Thursday, 9 August 2007

Oil paintings and open wounds

Bessy likes to lick wounds. I believe at heart she is a healer. I'm not sure Margaret's mother, hanging on the wall in the form of an oil painting, shares my confidence in the hound: Bessy was licking a wound on her face that had appeared overnight. She was most disconcerted but Margaret told her to quieten down. I suggested it was now time to remove the picture. Margaret's mother praised Bessy and her wound-healing.

Felix tells me that to suffer wounds is a fool's game. He says pious men drifting in submarines might insist that breaking each other's bones was good for the soul, but he begged to differ. I said it sounded like he didn't think much of biblical torture and tormented sacrifice for the good of self and others. He opened his flask of boiling water and poured it over my head. I screamed and he asked if I thought it had done me any good. He has a way of making a point, does Felix.

George's face looks something like an oil painting on days when he's in a rush. I noticed a small red mark on his chin and wondered if it was a shaving cut or a slash of lipstick. I mentioned it and George said it was neither, but a scar from an attack by a stuffed dodo in the the Science Museum. He turned round and touched it up, and we continued with the day.

Mr Hussain's best friend had smashed his teeth with a squash racket. Both his upper central incisors were fractured at the level of the pulp. He regularly put his tongue over the exposed nervous tissue and I asked if he was a healer. Cookie interrupted and said no, Mr Hussain walks on his toes like a graceful ballerina - it was what she most liked about him. I guess she knew what she was talking about, but I didn't.

Which is why I brought Bessy in at the beginning, because there seems to be something about licking wounds of the past and present, and in the meantime playing with the dead, and doing it all without taking any scars. Or inflicting any.


Anonymous said...

I was attacked by a stuffed dodo once in the Science Museum. I still have the scars and don't have a dog to lick them off. I think it is great that Bessie is a healer and now consider I should maybe get a dog to help me next time I get attacked by a stuffed animal. I am a bit weary of the dinosaur structures ... Gertrude

Stan Johns said...

Dear Gertrude,

How pleasant to read from you again. I am sorry to hear of your misfortune at the Science Museum. I thought that after the incident with George they had destroyed the offending dodo. Clearly not. I do hope your anxiety over dinosaurs will not deter you from taking them something to nibble.

All the best, and trust you're enjoying this wonderful weather.

Stan and all at the surgery.

PS Bessy is happy to share the contents of her saliva with anyone, it helps you in any way.