A doctor made the startling discovery that everyone will die, someday. He was overwhelmed with this proposition and it was a while before he could sober up from the shock and confirm his conclusion with follow up research. He confirmed his initial findings and went into a profound depression.
"I gotta tell people about this," he thought. "This is really big."
He decided to approach some other doctors first. He expected professional reservation, of course, but he was unprepared to be laughed out of the office.
"Get serious, man," said one senior doctor. "There is theoretical speculation and there is madness," he warned. "Don't let this twisted thing ruin your career. You're not that old, you know."
The doctor was perplexed. On his guard lest he should become too heady with his discovery, he comforted himself with the fact that many discoveries in science appeared radical at first.
"People always laughed at the pioneers," he said, resolving to pursue what he knew was true but with more caution.
He appealed to mentors in the field. They wouldn't even give him the time of day. He started calling people, professionals at first, then newspapermen and finally anybody he thought might listen. His friends disappeared. As time went by the strain on his family was too much. His wife left him. He quit his job which he was going to loose anyway. His son tried to support him, but would hear nothing of his fathers 'death obsession.' He became distant and reclusive.
Challenging himself, he decided to see a psychiatrist. Several doctors saw him and one even went the extra mile with him, holding back on the 'nut case' label for some time in an effort to thoroughly explore the doctor's inner workings for clues to what he called ' the pathology of necrosophical consciousness.' The shrink wrote a book and got famous, but he was unable to help the doctor.
The doctor took to wearing a sandwich board and walking the streets. The end is near, his sign said. His clothes got dirty and worn and soon he was indistinguishable from any number of street people with wild Einsteinian hair and hollow eyes. He was abandoned by everyone he knew.
Self doubt gnawed at him. It had to be a mistake, this death thing. Who was he, that he should see mortality when nobody else could even imagine it? The psychiatrists had diagnosed him as delusional.
"Maybe we all really do live forever," he thought. "There is something horribly wrong here, somewhere." He began to drink.
He lived on the streets for years. Actually, he walked all over the country and saw amazing things, beautiful and strange. He went months without speaking to anybody, visiting churches and hospitals, waiting for a sign. He had visions, some which he knew to be products of his tortured inner workings, some which led him forward in his quest for a like minded soul on this earth.
Already old and sick, he lay behind a gas station in a patch of weeds. He heard the cars going by and stared into the bright sky. In his hand, he clutched a white dove that was dead as a doornail. A tear streamed from his eye as he gasped his own last breaths.
A few yards away, two angels watched the scene. One looked at his watch and said, "Hey, it's getting late. Let's go."
"Hold on a minute," the other said. "Let him enjoy it. He has been waiting for so long, after all."
White Bean and Chicken Chili
4 months ago