I haven’t known him long but Msr. Jacques seems a taciturn fellow of ripe age and without ambition. His physical features can only be described as portly in a squashed sort of way; a ruddy skin is decorated with blemishes and he has not wrinkles but deep creases which, I suppose, imply a forbidding youth spent in fields of loneliness with other juveniles. Why he selected me as his surgeon of sorts is complicated…he could ill afford a reputable office while I could actually pay to have him accept my intermediate training.
The operating time arrived. Without benefit of anesthesia, sharp scalpel, or even an operating table, Msr. Jacques was under my knife and his character continued to display itself. Thick-skinned and rather dense, he didn’t seem to notice the sawing of the blade which removed the top of his head. I admit I was shocked to find seeds of deep thought buried there. Rather like a lobotomy, I plunged my hand into the goo of disease that was eating away at him and removed all signs of infection. Within minutes, his eyes lightened and he blew the last remaining goop out of his nose. Smileless before, his grin widened and a few old and darkly yellowed teeth appeared. I think he wished to talk but words escaped him as he felt the beginnings of an inner glow of health and dare I say, happiness?
Msr. Jacques’ recuperation has required a lot of time outdoors and a good deal of reflection about his life. I have not told him that his condition is terminal, and soon, for he seems delighted with the attention he receives from passersby and I just can’t bear to break it to him, however gently.