Tuesday morning. I half limped, half crawled up to the pharmacy counter, looking like a smart-casual crack whore – veins visually pulsing, cold sweat dribbling from my ears.
Painkillers I said. Please give me. Please give me the strongest painkillers you can give me over the counter. Please.
What for? She said – the lady behind the counter. Its time like this I wish that toothache would bleed, or glow or throb – its impossible to get across, as an ailment, without talking about it, which is the thing that hurts the most.
Toothache. For toothache. I have toothache, and I cant get in to see the dentist for several more days
That was true. It was also true, of course, that I wouldnt get to see the dentist until I actually summoned up the courage to phone the dentist. And, in fact, until I found a dentist in the first place. But I neglected to mention that. She might have called me a wuss and witheld her sweet sweet painkillers. I couldnt risk it.
I have very bad toothache. Ow I said, and held my face to demonstrate the toothache that I had. The stronger the better, really, I soundtracked to her search through the behind-counter cartons.
Hm. For toothache She said, while my jaw quietly imploded. Painkillers for toothache
Yes. And for under £4.60, I said Ive only got £4.60 on me. Sorry.
I watched and winced as she turned, smoothly, from the strong looking quite-possibly-heroin boxes, and started poking through the shelves of pastel coloured quite-possibly-Calpol boxes.
Here we are! She said, not knowing that at that moment the counter stopped me from kissing her, gratitudifully. Oh. No. Hang on. These make you drowsy. You dont want
YES. I nodded, attempting to communicate sleeplessness and pain through the power of my nod – which worked, inasmuch as it hurt and made me feel woozy again (I dont know if she could tell) YES, those are FINE. Lovely! How many boxes have you got?! Ill have all of them. Ha ha. Hahahaha!
Unconvincingly I laughed. In a failing attempt not to sound like the ache-addled capsule-sucking profen-whore I really am, I laughed. I realised, just too late, that it sounded like I may have been driven to the edge of self-slaughter by toothache.
Not really! Only one! Ive only got £4.60! Ha ha ha!
She looked at me, trying to decide between a quick sale and a slow commital process.
She looked at me, pharmicistically, still holding the magic box just slightly too far over the counter for me to grab and run away and eat all at once and
Are you allergic to anything?
Im allergic to rabbits – My general response.
Ha ha! She said.
Ha ha! I No, not allergic to anything else, those will be lovely – thanks, how much?
Are you taking any other medication?
Im not taking ANY medication. Ow.
Have you taken these before?
No, but Im sure theyre lovely
By this point I was staring at the box in her hand with a slithering, ill-controlled desire, like an overweight Gollum in winter, all eyes and duffel coat.
Ok, well, thatll be £3.25, please
No. Thank you.
Well here you are
Heres your change
Have a nice day, feel better
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And I left the shop, clutching hard my paper bag containing something called propain. Propains flammable, I think, I thought. At least if it all gets too much I can set myself alight.
It did get worse, but the fire didnt catch. Ive caught a dentist, though.
Abcess, he says. X-rays. Buckle amalgam. Root canal. Fillings.
You may see a paypal button turning up on this site in the not too distant future, just to warn you.
Ow ow ow ow, I say. Ow ow ow. Ow ow.
To be continued
Although hopefully not for much longer, because it really hurts