How did things come to this? I wake and shower. I worry about where to put my clothes. I remember that I can't throw them on the floor. I worry about everything. Everything will be wrong. Put in the wrong place or. Everything is out of my control. I can't find the bloody newspaper. It should be up the top of the drive or under the car or in the shrubs. Bugger it. As I search the dog from next door startles me by suddenly barking. Why don't they do something about that dog?
No vegemite. Anywhere. I am sure I mentioned that we were out. I look in the fridge, cupboard and on the bench. I'm not going to mention it again in case I've already done so. That would be provocative. I'll have to wait until somebody else notices. If I had an empty jar I could place it in a prominent position on the bench.
My son is looking for his shoes. I ask him, "Where do you normally keep them?"
He looks at me with a “that's a funny thing to say look”. He then does nothing. Well if he wants to school in barefeet, he can. Who cares? I think he'll only do it once.
I walk to work. I cross a small side street and flinch as a four-wheel drive car turns the corner ands sits on the horn, waiting for me to scurry out of the way. I don't. I slow down and dawdle across the road.
I arrive at the safety and security of my surgery. My surgery. My rules. My staff; when they arrive. At the moment no staff. All's quiet. The phone rings. A new patient. I explain that we are not seeing new patients.
"What about family members?"
"Yes we are seeing family members."
"Well my spiritual family sees you. My pastor comes to your practice."
I tell her that unfortunately we do not have any appointments and advise her to go elsewhere. I make a few suggestions. It feels good. For the first time today I have control of something.
A man enters the front door. He wears a bushwalking jacket, carries a camera and has a wife who trails behind. I can see what is coming. He tells me he is just visiting Hobart and has been up all night with an aching tooth. I ask him to show me the tooth that's troubling him. I tell him we will see him as soon as the staff arrives. He sighs and thanks me.
The phone rings. It is a sales rep from some company.
"I'm just ringing up to see how you found that free sample that we sent you."
I think she means the one I threw in the bin.
She politely grovels for my time. I refuse her and politely end the conversation.
Another man walks in. I know him. From the four-wheel drive earlier in the morning. He doesn't recognise me. He has no hope. I let him tell me his story. And then I write down a few names and phone numbers, which I give to him. He doesn't argue. He tacitly accepts the phone numbers. As he slowly walks out he peers intently down at the numbers, looking for the trick. Perhaps his earlier rage was due to his toothache.
I feel like superman who is gradually having his powers returned. Slowly and steadily they are coming back to me. I am starting to feel in control. And when Beryl goes to get the post I'll tell her to buy some vegemite.
And next week what happens. Before crossing the same small street I turn and look. The same four-wheel drive is poised ready to turn into the same street. This time the driver recognises me and waves to me for me to go first. I stand and wave for him to go. We both wait and I break the impasse by walking. Bugger this; he can wait for me.
This blog is the fictional story of a dentist. The dentist works with Jessica and Beryl in a town a lot like Hobart. The blog tells the story of what these people get up to and the work that they do. If you feel that you recognize yourself in one of the stories please remember it is fictional and the characters and stories are all fictional. Though all the stories are based on my time as a dentist in Hobart and are based on things which actually did happen.