It all started with two white chocolate coins. It’s the time of year and you think to yourself ‘why not?’ and you eat them because that’s what normal people do and then the trouble starts. Like I’d been shot in the jaw in super slow motion, the pain started as an ache. One of those aches that, if left without supervision, will eventually penetrate to the soles of your feet. And I’m being all outgoing and chatty and then I realise it’s hurting to talk. Then it hurts to breathe. The air in my mouth whistles past the point of pain and turns up the volume. Then, after a while you just sit there staring into mid-space as the gaps in the conversation widen and laughter becomes more awkward. I mde my excuses and left, mumbling through the agony.
How deep does the root of the tooth go? Because, totally by a sort of terrifying suprise, I find that my right eye starts to hurt as does the right sinus. Like an unsheathed electric cable pulsing through the side of my head, the pain snakes through my skull like a rusty saw. I lick as far back as my tongue will go and rub across the nub of enamal and the shock is so bad that I laugh. Then I think to myself, ‘I’m going mad.’ As I drive home the throbbing seems to grow into the surrounding environment, as though the side of the car is expanding and contracting. I buy some cigarettes and pay on my card. Each beep of my pin number sends a current of screeching pain through my ear. I bust through my own door, trip on the loose carpet and grab the codeine as I fall to the floor. On my back, I pop two pills into my mouth. I squish spit together and make enough to swallow the bitter, little beauties. I lay still and wait. Seagulls scream outside. Cars fizz past. A few voices twitter . After a while, I can hear the theme tune to Ghostbusters in another flat.
And the codeine writes the final line, punctuating the pain with a delightful full stop.