Monday, April 23

Sea Spilled from a Cup

Three spotlessly white steps lead up to the entrance of the Children's Cancer Center. How innocent words sound. Today dappling sunshine's making an unexpected appearance on the steps. A guest role. Not bright, cheery yellow sunbeams but mysteriously grey, convalescent sunshine. Struggling to recover from a bout of clouds.

There's always people milling around in the little green oasis that surrounds the white steps. Sometimes nurses, sometimes white-coated professionals. Doctors, lab technicians, gardeners, service men, sales men. Actually, more sales women than men. Maybe because women can be trusted to sell death machines in much softer voices. More appropriate, perhaps. Who knows these things? And then of course the patients and their assorted family members. Always a different group of patients. This part of the hospital has a lot of flux. From one reason or another. Mostly one reason, though.

One of the patients allowed out today is obviously a rebel. Disregarding any semblance of shelter, he sits in his wheelchair in the single patch of lawn with a hope of direct sunlight. Atleast he looks like a he. Sometimes it's hard to tell. All hair shaved away from the head. Because even one extra strand will obviously be too heavy a burden for what remains. Fragile skeleton that can be seen so clearly straining against the skin at the neck. Delicate features lifted up to the straggling sun rays. Even diluted sunlight shines right through the skin. Maybe that's why his knobbly wrist is tagged. In case the sun melts him completely away. The little tag atleast will be left behind. As evidence. The shapeless hospital gown flattens against a puff of wind. Macabre uniform.

He turns to his mum standing next to him and removes his oxygen mask to say something. They both smile. The mum lifts her right hand up again, rhythmically, almost automatically, rests the elbow in her left palm. Old school. Breathe in, breathe out. Puffs of smoke coiling into the air. She says something back to the kid, through the smoke. The kid nods in agreement, accepting her words as truth, cocooned in smoke and trust.

Maybe we all need a sign. A big, fat, smokin, fire-engine red 'No Stupidity' sign.

16 comments:

Tabula Rasa said...

what, you don't believe in darwinism?

km said...

TR: I read that as "dwarfism". Smoking stunts growth, I was going to say.

Revealed: Then again, morons light up at gas stations.

Revealed said...

@tr: How is it darwinism for the kid to die cos the mum's stupid?

@km: Second place I'd stick the sign :D.

Inspissated Gloom said...

They've got the sign all over the place where i work. Believe me - DOESN'T WORK!
(they still got me working for them!) :p

Tabula Rasa said...

i'm assuming the kid is genetically related to the mother.

Confused & Baffled said...

you have been tagged! check back on my blog. and comply. lol. its fun. unusual types. but cool.

Revealed said...

@bm: Hehehe.

@TR: But the genes have to work at the source. Even if she manages to kill this one off, the next one might not be susceptible to cancer mutations and might not get cancer, no? Since she obviously isn't afflicted by it, it must be a recessive mutation. Ergo, darwinism can't play a role here unless she dies of terminal stupidity.

@C&b: If you *really* want a grey-haired octagenarian to do that tag, she will of course comply :).

Tabula Rasa said...

you're saying the cancer mutations are recessive. possible. i'm talking about stupidity.

Sunshine said...

Hmm.. Poor kid :-(

Revealed said...

@tr: Hahahaha. Yeah, I got that :). But the flaw still stands see? It's gonna be a long explanation. The stupidity might be inherited, I agree. But so far no phenotype has been exhibited by the kid. So the kid could have escaped the mutation. And anyway selection can't work on a non-phenotype. The only person it *can* work on is the mum. And the mum obviously is hale and hearty. So darwinism has failed in this particular instance, no? Especially cos it has *allowed* stupid mum to have kids.

Revealed said...

@SS: Heh. Yeah, I guess. I was actually more pissed off with the mum. Working in a cancer center can make you quite inhuman, apparently :).

Anonymous said...

@ Revealed
But now, the *stupid* genes from the Mom won't be carried over to the next generation because of obvious reasons.
So the 'flaw' (in Darwinism, hence the failure) is flawed, Flaff!
Darwinism, holds true, yet again, albeit a little rude as far as the kid goes :(

Revealed said...

No, no it doesn't. Cos the mum can go on to have another kid who is *not* susceptible to cancer and hence her smoking is not gonna affect the kid. Which means the stupidity can live on, see? Cos as is *obvious* stupidity doesn't kill the one who's stupid. As Good Charlotte says, the world is an idiot's parade, no?

Tabula Rasa said...

two things. (a) most important, how do you know the kid hasn't displayed any stupidity - he could have rolled away or something. guilty until proved innocent in my book. and (b) for my edification, why does it have to be a visible phenotype? why could it not skip a generation?

Revealed said...

@tr: 1. Tsk. You heartless cynical professor, you! Maybe the kid was too weak to roll away. *Maybe* kids are not *supposed* to think of rolling away from their mums!
2. Well a phenotype has to be expressed in order for natural selection to act on it. Otherwise nature has no way of knowing whether the mutation is harmful or not, no? There are tons of neutral mutations in the human genome that are juts carried along as junk cos they don't have any tangible effect. Yeah, it can skip a generation *but* that is an unsupported assumption in this case!

Tabula Rasa said...

thank you.

i'll go with the it was a visible mutation since he sat there sucking it all in pov.