The Complete “Falling into Place”

Links on the Believer Logger keep changing, and quite frankly, I like the formatting in the PDF more than online. So here it is in one place for posterity’s sake.

Laughing Buddha staff (Bodai/Maitreya Bodhisattva)

The boxer



Eternal knot

Right place, right time

September 23, 2021

Before I open the front door, I consciously remain calm so as to not to freak out Stella—and fail miserably. That’s what it means to be married to someone for 29 years. My right cheek is completely swollen. She gets up from the couch and looks at me.

“Are you okay?” I grin from ear to ear. 

“I’m fine, I’m fine…” 

“Then why do you look so weird? What’s that smile?” Saliva runs down my chin and splats on the floor. I laugh and wipe my face. “Shorry.” 

“Gross!” “

“Shorry!” I laugh again and wipe up my drool with a tissue I happen to have in my pocket. 

“Can you feel anything?”

“No.” I laugh again. “But even more important than that, I have something to tell you. You should sit down.” 

“What? What happened?” She looks stressed. To her fairness, she doesn’t know what’s happened, and imagines the worst.

“Is the car okay?”

“The car is fine. Have a seat. You should sit down for this.” 

December 2, 2020

X-rays flag the tooth as a potential problem down the road. There’s significant decay, almost down to the root. My dentist Dr. Xanthos proposes to eliminate as much of the rot as possible, though there’s no guarantee the procedure will be entirely successful. Nonetheless, to treat it now will lead to fewer problems later on; at least the bacteria will be kept at bay. 

I don’t know him well, though he’s been my dentist for years. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, since extended conversations don’t usually take place between dentists and their patients during appointments. 

April 17, 2017

“Do you work around here?” I nod. “Government?” I nod again. Dr. Xanthos gets lots of government clients, what with his practice being near the parliament buildings, and so many government employees having excellent benefits. “What ministry?” 



“Hah.” I nod once more. 

“Did you like school when you were a kid?”

“Un-hunh.” He inspects my gum line.

“I’ve heard that lots of people who become teachers do so because they had a positive experience in school when they were younger. I didn’t like school. I got beat up a lot because I was short. But the good thing is, I learned how to fight, how to defend myself. That’s the best thing that I learned in school. That’s what I’m going to teach my kids…how to stand up for themselves.”

I imagine his tiny, wiry frame as a child. Big head, lots of hair, thick horn-rimmed glasses, a purple t-shirt and brown corduroy floods. He lies on the ground. Two bigger kids stand over him. Seamus, the shorter of the two has straight hair, sports a mullet and wears a leather biker jacket, jeans and shin-height steel-toed army combat boots. Seamus kicks Xanthos in the head.

“What’s the matter with you, pussy?” Xanthos sobs and doesn’t put up a fight.

Actually, it’s me. Where the lacrosse box used to be. On the way home from school. Seamus jumps on top of me and swings his fist at my face. 

“I ended up in the military. I was a military dentist for a while.” Xanthos continues. One year service is mandatory in Greece.” He falls into silence as he continues to examine my gums. My jaw’s wide open as I stare through my protective glasses at the ceiling.

“Okay, so we’ll keep an eye on those two teeth, but you’re good for now.” 

Even though he’s not super tall, he’s kind of cute. He projects confidence. Tanned skin, mid-thirties, brown eyes. Sometimes confident people really get on my nerves. They give off this vibe that they’re so right about everything, like somehow that’s what’s important in life. Not that it doesn’t have its place, I’m all for rational investigative inquiry in the interests of revealing the truth. What’s important to you?

December 2, 2020

We discuss the procedure. I ask, “What would you do?” 

“I can’t tell you what to do. If your insurance can cover it, I can try to take care of it now if you want to avoid problems later on.” 

He and his assistant both wear double-filter N-95 masks with a protective screen in front. It’s the early days of the pandemic, and case numbers remain low on the island. I consider the risk negligible—better to do it now while I still can. 

To prepare for the worst I consume 100 mg of CBD capsules prior to my appointment. The drilling and grinding is invasive, but what do you expect? The whole treatment takes a little over two hours. Dr. Xanthos injects four needles to make sure there’s no pain, waits ten minutes and then pulls out the big guns, two much larger needles. Foam pads in the back of my jaw on both sides prevent me from fully closing my mouth. A suction drain remains in my mouth for the duration. 

Dr. Xanthos flirts with the dental hygienist, unless it’s my imagination. It’s hard to understand them, what with the masks and above the noise of machinery. It’s something about the way he looks at her, and the way she laughs nervously. I lie in the chair with my hands loosely cupped in my lap and go back to the breath. When the drilling is at its most intense, the CBD kicks in, in no uncertain terms—I look down on myself, feel the weight of the drill on my jaw, and smell the acrid scent of burnt enamel. 

