Saturday, 25 August 2007

A Hollow Place

I am eating a piece of cheese and bite into something crunchy, it turns out to be half of a tooth, one of my own. I`m pleased in one sense that some factory worker with a grudge against their employee hasn`t been at work, but fed up by one more sign of decrepitude. An appointment at the dentist is needed.

I am sitting in the dentists chair, complete with plastic bib and dribble, when my mobile sounds from the depths of my handbag. It`s friend D "Where are you?" "Would you believe in the dentists chair." I arrange to meet her at Laboca Art Cafe later. The dentist tells me that this is her first job since qualifying, I am relieved to learn that my treatment doesn`t require an injection, just a patch up. I am still expecting the drill to start whirring at any moment, but she simply applies the cement stuff, does the tooth not need to be surfaced mind?

On the way, by bus, I get chatting to an old fella, very stubbly, he`s wearing a thick grey overcoat and a wooly hat, it`s quite warm. He tells me that he had been an inmate of a borstal when he was young and the staff used to put them in stocks, trapped by their hands then beat them. We muse that they would be hauled into the courts nowadays, but he is adamant that it didn`t do him any harm and that some of the kids now need that kind of treatment. He cracks a joke, "When a lived in Newcastle when a was a kid, wi cud arl speak Italian....we used to shout Ma am ear"

As usual D is late, I chat with cafe owner B. He is holding a sale of Lizzie Rowe`s drawings and work on a Sunday soon and there will be food and drinks, this sounds like it could be something to mark in the diary. When I tell him where I`ve been he quips "Oh, so you`ve had your cavity mean you`ve had an oral" we laugh, B is looking out of the window and sees D approaching up the ramp, he shouts "Here she comes, the blond tart, Raquel de Spare Part." We laugh again, when she walks in, she looks from one to the other "Have you two been laughing at me?" he answers "She called you Lilo Lil." Bloody liar.

I take the opportunity to give out leaflets to B`s customers for a coming event at East End Library, a talk on the life and work of Jack Common, there are photos of the Heaton area he was brought up in from the early 1900s. I have asked for a half day to go, but still don`t know if that will be possible. I sit back down and make sure that I do not bite the chocolate in case my filling comes out, but this is exactly what it does. So I have to travel back then wait around for a slot.

There are two elderly nuns in the waiting room with an old woman in a wheelchair, another woman with them who is in charge of pushing, they are saying God bless you alot to the assistants and nurses. They have a mini bus outside and they all pile in with the wheelchair. Come and join us, come and join us.... reminds me of an Enid Blyton trip.....I wonder if they have biscuits and lashings and lashings of ginger beer.

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