Friday, April 25, 2014

Cancer (I)

“You have several tumors growing inside of you, Mr Well.  Though we cannot say for sure, I myself doubt that they can be reached through surgery.  They are not benign and will likely leave you with a limited amount of time to live.  I am—“
    The doctor suddenly grows slightly awkward.  Side-stepping slowly across to his desk, he pulls a sheet of paper over and eyes it discernably.
    “—err, deeply sorry to have to inform you of this.  If you need any psychological assistance from here on, we can refer you accordingly.”
    The patient holds his hand to his brow in a dramatic display of grief.  A little over-exaggerated; like a stage show.
    “But doctor, this is not meant to be,” he says.  “I am supposed to live for at least another twenty years.  It was told to me, by an other-dimensional being.  It came to me—no, wait, has come to me—several times, in several different forms.  It is the Earth Mother in all of her guises.”
    The doctor’s eyes shift about the room; the sheet of protocol he’s been looking at suddenly seems rather impotent.
     I wasn’t trained for this…
     “She came to me once in the form of forest-dwelling hags of Russian mythology—you know, like old haggard women?  When I was a child, they would come through my bedroom window, figures of white with black outlines, against a white background, like drawings.  And they strapped me down with belts of some kind and tickled and tickled me.  My laughter eventually turned into ecstasy and I screamed and screamed.  I was so ticklish and being restrained made it worse—I couldn’t quite stand it.  They came and went, over years: a recurring dream, you see.  I am to live for some time, they would say—I have things to do in this world.  The tickling was like a foreboding; a test for the future.  I’ve had to endure, you see.”
    The doctor has backed away toward the door.  He is sweating and moving his head about in discomfort.  The dying patient, from the doctor's perspective, has become manic.  Some piece has come loose, fallen down his body into a place it isn’t meant to be.  And now his words drool out as streams insanity.
     The door…how do I reach the door?
    In the pause after the patient’s first oration, the doctor takes the chance to attempt to regain control over the situation.  There are no more patients today and this could lead to troublesome consequences; he can’t just leave things in this state.  It would be unethical.
    “Uh,” he stutters, forcing action. “There are things in life that seem to be…what they’re not, Mr Well.  Sometimes, when people tell you things—even different types of people—they’re just not telling you the facts.  Maybe it’s to do with, uh, hope.  But I think that—“
    Mr Well goes on, hearing the doctor, but seeing no relevance in his words.  The interruption is more like a continuation than anything intentionally rude.
    “I had a first love that told me this, too.  You see, doctor, your profession is flawed.  It is a profession, how could one expect it to be whole?  It’s been thousands of years since the medical profession considered the whole human.  I am not a robot, doctor.  I am a divinity and what I have experienced relates directly to your prediction of my death.  This is all connected.  It’s no co-incidence that you’re here in this room with my right now.  Your discomfort,too, is a necessary factor.  Try to be calm and patient; I need to tell you more.  You need to hear it, too.”
    He eyes the doctor, quite serious now. The atmosphere has changed.  Mr Well has the doctor in his grasp now and he knows this; he knows the doctor cannot leave.  It would be unethical and perhaps more importantly, generally unacceptable, for the doctor to walk away from a man now facing his own demise.  A man in a state of release.

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