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Once upon a time there was a young man who was very intelligent. You could see him at his desk now, writing, or sitting on his bed, leaning against his headboard, reading, studying. And people knew he was intelligent, and people knew he would be a doctor someday. If you got him talking, he’d tell you about starting work in the emergency room, about the people he met, about the lives he wanted to save.

And this man was also a very handsome man, he stood tall, blonde hair, bright blue eyes, eyes like water, reflected in a scalpel. He dressed well, always looked impeccable. And he had a wide, open smile. His mother never had to tell him to brush his teeth every day.

And this man was a charming man, as most would have to be to be a good doctor. He was raised well, given the best of everything, and still taught the value of work. And as you’d get to know him, you’d see that he holds open doors for you, listens intently, pays the bill, laughs at your jokes.

In fact, this man is so charming, so kind, that you’ll never see him yell, never see him get angry. He never swears, never cries, never laughs too hard, never has too much fun. He’s like a Ken doll. You can be mean to him, you can steal from him, you can rape him. That’s part of his charm.

He was so charming. So lifelessly charming.

Just once, I wanted to be able to grab his broad shoulders and shake him, dig my fingers into his flesh, maybe break a nail, maybe bring some more pain into his life. I wanted to grab him, to shake him, to tell him that he needed to feel this pain, he needed to feel it, because without it he couldn’t feel the joy, the bliss, the ecstacy of life. When he saves his first life on the operating table, when he falls in love, when his first child is born, these things will all register in his mind, he will understand these things for what they are, but otherwise they will mean nothing to him. How do I tell this charming man, this handsome man, this intelligent man, that he’s not living life right? How do I explain these things, how do I explain the color blue to a blind man?

Copyright Janet Kuypers.
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the book Hope Chest In The Attic