Thursday, October 28, 2010

The doctor is sick

I tried to make out the expression of her face as she sat silhouetted against the glass door. But the glare from the street outside hurt my eyes. All I could see was the shape of her hair falling on her shoulders and half her body leaning against a chair. Her voice was sad and clinical, as if she was explaining a surgical procedure. “The lumads—once they get pregnant, they already half-expect to die,” she continued in a monotone. “Yet, when everybody talks about the Reproductive Health Bill, nobody thinks about the lumads.”
For a moment, I swore she was only talking to herself. But she was facing me, gesturing with her hands. She tilted her head slightly up, so that the light caught briefly the outline of her nose and eyes. She was a doctor. Her profession trained her only to deal with the coldness of empirical facts.
I squinted. The sun outside was harsh. It was hot, something they blame on global warming. Perhaps, if I had only moved closer to where she was, I could have seen some anguish—or anger—on her face. Perhaps, I could have established a human connection. Perhaps, I could have understood better what she was talking about. But I was a little farther away and I could only see her shadow.

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