The Last Days of the Republic

Fri Feb 07 2003 11:55PM -0600


I don't know why I'm entitling this post the way I am. I thought it would make a good title for a website though. The Last Days of the Republic. It's got a good Ben Hur, Spartacus, and Gladiator feel to it. Now imagine if Augustus Caesar had "The Real World" or the Internet. Or, I suppose, imagine if Baz Luhrman remade Julius Caesar a la Romeo+Juliet.

What am I alluding to? Well, I've said it before. I wouldn't be surprised if W declared himself Emperor. (Long live the Rebel Alliance!)

But that's not really what I wanted to say, as if I had anything really to say. What such a website would be about would be the small concerns of common people in an era when the Great Experiment of a democratic republic finally failed. You know. Contrasting the mundane against the epic. That sort of trite tripe.

But I digress...

Medical School Dropout

Now I must admit, there are times that I sit and ponder and wonder just exactly what the hell I'm doing with the best years of my life. Don't get me wrong, I really love this medicine thing. I mean, I almost feel like I've been trained for this sort of lifestyle ever since I was born. And already I'm feeling the joy and pain attached to this profession: the awe I feel when someone confides in me, and trusts me to act in their best interest, the horrible heartache when even your best intentions go wrong. I've already had to tell someone, in not so many words, that they may have a fatal disease. And I've already had instances when my patient thinks the care I'm giving isn't good enough, even though in my mind I feel it's the best that anyone can do given the situation.

But once again, this was not the point.

I hearken back to Choke by Chuck Palahniuk, which is about (among other things) a second year med student (an M2 to those in the know) who drops out, and it's strange to think about the philosophical distance I've crossed since I read that book in my second year.

But reminded me of this book, presenting this particular quote:

..the Mommy says how the ancient greek girl was in love with a young man... but the man was from another country and had to go back. So the last night the girl and her lover would be together... the girl bought a lamp and set it so that it threw the lover's shadow on the wall. ...the girl traced the outlined of her lover's shadow so she would always have a record of how he looked, a document of this exact moment, the last moment they would be together. ...the next day, the girls' lover was gone, but his shadow was still there.

..and the Mommy says that before the Greeks, nobody had any art. This was how painting pictures was invented. ... For serious, Mommy told him, "Art never comes from happiness."

And I spoke with my oldest friend yesterday, returning to the perverse notion that perhaps I might just be afraid of being happy, that I actually like being miserable, and perhaps this is the reason. I'm not creative when I'm happy. Sick and sad, but true. But who knows. The shit might still hit the fan. (Can you tell I'm an optimist?)

I was going to say more. About relationships, about women, basically, about things I know very little about. But what can I do but roll with the punches. Although I must say that the universe has been pulling out some really weird shit lately. Bah. I'm sleepy. That's it for now.

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