Soho – A Short Story Of Dentistry And Money

I never liked the dentist! Submissively lying back, mouth open, whilst someone pokes their nitrile-gloved hands around your teeth and gums, pulling back your lips, investigating every nook and cranny under an intense spotlight. “You ok?” she’ll say as you suffer the big guns of metal surgical tools prodding under the gum line and into every crack and crevasse. It’s both invasive, abusive, and intimate all at the same time, as the strange silicon mould thing-a-mee gets wrenched from gaping jaw, almost bringing my teeth out with it. So, it’s with great joy that when I eventually get the chance to peruse my phone, once I’ve walked to Soho Square, I find an old friend is also in the area, a few metres from where I used to live.

We talked of old times and new times and generally shot the poop.

He is Lele

“I am Lele!” was how he introduced himself to me on the buzzer at the flat in D’arblay Street some twenty-two years ago… I thought it was thirty, but Lele tells me otherwise! Those words are now stuff of legend. Fresh from Italy and on a scholarship, he was arriving to take his place in the music company I ran at the time.

Today, all those years later, he, together with one of the people who work for him, were having a meeting in town with a media partner to discuss business for Vidoepugger, the video company he founded almost that long ago. It’s so strange how the wheels turn…. Anyhooooo, I figured we could meet, catch up and maybe grab a bite to eat – if I could eat after all the mouth mauling I’d suffered.

Just by the John Snow pub and the infamous Broad Street Water Pump, the source of a severe Soho cholera outbreak in 1854, there’s a Pret A Manger. It’s unique in that it’s almost entirely vegan, unlike others around the country. So, I messaged Lele my whereabouts, grabbed a foot-long and locked my bike where I could sit in sight of it (both my bike and the foot long) at one of the outdoor tables.

Soho conversations

The midday lunch crowd were aimlessly strutting the Soho streets, talking mind-wank bingo as they do. “Ten grand? They must be joking!” is typical of the type of conversations you will overhear people exchange.

We talked of old times and new times and generally shot the poop.

Minutes later, Lele and his colleague Mmmmm…. shit! I’m so crap with names… Actually I’m simply crap! Her name begins with M…. Anyway, the two of them showed up, as if from nowhere. It was a good chat; we shared our news, talked bikes, drank coffee in the street and had a really great time; all whilst soaking up the lunchtime Soho vibe. We talked of old times and new times and generally shot the poop. I learned Monica????, who was very, very lovely, was from Bogotá. This is a place I’d love to go and ride my bike someday; it’s easy to be jealous of people.

Rapha Soho
Rapha Soho

It wasn’t long before the oral abuse I’d suffered earlier in the dentist’s chair simply vanished into the recesses of my mind. Such is the power of a good chat with good friends.

Heading off

Not wanting to keep everyone from their lives, we decided to walk and talk to Tottenham Ct Rd tube. I left them both to take the newly finished Elizabeth line to their offices south of the river. Like all good get-togethers, this one started and finished with a big hug. #LivingTheDream

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