12 Days of Significance (31)

By: Meg Cabot
December 31, 2017

One in a 2017–2018 series of posts reprinting stories originally written — by 12 HILOBROW contributors and friends — for Josh Glenn and Rob Walker’s 2009–2010 anthropological-literary experiment SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS. See below for more info about this ongoing project.




So Brandon was going to Cabo for spring break and I saved up all my tip money for a year to chip in for the rental car to go with him.

But then at my last cleaning Dr. Jones said if I didn’t get my wisdom teeth pulled out right away my incisors were going to overlap, and I might never get my dream job as a television news journalist like Katie Couric.

“When was the last time you ate?” Dr. Jones wanted to know.

And I was all, “At my shift just now at Señora Mexicana.”

“That’s okay!” he yelled. “We can use a local!”

I tried to say no but Mom was all, “It’s much better this way, sweetie,” because I could recover during the break and not miss any classes. “Besides, Novocain is cheaper than anesthesia!”

Plus, I don’t think she’s ever liked Brandon.

I couldn’t even reach him in time to tell him what was going on. I could only reach my best friend Kara, who was still at her shift at Señora Mexicana.

Kara was like, “Oh, don’t worry, hon, I’ll find Brandon and take care of everything.” Which made me feel a little better.

And then the next thing I knew this nurse was jabbing needles into my gums and I heard this crunching sound and even though Dr. Jones said it wouldn’t hurt, it hurt a lot!

And then Mom was going, “Don’t worry, sweetie, you can do Cabo next year” as she helped me out to the minivan.

But the whole time I was lying on the couch in front of the TV, trying not to get dry sockets, Brandon never called. He never once called, or even texted.

The funny thing was, neither did Kara.

And then when he finally did show up, he was all, “I thought of you every minute, babe!”

And then he gave me this authentic wooden cow, or snake, or whatever it is. Real Mexican villagers carved it, he said.

But if so they must know Kara, because it looks exactly like her.

Especially the empty space where its heart should be.

Because it turns out Brandon found someone to take my place in the rental car.

Not to mention in his bed at the hotel room.

But I had a lot of time to think about it while I was waiting for the swelling to go down, and I decided it’s okay. I’m going to go back to school, and back to Señora Mexicana. I’m going to save up all my tip money.

Only not to go to Cabo. To go to New York City. To get an internship with Katie Couric, or some other empowering woman who knows the pain of betrayal and getting all your wisdom teeth pulled out with just Novocain.

And someday when I am anchoring my own half-hour national news show, Brandon and Kara will turn on their TV and see me and go:

“Wow. I used to know that girl.”


SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS at HILOBROW: PROJECT:OBJECT homepage | PROJECT:OBJECT newsletter | PROJECT:OBJECT objects (Threadless shop — all profits donated to the ACLU) | POLITICAL OBJECTS series (1Q2017) | TALISMANIC OBJECTS series (2Q2017) | ILLICIT OBJECTS series (3Q2017) | LOST OBJECTS vol. 1 series (4Q2017) | FLAIR series (2Q2018) | FOSSIL series (4Q2018). 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE . ALSO SEE: SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS website | SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS collection, ed. Rob Walker and Josh Glenn (Fantagraphics, 2012) | TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY, ed. Josh Glenn (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007) | TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY excerpts.

CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators