I was called in today to look at a peculiar boy. They call him the “crying boy.” Yes, that much is clear. He’s two weeks old and he has been crying ever since he left the womb. Isn’t that something? That’s what I thought to myself. Even when the child cries himself to sleep, we noticed during our overnight observation that you can see the faint traces of wet tears emanating from his closed eyes. They’ve been curious about this for some time, and obviously the parents are very concerned. Rightfully so. I’ve never seen a thing quite like this.
I went in to see that boy again. His name is Alex, just like all the other boys who get born, right? Apparently x-rays were administered last week. No abnormalities in the body. The boy shouldn’t be in any pain. But he still cries. Yes, I assure you he cries constantly. I’m no optometrist, but you’d think there can only be so many tears a young boy can cry. Actually, it’s funny I mention that: the optometrist is my friend and colleague, Dr. Adams. He was in and out the past two days when I saw the boy, flustered as all hell, probably jealous that they finally brought me in. The odd thing is, one of my grad students suggested to me outside in the hallway that we measure the hormone levels. Of course! We did just that: low serotonin levels, low dopamine levels, and we even did some neuro-imaging that revealed a smaller than average hippocampus and a potential abnormality in the nucleus accumbens. All biological explanations. We administered hormone therapy and told the parents to wait this one out. Problem solved. His mother was very beautiful when she smiled at me and gave me a hug. She was very fit herself, perhaps a reasonable explanation for her extreme concern.
Daisy and I watched a movie tonight at home. It’s the first time we’ve done something like that in awhile. We’re really making an effort.
And of course, Todd is gearing up for graduation, waiting to hear back from medical school. Not much luck right now, but it will be fixed. Dalton just got a new job in Korea. It is an exciting time for the family! I haven’t felt so optimistic in a long time. Children are rewarding in so many ways.
For the past few days, I have allowed myself to place my professional life a little more in the background. It returns to the forefront. Doesn’t it always?
That boy continues to cry. The hormone therapy was clearly unsuccessful. They’ve been tinkering with him in my absence, but nothing. It’s too bad, he is an awfully cute little baby, and the parents are tragically sincere. I’d like to hate the father for the sexy wife he has, but he is just so utterly likeable and nice and gentle even in such a stressful time. They have not once yelled at us.
Dr. Wilkinson pulled me over to chat after I did a brief observation. He told me that they had called me in because of my post-partum depression research. Wasn’t that evident? Well, I suppose it should’ve been, but I don’t think I deserved the attitude. It’s only been a couple of years now since I won the award for the development of the theory of post- partum depression in children. I still had to review the statistics, the case studies, the images, etc. It was not clear-cut whether this boy Alex was a candidate, but he met several criteria nonetheless.
I felt uncomfortable making that the diagnosis but I really had no other explanation. I made that my formal recommendation. They’ve proceeded with that accordingly. He should recover in the course of several months. But it is still extremely bizarre to have seen a case like this. I had to write about it.
Todd will be attending Columbia Medical School in the fall! Those conversations with Dean Kellerman paid dividends. I need to remember to send him something nice soon, so
I am writing this down so I will not forget. Dalton writes with good news from South Korea. What a great day!
It’s a good thing I read this thing even when I am not writing so much. I reminded myself to send Dean Kellerman a gift. My old self was able to use the computer and find a way to send vacation vouchers. Whenever he is able to take time, I hope he will enjoy a week long trip to Europe.
It is a good feeling to give to others. If someone gave me such a gift, I would be thrilled. So, knowing I would be thrilled makes me imagine he might be thrilled as well. And that’s quite a good feeling!
Daisy said it was a little bit too much, but then again, she just loves to argue. She just wants to stir the pot. When so many good things are going on, I don’t understand why she wants to stay so grounded. Appreciate success! Revel in it! You must provide incentive to succeed. And what incentive is there when you are constantly depressed with success? Todd is a hard-working boy and he deserves this. Can’t leave such a delicate matter to the crapshoot of chance.
Dalton called from Korea the other day. He was concerned about the war in the Middle East, and to our surprise, he brought up the notion of entering the military. I don’t think he was serious. I had to emphasize that things at home are completely safe, and I think that re-assured him. He has a girlfriend now. Korean girl. Never knew he had the yellow fever! Good to see the kid is just like the old man!