Product’s applied and dried with a heat gun; the glue smells awful. When it’s all over, I’m exhausted. Back at work, it’s hard to focus.

Within weeks, I experience extreme nerve sensitivity in the area. It usually happens when I drink hot or cold liquids, but also sometimes when I chew hard foods. I book another appointment. It takes several weeks before I can get in.

The dental hygienist inspects my teeth, then leaves for a moment to consult with Doctor X. I hear him from the other side of the wall. 

“He probably needs a bite adjustment. Book him again for another meeting.”

February 02, 2021

The nerve sensitivity continues.

“You can go have a seat here, I’m just finishing up with another client and then I’ll be right in,” says Sandra, the hygienist. 

Alone in the dentist’s chair, I meditate. Ten minutes pass. Finally, Dr. Xanthos shows up.

“Yeah, so, basically, you don’t need a bite adjustment after all.” 

“But I thought you told me I needed one.”

“I think if you just use a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, you’ll be fine.”

“A medical toothpaste?” 

“Yeah, like Sensodyne.” 

“But you haven’t even looked at my mouth!” There’s a pause before he responds.

“You want me to look at your mouth? I can look at your mouth.”

He takes out his flashlight and approaches me.

“Open.” He shines the light inside.

“And close.” He turns the flashlight off.

“There. I’ve looked at your mouth. You just need some toothpaste for sensitive teeth.” I’m dumbfounded. To this day, I have no idea what happened. I switch dentists.

July 17, 2021

I get a second opinion from Dr. Wells, Stella’s dentist. It takes a couple of months since dentists have only just recently opened up, now that the risk of COVID—or at least the paranoid attitudes around it—have lessened. Dr. Wells’ practice is state of the art: she has two monitors on the wall in front of each dental chair, which display photos directly from patients’ mouths when she uses her camera. Her explanations are lucid and she uses just the right amount of physical contact. There’s often the sound of laughter in the facility, along with the busy hum of dental tools in action. 

The nerve sensitivity persists.

Dr. Wells identifies a small area of decay consistent with where I feel pain. She refers me to an endodontist, a specialist who deals with problems on the insides of teeth. The endodontist confirms that there’s some serious rot in the tooth and sends my X-rays to Dr. Wells.

Dr. Wells recommends that we pull the tooth and refers me to a dental surgeon. Oddly, the sensitivity in the tooth doesn’t seem as bad these days, except when I floss. I learn later it’s because the nerve has died.

Stella asks, “Why is it that you have to pay the surgeon up front if our insurance will cover this? Why can’t they just submit the information to the insurers?”

I ask the dental office manager. 

“First we have a consultation and there’s an associated fee, and once we know how to prepare your implant, you give us your insurance information, and we’ll see if the procedure is covered.”

“And how much does the consultation cost?”
“117 dollars.”

“I have to pay that up front?”


“I don’t understand.” says Stella. “That doesn’t make any sense. Why didn’t you ask for clarification?” 

“I did, but she just said that’s the way it’s done.”

“And you just accepted that?”
“Well what do you want me to do? That’s the way it is, apparently.”

“But it doesn’t make sense!” 

“I know. But look. We’ll get the money back. Maybe he just wants to make sure he gets all his money up front. The consultation is only $117.00. What am I going to do? Not have the surgery?”

“No, that’s not what I’m saying. But a consultation? That doesn’t make sense.”

“That’s what the first meeting is, I think. That’s what I remember the receptionist telling me.” Stella looks at me doubtfully. 

“And why is the appointment on a Tuesday night at 8:00 pm?”

September 23, 2021

The medical building is U-shaped. I find the office.

“Are you Francis?”

“Ah good.” Blythe is the dental assistant. “I just called to see if you were on your way.” She closes her phone. “You can come in here.” 


“Make yourself comfortable, and Dr. Selkirk will be with you shortly.” I meditate in the chair for ten minutes. In the background, I can hear Dr. Selkirk as he calls patients. His office door is open. 

“Hi there, this is Doctor Grant Selkirk, I’m just phoning to see how you’re doing…Great, great! I’ve very glad to hear that! Any questions about what happens next?” I have to admit, the reassuring level of care doesn’t go unnoticed. He calls four people and then comes in.

“And then there was one!” He must have a grin, though I can’t tell under his mask. “I say we just get rid of this bad boy and call it a day, what do you think? After all, resorption is basically a death sentence for a tooth once it kicks in. Are you okay with that?”

“Sure, let’s do it.” I say. 

So much for the consultation. Six needles later, my mouth is completely frozen once more.

“I’m going to use a saw to cut your molar in half, because it’s easier to pull out each root individually.” I nod. The tooth smokes slightly as Dr. Selkirk grinds it in half. He yanks out the two halves with incredible speed and calm, then stitches up the remaining abscess to minimize bleeding. 

