Sunday, January 27, 2013

The PATIENT (and the Swarm)


A society as fragmented as ours that takes the daily push and pull of the verbal and digital swarm, lives on the edge of its sanity. There is a shyness mixed with fear. A fractured thought that regales the mind and keeps it teetering between this and that. Never a cohesive thought, our minds are the arbitrariness of jumbled thinking. We are addicted to the addiction for bits and pieces of fragmented information, trying to unearth explanations and reasons for this fracture.

The daily digital swarm litters the landscape, like the sea washing cracked sea-shells on the shore; pieces with little meaning or beauty. We spend hours piecing them together under the waning light of the day, trying to find some meaning, after all once the fragments belonged to a whole.

Every day breaks the code of the previous one. No it is this and not that! Yesterday’s edicts are meaningless echoes, swept away by today’s bright and shiny new.

"Too much information running through my brain, too much information driving me insane." The Police

Caught in this terrible cacophony is the lone and pleading voice of the patient. The competing voices that barge against his eardrum get louder and louder to win support from his senses. And he listens, for support, for comfort, for any and all help.

The voices are many.

The PATIENT and the swarm (by: PDara, MD)

The emotional cascade runs afoul.

Jason, a stockbroker who lived a good lifestyle, lies on the white sheets, impaled with the word cancer. His ashen face and wide red-rimmed eyes are a testimony to his fears. He looks for meaning, for answers and he finds many.


“Jason, things will be okay.”

“Jason, don’t worry we will do everything to get rid of this.”

“Jason, we will try this new treatment plan for you.”

“Jason, there is one more thing we can try, if you want.”

“I am sorry Jason, but there is little we can do.”


“Don’t worry honey, we called the “superlative” institution and they have a new trial program that has a lot of promise.”

"Thats right! I saw it on TV."

"Yeah, thats true, I read that in the recent journal."

“Oh dear, I don’t know if I can take this.”

“What am I going to do?”

“We must be strong for his sake.”

“Oh the poor thing is suffering. Oh how I wish, I could make it go away.”

“Oh is there a heaven? He was always so good.”


“Jason buddy, we are here for you.”

“Jason, Emily sends her love.”

“We are gonna miss him.”

“We have to put a cheerful face for him.”

“I don’t know if I can bear to see him.”


“What are we going to do now? There is no other income. We don’t have savings!”

“Who is going to take care of us?”

“I have to get a job. But there are no jobs around?”

“Don’t worry sweetie, we are here for you.”

The evening sun filters through the window shades and paints the inside of the small hospital room golden. Little by little the voices recede and the overhead speakers call for the visitors to leave. The nurse walks in smiling with empathic but worn out eyes and asks Jason, “How are you feeling?” He nods.

He has seen this play out before. He remembers the attribution bias. The stock falls and the fear of loss is covered over by the desire of retribution and recovery. The stockholder against all advice continues to pine for its recovery as his wealth dwindles steadily in the daily ebb and flow. Buoyed by the minor up-ticks and terrified by the constant surrender of wealth. The drama plays out to its bitter end.

In the quiet of the twilight, he turns his head towards the window and a solitary tear rolls down his eye, leaving behind a trace of salt.

His mind is clear. His thoughts are crisp. His reasoning is strong. He knows his life is at an end. And no human can help him. The cacophony must die. It is time for peace.

Rest in Peace dear Jason.

1 comment:

  1. And the sign said the words of the prophets are written on subways walls and tenement halls.