It was embarrassing, really embarrassing. She was twice my age, she had...
It was her daughter who found us and fetched the doctor. Dr. Merrick ignored me, I couldn't say anything anyway, she didn't tell us not to move, we weren't going anywhere, just “I'm going to find some cooking oil.” She came back with a bottle of my best native, cold-pressed olive oil and extracted a big syringe from her magic, black bag.
“Don't worry, Mum” said the daughter, “I'm sure Dr. Merrick will fix it.” The doctor tied a hand towel around my neck, poured out a glassful of oil, pulled roughly on my lips and syringed oil all round inside my mouth. “Rotate your head from side to side.” The doctor commanded.
I stood there moving my head about, it wasn't painful, but my jaw muscles were sore, like being at the dentist with your mouth forced open. “That's it. Put your arms around your mother's waist and pull.” The daughter pulled, I pulled and it shifted slowly like a ship in the estuary mud hauled out by tugs.
The embarrassment continued, the fresh teeth-marks were obvious, and the older ones too – just like the flood-marks with dates on the old river bridge.
“Next time use an edible crème.” The daughter helped her mother, “You'll have to rub a lot harder than that to get the blood flowing properly again.” Another command from the doctor. I stood there, olive oil running down my throat, olive oil running down through my beard and down my neck, my jaw hanging out, did I feel good.
I was sure that she would stand in front of the mirror with a ruler and badger her daughter to buy the right crème.