Faberge Eggs and Pixie Sticks


There is a striking resemblance of the brain to cheaply made glassware;

handling either harshly breaks and bruises both.

It is the body's capital center of command; a Faberge egg.

And yet, it sits atop a spindly structure, a flimsy, frail fleshy column of woven sinew:

the neck; a pedestal more akin to a pixie stick than a Corinthian column.


A teenage boy, swiftly skating over smooth, solid ice is checked and smashed

into the cold, unforgiving surface.

Traumatic brain injury. Limited chance of full recovery. Lifelong side effects.


A woman, inebriated with her judgement severely impaired,

sits in the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car.

She opens the door to walk out.

Her head hits the highway at 75 mph.

Coma. No chance of full recovery. Severely disabled. No memory, no emotions.

Life expectancy shortened.


An elderly woman with severe depression

emulates Ernest Hemingway, and settles a shotgun in her mouth.

When the ambulance arrives at the hospital, she's in a black bag with the zipper pulled to the top.

Dead on arrival.


The brain is an easily-shattered structure.

The gossamer strands that hold our memories, our thoughts, our very lives,

are so easily sliced.

But that is my passion.

I wish to know the brain, to take my needle and thread and reweave the fibers of life,

to take my mortar and bricks and set the smashed skulls of trauma victims,

to help those with injuries I know all too well with neurosurgery.


My path is long and arduous.

Four years of undergrad, years in medical school, then internships and residencies.

It is a path of exorbitant debt and elephantine loans;

of gallons of caffeine and towers of books that rival the height of the Burj Khalifa.

But it is the path I intend to travel.

Not because of the money promised at the end,

not because of the prestige that comes with the title of "neurosurgeon,"

but because of my brother, the hockey player.

Because of a family friend, the young woman in the car.

Because of my great aunt, the last woman in this story.

Because I wish to help.


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