From My Notebook: November, 2012 – Stragglers

Empty wheelchair on cliff edge, desert

In the course of my medical studies, I met, very briefly, a man who was really a woman. He had been raised as a man, and had a man’s name. I later learnt that he had been born with ambiguous genitalia, and they–whoever they were, his doctors or his parents–had decided to bring him up as a boy. Somewhere along the way they had discovered that, genetically, he was female.

He was a very obese man, with the soft rotund face of an older woman. Between his bloated cheeks, sparse hair sprinkled his upper lip. He was poorly groomed and shoddily dressed, and walked with a stick. He was about forty years old.

I knew at once he was miserable. Every sentence that came out of his mouth was a spiteful, humourless joke that left his face and his shoulders sagging, slack, towards the ground. I wondered if he would ever fall in love or be loved. I wondered on how many days he felt that life was worth living. Could he count those days on one hand? An unpleasant feeling knotted my chest. Our world is brutal, and cares not for stragglers.

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