These my Teeth my People…


Today I had every intention of going to mass. I wanted to hear what my priest would say about Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Saint. By the time my alarm went off I was already awake. I was looking into the mirror. The right of my face, cheek to the eye was full; brown and full like the mandazi Mama Freddy makes at the gate. The pain was so much I felt it up to my hair. I could see my cheek with my right eye. Wanyambura called and I couldn’t pick, he texted asking if the pain was so severe. Why people ask if it is a lot of pain when you tell them you are in pain I will never know.

You see I really have no idea which tooth has issues. The pain is between two upper molars and the cavity is on the lower molar. Mama says there are women who have to remove a tooth every time they give birth. Something with the hormones I guess. I am afraid I will be like them. You see my tooth aches remember to come on when Mother Nature decides to remind me rather painfully that I am a fertile woman who should be having my fifth child already. So I vowed not to have another tooth removed till the children start coming and then we shall discuss.

My friend Monica said labor pains are worse than the worst toothache. I am really confused right now. I am sure it is not because my stomach has not had anything greet it since morning (I am writing this at 3pm) and my smell senses keep sending it good news from my neighbor’s kitchen. No, the confusion is the pain part and losing teeth. The night before I had my first molar removed, oh I have never been so happy to lose something I love, I was on my knees longer than my bed. It was the longest night of my life. I did not want to cry. My tears however had a will of their own and they kept flowing and I was asking God so many questions. I tried everything. I even had this cigarette, Rocket; a lovely old lady had given mama at the market to give me with instruction to put particles of it inside the cavity and bite hard on it.

1am seemed to last forever. I called the Boss before cock-crow to ask permission;very unprofessional huh? I did not have to explain a lot of things. My voice usually has a life of its own. That morning my voice was dead. It must have been because he said he would pray for me. I did not return to the first dentist. I sought a new one. His reputation preceded him. The little boy before me was so brave. Not a tear. Not a sound. Maybe it was because he was going to meet the circumciser’s knife the next holiday and he had started to become a man. His father was very proud of him. I looked at him and felt embarrassed because my pain tolerance was wanting at that moment. I winced when the Dentist pricked my gum injecting the anesthesia. He said sorry so many times I wanted to hold his cheek and assure him it was fine as long as the tooth would go.

The Dentist looked like dentists should. He was different from the first one I had visited. This first had taken a thin metal and was hitting rather hard my entire teeth. Even the good ones felt sick.  He refused to listen when I directed him and said he knew what he was doing. He spoke so harshly and was very defensive. His hands felt rough and unwelcome on my cheeks. He was saying something about drilling. I stopped him. I asked him to prescribe something for the pain I would return the next day. I literally ran out of his office.

This one was clean. His hands were so clean and there was nothing under his nails. His dust coat smelled of lavender. His shoes were really nice. I will not describe him any longer so you can stop judging me. My mouth was starting to feel dead and the saliva had started embarrassing me as I looked into his face wondering if five minutes weren’t up already. He eased my head back and was ready to kill the devil. He promised it would not hurt. I believed him, it was the way he spoke it, I shut my eyes. When I opened them, he was standing beside a table with instruments that made blood rush to my forehead. I asked if the tooth had refused to come out. He was amused; I saw his last teeth and uvula when he laughed. He said he had already removed it and was going to stuff the gap with cotton wool. I should have hugged him.

He prescribed antibiotics and painkillers and said he was sorry but the pain may return later when my mouth was alive. I went home and straight to bed. I could have gone to work but you see I was waiting for the pain and did not know when it would return. Hours later when I woke up there was still no pain. I swallowed the painkillers just in case.  I could go back to the Dentist today and have him painlessly remove another tooth but I do not want to. I do not want Wanyambura to take me to another dentist to have X-rays done to decide which tooth ails either. I am afraid. I keep thinking they will discover too much. I also plan on having six children in future and if what Mama said is true, my friends I will be toothless before my time…



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  1. I aint one mean Lady but I laughed hard at your pain… You got a sweet way with words Vera.I keep looking forward to your blogs…


  2. Talent. Keep horning it Nadubo Wa Nanyanga.


  3. The making of a great wordsmith


  4. I laughed at your please give wanyambura babies


  5. I had a tooth extracted last July and so I have a real resonance with your story Vera. But that aside, your meandering and coiling around words is just fantabulous.


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