Friday, October 31, 2008

A Letter to a Doctor

I haven't consulted a doctor in three years. Time to get a few things straightened out.

Chair - Andrew I. Schafer, M.D.
Weill Cornell Medical College
Department of Medicine
525 East 68th Street, Box 130
New York, NY 10065

Dear Dr. Schafer,

Lately I've had several questions about my growing body that I cannot find answers to. Unfortunately, I don't have health insurance, so I cannot speak with a doctor in the regular manner. Perhaps when President Obama makes everything free I can go get a check-up. In the meantime, would you mind steering me in the right direction? I know I can count on you because you teach people how to become doctors. You're like a thousand doctors all rolled up into one super-doctor.

First of all, I've always wondered, how does my body know what's up and what's down? My cells don't have eyeballs, so when they are growing into skin or bone or liver spots, how do they know which way to grow? Why don't I have hair growing down into my muscle and bones sticking out of my torso? Does my body have a sense of direction I'm not aware of? If I'm not mistaken, shouldn't every part of me be growing outward in every possible direction, resulting in an amalgam-ous blob of tissue and teeth? Is that what would happen if you raised a baby in outer space?

Second, I'd like to know how I can be sure that I'm seeing the right colors. Think about it. You don't know what I'm seeing with my eyes. What if my blue sky looked green to you? It would always look blue to me, because when I was a toddler my mother told me that the sky is what blue looks like – but it could look like my brown to her! Unless we can stick each others' eyes into our own sockets and go walking around awhile, how do we know we're all seeing the same colors? It's a total crapshoot! If you apply this brain twister to issues of race I think you could solve a lot of problems in this country.

Thirdly, I can see my girlfriend's eyeball right now, even though she's asleep next to me on the couch. It's terrifying. It's like staring into the eye of death, except death is breathing and twitching and jerking around whenever I make a loud noise. Is there anyway to keep her eyelids closed during sleep? I feel as though I'm living with some kind of corpse-robot. Something about it is very inhuman and unsettling. Like when you read about dead bodies moving in their coffins. Oh, God, it's looking at me now.

Anyway, thanks for anytime you can give to my questions. The human body is so amazing, and sometimes I just can't believe how complicated it can be. It's a good thing we have men like you researching and leading us into a healthier future. Oh no, it's looking at me again! I'm just going to wake her up.

Waiting Patiently,

The Correspondent