a paper bib chained around my neck.

I did say just about anywhere. However, I just watched a doorbell camera video of a beach house being destroyed by a Hurricane Dorian-spawned tornado. “Anywhere” doesn’t extend to the path of a hurricane.

But an impending trip to a dentist does cause me to lose sleep. In an effort to try to stay awake the next day, I asked the Internet how many people are more afraid of going to the dentist than their family doctor. In a Web MD piece reviewed by Michael C. Friedman, DDS, of Atlanta, GA, between nine and 20 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. An article in The Guardian cited a Japanese study that involved scanning people’s brains while playing them sounds of dental drills and suction instruments. Several other studies concluded that most of us fear tooth-doctoring not because we felt pain during a previous visit but because we remember the sound of drills. This makes sense. If my family physician came at me with a drill, I don’t think I could ever return to that waiting room.

Potbelly pig Clive had two three-inch tusks removed in August. We’re talking roots and all. The vet gave me the tusks in a plastic bag that I stuck in my purse and forgot about until last week in a checkout line. The extraction didn’t faze Clive, but I felt like crying, as did the clerk when I handed him the baggie along with my debit card.

In the end, my dentist’s appointment was fine. I bent the bridge of my glasses while clutching them during one procedure, but ordering new glasses doesn’t invade anything other than one’s checking account.