Broken hearts

Dear doc,

Thanks for getting back to me...sorry for the delay...had one hell of a week...in a nutshell...my best friend got laid off from Wall Street, I had two deadlines on one day (the day my computer crashes)....and my best friend found out her boyfriend is a cheater.............

....about my friend, I feel bad for her....she really is a very beautfiul, smart and very caring person...I felt bad that her boyfriend cheated on her with a lady he met at a office party....he also happens to be my friend...so I do feel a bit awkward now...he emails me and says "well, it just happened"....things like that "just don't happen"....running a red light "just happens", picking up the wrong book at Barnes & Nobles "just happens", climbing into bed with a woman you just met doesn't "just happen".....

xxxx



doc replies, with wisdom

No, I can assure you, from my own personal, worldly and highly extensive experience, that, it doesn't "just happen".

Unfortunately.

But I'm waiting. Any day now. I can feel it.

Oh, let's spend some time with important stuff. You certainly don't want to hear about me. Let's talk about relationships. And, getting one's little heart broken. I've seen that, from both sides of the fence, far, far too often.

I had a friend in college, a long time ago, who was pre-med at Columbia University, as I was. Not exactly a party school, Columbia is renowned for having a very tough pre-med curriculum, especially, at least back in those years, when medicine was a highly desired career. We had had a tough time with it, but, we did what we could to survive.


Dave

His name was Dave. Still is, actually. Dave was a year behind me, and for some reason, he, and quite a few others, took a course that I was teaching at Columbia at the time, in Pre Hospital Critical Care. I had hundreds of students, but Dave and his little gang kind of latched on to me for some reason. We ended up sharing a dormitory ghetto at Columbia for the next two years. Our favorite pastime was to lay in our individual rooms at night, listen to the rats crawl up inside the walls, and then try to find "just the right spot" to hit with our fists, to dislodge the little critters, and listen to them shreak a bit as they lost their footing.

Life was fun at Columbia.

And we worked hard.

But then, one day, Dave met a girl. I never got a chance to meet her, as, because of my miserable financial situation at the time, I was working a full time job and a part time job, and going to school full time. I didn't see people that much, except for when we ran into each other in the ghetto dorm.

Dave had been one hell of a studious student. Being Jewish, and Israeli, Dave was much attuned to the whole concept of survival and competition, and he tried to excel at it. He was a fairly good student, getting B pluses and such, and he worked hard.

But then he met a girl.

And his life went into complete and utter turmoil.

For, he fell in love. And it was a blissful event for him, initially making him the happiest person that we had ever seen. So happy, that he left us trailing light years ahead in happiness. Maybe because, the rest of us were so god damn miserable. But, we were happy for Dave.

He spent lots of time with her, but also found time to work on his studies. His life was in balance. We were happy for him.

Dave was in love.

It turned out, that she wasn't.

Dave became miserable.

So miserable in fact, that we were all starting to feel much the same again. Yes, Dave was miserable.

He stopped eating well. He stopped studying. He couldn't concentrate. He lost interest no only in his schoolwork, but in his future potential career, and his relationships with his friends. Dave was in a free fall.

Dave's grades suffered. Tremendously.

No amount of talking or commiserating could help. Dave just fell apart.

For months. And months.

Now, I kind of pride myself on being a good friend. I'm always there for people when they need me. And, in our little close circle of friends, who shared the ghetto dorm together, we all kind of felt the same way. We were there for each other. We spent lots of time, trying to help Dave get out of his funk. Trying to help Dave with his schoolwork. Trying to get Dave back on track. It wasn't an easy thing to do, as I was working well over sixty hours a week on top of going to school. But, we all tried.

To no avail. Dave's grades continued to suffer.

It all came to a head one evening, in Dave's home. He had gone to visit his father, nearby, in New York.

Now, Dave's father was an interesting old gentleman. He was Jewish, he was from Europe, and he not only lived through the horror and turmoil in Hitler's Holocaust, but he subsequently suffered during the initial Israeli occupation of Palestine. Dave's father had seen and experienced a maelstrom that few of us could ever imagine.

His father asked Dave why his grades were failing, why he was so constantly depressed, why he was losing weight, why the melancholia and irritability had taken over his life. Dave told his father about the girl.

It was short. It was brief. It was to the point. Dave's father just looked at him, with a completely uncompassionate eye, not truly giving a rat's ass about what he had just heard, Dave's father told him the following:

"It has happened before. It will happen again."

And Dave's father got up and walked away. The girl, the relationship, the whole event, was never mentioned again.


Epilogue

I subsequently got into medical school, despite the desires of the various medical school gods that be. Dave, unfortunately, didn't. His grades, due to this event, had suffered so much, that no American school would take him. He ended up in some ****hole medical school in the Caribbean for a year, and then subsequently, transferred to a school in Paris, France. But, since that medical school was taught completely in French, Dave had to spend an intensive summer in Paris learning a completely new language. He eventually became fluent, passed the French medical school, and subsequently transferred to a not so well known residency program in the US. Eventually, he finished the program, and is now practicing Plastic Surgery, somewhat successfully. I, well, I'm another story.

Dave's father passed away soon after that conversation. He was sorely missed. A wise, very knowledgeable, old man, he had educated us in a way that few have ever had. So much was learned from so little. As, is always the case. You have to keep your eyes out for these things, for, the truly great educational moments in life, sometimes seem to drift past us ever so quickly. Sometimes, without us even noticing.

Dave's father was right. Without a doubt. But, he was also wrong.

For, just only one month after Dave's father dropped that bombshell on Dave, Dave met another girl.

And he fell in love. Love, which was fulfilling, mutual, reassuring, full of committment and respect.

And though it had taken some time, and some distance, as Dave was in the Caribbean and France for many years, Dave eventually got back to the US. And he got married to her.

And they had many children.

And to this day, to this very day, Dave, and his wife, and god knows how many kids they have now, lead very happy lives together.


What have we learned?

The moral of the story? What have we learned, from the trials and tribulations of others here, who have gone before us, and have suffered, just as all of us have to one degree or another? What can we bring away from all of this wisdom?

I haven't the slightest ****ing idea.

But, hey, it's a great story.

And trust me. Do trust me on this. For doc knows. Oh, does doc know.

It will happen again.

doc