Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stories: One day of them



One day of them: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Monday dawned warm and rainless. Don Aurelio Escobar, dentist without a degree and a very early riser, opened his office at six. He took from the window dentures still mounted in plaster cast and put on the table a handful of instruments ordered from highest to lowest, as in an exhibition. He was wearing a striped shirt, no collar, closed up with a gold button, and pants held up by suspenders. Was erect and skinny, with a look that rarely corresponded to the situation, like the look of the deaf.
When he had things arranged on the table pulled the drill toward the dental chair and sat down to polish the false teeth. He seemed not to think about what he did, but he worked doggedly, pumping the drill even when it was served.
After eight paused to look at the sky through the window and saw two pensive buzzards who were drying in the sun on the bridge of the neighboring house. He continued to work with the idea that before lunch it would rain. The shrill voice of his eleven year old son took him out of his reverie.
-Dad.
-What.
He says the Mayor ask if you take out a tooth.
-Tell him I' not here.
He was polishing a gold tooth. He held it at arm's length and examined it with his eyes half closed. In the waiting room their child screamed again.
-He says you are because you are hearing.
The dentist kept examining the tooth. Only when you put it on the table with the finished work, said:
-Best.
He operated the drill. In a cardboard box where he kept things to do, took out a bridge several pieces and began to polish the gold.
-Dad.
-What.
He had not changed his expression.
He says that if you not take out his tooth he will fire you a shot.
Without hurrying, with extremely tranquil movement, he stopped pedaling the drill, pushed it away from the couch and opened the lower drawer of the table. There was a revolver.
'Well,' he said. Tell him to come shoot me.
He rolled the chair over opposite the door, his hand resting on the edge of the drawer.
 The Mayor appeared in the doorway. He had shaved the left cheek, but on the other, swollen and sore, had a five-day beard. The dentist saw in his eyes faded many nights of desperation.
 He closed the drawer with his fingertips and said softly:
-Sit.
'Good morning,' said the Mayor.
'Good,' said the dentist.
While the instruments were boiling, the Mayor leaned his skull on the headrest of the chair and felt better. Breathing glacial smell. It was a poor office: an old wooden chair, the pedal drill, a glass case with ceramic bottles. In front of the chair, a window with a cloth to the height of a man. When he felt the dentist approach, the Mayor braced his heels and opened his mouth.
Don Aurelio Escobar turned his face to the light. After observing the tooth, he closed his jaw with a cautious finger pressure.
-It has to be said, with anesthesia.
- Why?
-Because you has an abscess.
The Mayor looked him in the eyes.
'All right, he said, and tried to smile. The dentist is not accounted for. Led the bench with instruments pan and boiled water out of the cold tweezers, still without hurrying.
Then he pushed the spittoon with the tip of the shoe and went to wash his hands in the washbasin. He did everything without looking at the mayor. But the mayor not out of sight.
It was a lower wisdom tooth. The dentist spread his feet and grasped the tooth with the hot forceps. The Mayor seized the arms of the chair, discharged all his strength in the feet and felt an icy void in his kidneys, but sighed. The dentist moved only his wrist. Without rancor, rather with a bitter tenderness, said:
-Now you'll pay twenty dead.
The Mayor felt the crunch of bones in the jaw and his eyes filled with tears. But do not breathe until he felt the tooth come out. Then he saw through tears. It seemed so foreign to his pain; he could not understand the torture of the five previous nights. Bent over the spittoon, sweating, panting, he unbuttoned his tunic and reached for the handkerchief in the pocket.
 The dentist gave him a clean cloth.
-Dry your tears said.
The mayor did. She was trembling. While the dentist washed his hands, he saw the crumbling ceiling and dusty spider web with spider eggs and dead insects. The dentist returned, drying his hands. "Lie down, 'he said and gargle with salt water." Mayor stood up, said goodbye with a casual military salute, and headed for the door, stretching the legs, without buttoning up his tunic.
-Send the bill, he said.
- To you or the town?
The mayor did not look. He closed the door, and said, through the wire mesh.
-It's the same thing.

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