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May 14, 1982


Author Affiliations

The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston

JAMA. 1982;247(18):2486. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320430016006

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A few minutes between patients. Time to wash my hands and splash a little water on my face.

My face. Crow's-feet at my eyes... turkey wattles at my neck. And what has become of my hair?

I don't remember growing older...

My face has more character now than when I was a boy. A boy with smooth skin, a tight chin, something of a pompadour.

I've seen pictures of him, and I wonder why he seems a stranger to me. I recognize his eyes; they seem to have changed the least, though now they are surrounded by wrinkles, graying eyebrows, and bifocal lenses. The forehead is not mine—not enough skin and brown spots to be mine.

Look at those lips: full and sensual then, thinner now, and less easily amused.

I barely remember what he was like... him with his innocence, his ambition to be good. Do justly, love mercy,