After the surgery, I feel tremendous relief. I text Stella.

I got my tooth extracted. 


In the pharmacy to buy T3’s. 

I wait in line. The pharmacist stands behind a protective screen. His mask covers only his mouth, nose completely exposed. I look around the store. Everyone sports a mask that covers both the mouth and nose. How can he do that? It drives me and Stella crazy. Maybe he’s worn it all day, and all he really wants to do is rip it off and scream, so people can go fuck themselves if they can’t handle his uncovered nose. After all, there is the screen.

The pharmacist talks to the client in front of him; I stand a ways away to give them space, and can’t hear much of what they’re saying. I feel great; the anaesthetic’s really doing the trick.

“It’s because I have shingles in my eye…” I hear the client explain. What? That’s a thing?

The guy in line in front of me has shingles in his eye! 


BTW the surgeon was a consummate professional. 

Are you high? You sound high.

Not at all. Although there’s a dispensary across the street. I thought about getting CBD capsules…

I feel completely lucid. The pharmacist verifies how much insurance I have and after a lengthy wait, he gives me the goods. 

As I drive home, I crank the music and the window’s rolled down, just to make sure I’m nice and alert while I drive. The cool air invigorates. 


I look in my rear-view mirror, but can’t see much except the lights behind me. Suddenly, a white transit van speeds by on my right-hand side. Without signaling, It swerves into my lane directly in front of me. I consider honking and decide against it.

In front of the transit van is a white Mazda III. In front of the Mazda III is a Forerunner. We’re all waiting for the light to turn green on the corner of Bay Street and Blanshard Avenue, a busy intersection. Suddenly, the car in front swerves into traffic and starts to turn left on a red light, then brakes just as suddenly. The Mazda driver behind honks. The light turns green, and the Mazda inches forward slightly, but can’t get past the Forerunner, which isn’t moving.

The doors open on both sides of the van in front of me, and four police dressed in tactical gear with helmets peel out of each side. They rush the car in front of them and then BOOOOOOOOOM! There’s an explosion and smoke.

“WHAT THE FUCK!?” I yell. I grab my phone , roll my window down further and film. My heart pounds. The driver’s door is pried open and the driver’s dragged out of the car. Two officers pin him while two more stand nearby with guns pointed at the driver. Men yell. 

Some guy screams from the sidewalk, “You fucking fascists! Why the fuck do you have to go and do that and scare the shit out of everyone in the neighbourhood?” They cuff the driver.

An officer approaches me, and I put away the phone. It only dawns on me later that I could be arrested for using a phone while driving.

“Sir, you need to vacate the premises. We’re redirecting traffic now, you need to take a detour over that way.“ I stare at him blankly. “Go on!” 

I drive home.

Johnathan “Johnny” Burns

VPAAS 22-44553

Wanted man Johnathan “Johnny” Burns was taken into custody by Victoria Psychic Strike Squad members on Thursday night at a downtown intersection (Courtesy VPSS)

Victoria Psy-squad explodes on the scene to arrest Interzone fugitive

Man wanted for psychonautical breaches arrested at downtown intersection

  • Sept. 24, 2022 4:13 pm.
  • NEWS

Sept. 24: The Victoria Psy-squad took a man into custody yesterday (Sept. 23). His capture is related to a series of psychonautical breaches within the Interzone. 

At between 9:00 and 10:00 pm on Sept. 23, the Victoria Psychic Strike Squad executed a “high-risk arrest” at the intersection of Bay and Blanshard Streets. A distraction device was used to bewilder the target, allowing the elite unit to pull Johnathan “Johnny” Burns out of his car and contain him without incident. 

Burns was arrested for psionic assault of a Peace Keeper, unlicensed psi-sex and illegal multi-dimensional travel. A warrant had been issued for his arrest and he was awaiting judgment from the Tribunal. Agents discovered that the Class V vehicle operated by Burns was stolen and had been converted into a clandestine mobile psychic portal. 

Burns is suspected to have been the driver in a Sept. 5 incident in which two female pedestrians were rammed by the same vehicle on Dallas Road near Linden Street. The driver later attempted to assault one of the women with a metal pipe.

Burns was also the suspect in an incident on Aug. 31, in which a truck literally drove right over a police vehicle, after an agent tried to stop him at the intersection of Douglas and Finlayson. 

Dana Donaldson, the Psychic Special Forces’ Chief Constable described the tactical unit’s work as “an exemplary strike on thought crime, successfully executed with agents from multiple agencies.” 

RELATED STORY: Warrants issued after Central Saanich police vehicle rammed at intersection.


Wind chime

3″ galvanized metal pipe, wood, rope, chain, clothesline


Made with a manual old-fashioned applesauce grinder, non-stick frying pan, and wood.

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