Monday, 9 June 2008

Being swallowed by images and punching holes with carrots in vulnerable places

I woke to find Bessy swallowing carrots through her eyes. That's not usually a problem but Margaret had decided to have a go and things had gone a little unplanned: she had been swallowed through her eyes by the very same carrot and did not appear to be enjoying the experience. I've warned her before, so I turned over and had another five minutes of peaceful slumber.

Felix was on the look out for a group of unimpressed gardeners who had mistakenly climbed aboard a fishing boat in thirty one days from now, ostensibly because they were finding new and interesting places to plant rhubarb, but who knows. I poured us each a cup of tea and wondered how Felix would see them before they sailed - or drifted - into view. Felix looked around and said it was a good job I chose the profession I did and left the real work for humanity to those with more about them. I assumed that was supposed to be an insult disguised as a rebuff and said nothing more. It was shaping up to being a beautiful day and there was no point in spoiling it.

George had spent the weekend competing in a race that saw the winner breaking upwards through the Antarctic ice (or what remains of it) feet first at extremely high velocity without thinking anything other than that Germany will win Euro 2008. George has a passion for the German folk and had no problems taking Gold once again. I suggested that punching holes in the ice was likely to turn the Antarctic into an environmental sieve, given that three thousand other people had taken part. George blinked a few times in what I took to be amazement and told me my first patient was already waiting. I looked around to see Mrs Willowbed balancing on the edge of the window with a purposeful pose.

In the surgery Cookie had festooned the walls with small pictures of places she'd been and people she'd never met in them. When we brought Mrs Willowbed through I asked her if she'd been to any of these places. Just as Mrs Willowbed's eyes widened in a look of recognition in front of an image of Tienanmen Square, Cookie interjected that Mrs Willowbed never even looked at a fish, so the question was irrelevant. Mrs Willowbed - poised as she was on the verge of a pleasant recollection - and me - poised to spend the appointment doing something other than dentistry - paused and wondered and then sat down to continue with her root canal treatment.

And so there appear to be days when whatever one does to keep oneself safe from being swallowed up by other people's ideas, one just gets caught up. Some time I'll drift past someone who's looking out for me and then, maybe, I'll stick my feet out and think of football. Or maybe I'll wave and pull out a table and a bottle of wine and sit and chat.

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