Got a phone call from the ER. That crying boy just won’t go away. He had an allergic reaction to this cycle of the treatment and was brought in. The parents said the symptoms haven’t been subsiding, and Dr. Wilkinson was on hand to tell me how he had been dealing with them for the past couple of months. I knew he’d been dealing with them but I thought it was inpatient visits. Not outpatient visits. He seemed to take it out on me like it was my fault. Well, you know Dr. Wilkinson, if you need my help, you can ask. I hate when people resent others for not going out of their way. We all lead busy lives. I am a nice guy. If you ask me for help, I will be glad to help you. I’m a doctor.
I’m sorry. I just had to get this out and write it down. It’s therapeutic.
Todd is a Harvard graduate, just like his dad! Good to have the whole family in Boston. Good to see Dalton! He brought photos of the Asian girlfriend. She’s a looker! Makes his dad jealous. Jealous and proud. Just like how I felt about the crying Alex’s dad. He was pretty distraught and I got a guilty pleasure out of seeing it. But I’ll be honest: it bothers me that I got that guilty pleasure. I know there is something wrong with that, and now that I think of it, maybe I should make an appointment with Dr. Selyck.
Good thing I have this journal to write in to remind me!
Daisy’s parents were in town, too. They were acting strange. I think she told them what’s going on with us. I’d like to dig further, but I probably shouldn’t.
I’ve taken a keen interest in the Alex boy I mentioned. Seeing him every day for the past three weeks has taken a toll on me. He literally cries non-stop. He is a rare medical opportunity for advancement. It is altogether obvious after the allergic reaction that we do not have a treatment for him if he is in fact suffering from post-partum depression. However, it is also essentially proven by now that he cannot be suffering from that. That has actually taken a load off of my shoulders. I can’t tell you how many demands were being made on me by Dr. Wilkinson, the family, members of the media who have caught
wind of this. It’s really a bittersweet feeling. It’s bad because I want him to be cured, but it’s good because the attention is off me a bit.
I’ve been seeing Dr. Selyck about these guilty, bittersweet feelings of mine. He says they are natural. He says that all people suffer from this kind of feeling. It is truly an aspect of human nature, he said. Imagine that! And people believe in god!
Like I’ve mentioned over the past few entries, Alex’s parents are becoming frustrated with the situation and they are taking it out on me. I suppose I should introduce them to you. The lucky father is Matthias, his gorgeous wife is Anne. But I only speak of her beauty in the purest of ways. She reminds me of a younger Daisy, but more docile, passive, friendlier. It’s nice.
Anyway, Matthias and Anne are understandably upset, and I say understandably because I think it reflects my ability to put myself in their shoes and not snap back. I actually care for them now, so I pore over this whole situation day and night, like I’ve said. Daisy has been getting upset about it, saying I do not spend enough time at home trying to fix things with her, or that I am acting uninterested in her because I bring the work home. She has even begun questioning my fidelity. I do not know how much longer this can go on.
I’m sorry for neglecting you, dear journal, but as you know, I have been tremendously stressed. I feel like I am being tugged at in so many different directions. I don’t know how much longer this can go on. I can’t handle it! I had to let you know.
Sorry for yelling at you yesterday. These religious fanatics have been lining up outside the hospital saying that the child is some kind of anti-Christ. And then there is this other group I’ve heard about saying that he is an omen for some apocalyptical event, and another saying he is a re-incarnated baby Jesus. This is what I hear. I don’t pay attention much but people are nuts. This whole thing is becoming very frustrating. I observe, he cries. He sleeps, he still cries. I try everything I’ve already tried over again. Nothing. I show him a teddy bear. He cries. Daisy tugs at me, because when I am at home I am busy figuring out a way to make the baby stop crying. Or at least understand why the fucking thing keeps crying! It’s not my fault!
Daisy has been sleeping with another man. We are getting divorced. That’s why I haven’t written in awhile. I can’t write any more. The stubborn brat of a child has been sent home as a national news headline. Are you happy?
I feel bad neglecting you. I just want you to know that I am going through the most indescribable pain right now. I say indescribable because I cannot and therefore will not describe it to you.
