Being a co-assistant in hospital is exhausting and when I’m exhausted, I lose motivation to do things. I can’t even bring myself to review material. It’s also difficult for me to stay awake during lecture (yes, we still have lecture in hospital). I envy my friend who can stay awake during lecture and understand the material. They even have enough energy to discuss it with the residents. Seriously, those friends have no idea how lucky they are.
I often have a lot of idea in my head for my blog post but I don’t write the post right away. I usually make a list of “blog post idea” so that if I have the chance to write something, I will write from that list.
Few weeks ago, I read the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and it was amazing.
I will not spoil much but I will tell about my experience reading it. First, reading this novel in public place was a mistake. I brought the novel during my night’s watch duty in hospital and I had to hold back my tears many times. So I was happy when I could finally read it at home because I could cry ugly tears as I wanted.
Second, this novel is probably “the most Asian” novel I’ve ever read. The “Asian things” come in many forms: Asian pride, parent-and-child relationship, our attitude toward people of different ethnicity or religion, the gender biased norm, marriage, the taboo stuff, etc. Then I realise something: regardless of ethnicity, location, and religion, Asians are Asians. Some proud creatures we are. Well, maybe not all Asians but I live in another part of Asia and I can relate and understand those things.
This is one of my favourite quotes in the book which is also one of “the most Asian” quotes, “Because history isn’t easy to overcome. Neither is religion. In the end, I was a Pashtun and he was a Hazara, I was Sunni and he was Shi’a, and nothing was going to change that. Nothing. But we were kids who had learned to crawl together, and no history, ethnicity, society, or religion was going to change that either.”
I guess those “Asian things”, aside from the story line, are what make me love this novel so much. Because I could relate to it. Because it makes me cry and say, “Yes, right.”
I like fiction and fanfiction. I have a thing for fiction that takes place in hospital. I don’t know why. Perhaps because I’m a medical student so I like hospital setting. However, it changed recently. I’m a co-assistant and I’ve just spent 3 weeks in department of pulmonology. Those 3 weeks changed my perspective about hospital.
In fiction, there is this moment when a character dies and because this is fiction, we read some beautiful description that messes our emotion. In reality, death is … death, and it’s not beautiful. There is no narrator saying words describing the situation. It’s an ugly process which, in department of pulmonology, starts with worsened shortness of breath. Then the breathing stops, the heartbeat stops. Dead.
Another thing: last word. Often in fiction, the character says a word or two before death. I have never seen that. The person is too busy to try to breath. No last word before death.
No attractive face, either, I tell you. In fiction, you can imagine your favourite character as you want but many real people look miserable when they’re dying.
So here is some “moral of the story” that I can give (which usually I don’t): while you’re still alive, attractive and breathing easily, speak. Do not wait until the last moment of your life to say things you’re supposed to say. However, also remember, choose your word carefully. Ah, it’s difficult, isn’t it? On one side, we don’t want to regret that we don’t say the thing, on the other side we will regret if we say it the wrong way. Oh wait, that’s a topic for another post.
And here I am, comparing death in fiction and reality while looking for good fanfiction to read before going to bed. Duh.
Recently, I just found out that Anton Chekhov, the Russian author, was also a doctor. One of his famous quote regarding this was, “Medicine is my lawful wife, literature my mistress: when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”
My friends and I laughed at that because never have we ever found medicine-related quote like that before. Now is the thing: every medical student that I have been close to has this kind of “mistress”, this thing that we spend our time with when we’re tired of our “lawful wife” in the form of medical study. One friend’s “mistress” is drawing, another one’s is cosplay, someone else has literature as mistress.
However, there is a problem when you’re constantly tired of your “lawful wife”. That’s what happens to me. Medical study is often demanding so I spend a lot of time with my “mistress(es)”: literature, fandom, and other things.
I think it’s time for me to remind myself that no matter how excited I get when I see my “mistress(es)”, it is my “lawful wife” that I made my vow to spend my life with.
She’s home again. Sitting in her room, infinite sadness in her eyes. “That home is a mess. Why don’t you just leave?” people would tell her. “This is the mess I’m comfortable with,” she wants to say.
Crossing the road to visit you, I said hello. It’s a quick visit, I promise. No hug, no kiss. Just want to hold hands and see each other. Later we can continue with our own lives. Open the door, please.
We are glass
and glass is
P.S. Some things cause me mental breakdown recently then I got this idea while waiting for my working time.
I mentioned Sarah Urie in my previous post. I you check out her instagram, you will notice that she sometimes promotes skincare product.