As undergraduates, we are driven by absolute inquiries into the depths of knowledge to recover fragments of our lives. Where do we fit into the puzzle of life? That’s the question. I have an image to maintain: in front of others and in front of myself. My father is a renowned pediatrician back home in New Zealand. I used to stalk him to his workplace and follow him around all through the singular years of my childhood. Not that I particularly liked staying in the hospital or anything. As a matter of fact, I despised hospitals.
The scent of sterility, driven by the notion of vacuumed air straight from the void; the faded color of those walls dressed to match in uncunning fashion; and the ethereal atmosphere of the admission halls grazing through the clarity of perception as if to enforce its own presence. Ugh! But to weigh out all of these, I had a doctor’s magic! (I mean this in a strictly in a figurative sense for no matter how much of a rogue that institution turned to the normal rules of a civilized, everyday society, it had no magic there. Certainly not my father. He was a serious character, always in motion, wearing a frown and a deliberate mask of indifference. He wasn’t particularly liked by the nurses or popular among the patients, either. But he did have remarkable powers for comforting people.
Whether cheeky brats, angry rebels or crybabies; my father ticketed them all through the examination roll until they were shipped back to their quarters. His executions were perfect and timely, as he never ran out of tricks to pull from the pockets of his lab coat. The essential part of the battle is to win them over,” he always used to say, So, yes, I have an image to maintain. An infolding of personality I wish to develop into the outside world. Like a newborn, it chides and kicks to be let out, and though I realize fatherly affection is still beyond me in this immature state, I want to bring this child to the world. I believe becoming a doctor is the only answer to this immortal call, and for this reason I hope to study medicine in --- university.
Tracing the steps I used to take in the hospital dorms, more vivid impressions surface to my mind. I remember the time when, lost in between the labyrinth of curves and swings in the hospital, I perceived the shadow of my father’s coat- just a sliver of its sheath, impressing me with such overpowering impulses. I didn’t doubt it for a moment. I followed that formless ghost until its sheath materialized in my slight grasp. Unable to control myself, I sobbed and cried: painfully… shamelessly… until I was completely relieved.
I remember fighting by my father’s side against no worthier adversary than himself: latching myself unto him to keep him from leaving. The staff had to tear me apart from him. At that moment, I had a premonition that I might never see my father again. I cried for him to come back, but he disappeared into the bright light beyond the door at the end of the hallway. The door at the end of the hallway was big, scary; its windows were blurred; and the stripes that clambered over its bulk seemed to have forsaken all hope of stretching back to its point of origin.
It really was a magnificent light and my father approached it with such a look of importance as I’ll never forget. It was priceless! The melodramatic setting; the overdramatized characters; and my utter stupidity: “I still have long ways to go,” this memory always reminds me. This child has something to share with you all. If I’m given a chance, I’m sure the prayer will be fulfilled. Teach me the secret beyond that light. Help me cross that door I daren’t cross as a fledgling. Show me I can be better.