I will say this, though. It would be one thing if things just came to an end. All good things come to an end, no? I’d be upset but we would get by. This infidelity adds a whole new wrinkle. I feel so inadequate and hated. My only hope is that Todd and Dalton recognize their mother as the insufferable bitch that she is. I have done everything for them. They’d be dumb and naïve not to see it that way. Surely you agree. You’ve been such a good companion. I want you to know that.
Todd is in the midst of medical school. Oh, how I remember those days! I’d give anything to go back to then. Wouldn’t we all?
The best news of all though: Dalton has been promoted! Already! Success runs in this family!
They are each being so supportive of me during this difficult time. They must get that from their father.
Things have been pretty mundane at the hospital. I’ve been continuing a little research, as well, on the cognitive functionality of infants. It is so hard to obtain parental consent these days. They think some of us doctors are scam artists or something. We’re doctors! We’re the furthest from that! People these days, huh.
I also made a visit to the Hersch family. Oh – I’ve forgotten to tell you. This is the family with the crying boy. He’s been lost amongst the other muck I’ve written about, the broken leg story, the divorce, or what have you. But yes, it seems the boy Alex is starting to temper the crying. It’s still very much a problem, and they understand they will have an impaired child, or at least a child who learns at a much slower rate even if this gets resolved. But they are happy over the smallest things. I am extremely jealous to not have
that ability. It is the big moments I like. You know this, because I record them! But it is good to recognize one’s own faults! I comfort myself knowing that.
The war is terrible. The soldiers are in my prayers.
Dalton is getting married! The announcement comes a day after the Red Sox have won the World Series! Guess who is a happy but lonely man?
Crazy to think that Todd is halfway through medical school. I could use him for the Hersch family. They seem to always creep back into my life. It’s fine with me that they’ve been referred to other doctors, because they can’t do anything about it either. They went to the best first and there was nothing I could do. The condition has not improved. They want me to get involved again, privately. They’re willing to take enormous risks, they say. I don’t know what that means. It’s not like there is some kind of risky surgery that solves the problem. I don’t even know the root of the problem!
I must say, Anne gets more beautiful with age. It’s been almost half a year since I have seen her. I must also confess that I fantasize about her. I do not know if she is inherently an object of desire or if she has become one because of my superior position in regards to her.
With that said, I had to explain to them again that there was nothing I knew to do. Family must be stressed out, trying to keep the media out of their house. I wonder if they even love the child. I know that sounds pretty crass, but really, it is such a burden to them. How can they function? My point is, it hurt to tell Anne this. We got in a fight over it. I found the whole thing futile and that boy has drained me.
Daisy called again to tell me how unhappy she is. Karma has served her right. But I am unhappy too. I just can’t stand to tell her that.
Dalton seems to be doing well. As for me, I have made vast improvements with Dr. Selyck. He has me thinking not about myself so much. He says it is human nature to be selfish but that we must strive to break from that and help others. It is a hard concept, he says, but he told me an amazing thing: he gives half his income to charity! I don’t know if I believe it though. Either way, he’s not married and has no kids, so easy for him to say!
I called Daisy today. I suppose certain feelings are fleeting. I think she must be with another man. It hurts, but I try to take Dr. Selyck’s advice.
Entry #200, you are the worst. I wanted to see what life was like a year ago and this recollection shook me to the core. I cannot stop thinking about the Hersch family. That is all I have to say.
Dr. Wilkinson informs me that that crying boy (remember him?) has begun to speak, but only when he feels like it. For example, you can ask him, well I should call him Alex. You can ask Alex a question and he may choose to answer it or not answer it by shaking or nodding his head, all in between sobs. It is as if he has understood language all along. Dr. Wilkinson says that he has been taken to experts all over the world (that rich Matthias not only has a hot wife, but a lot of money – so that explains it!) but to no avail. Alex is a
toddler now and therefore well out of my range of expertise. Interestingly enough, though, he seems to be in the pre-operational stages of cognitive functionality, right where he should be. It’s just the crying. I have to record everything I know about this because it strikes me as the most interesting yet saddest story I have ever heard.
Dalton’s wedding was yesterday. I met his wife for the second time now. She really is a beauty! They will be very happy together. It was a pleasure to meet the family. I was surprised to see how great their English is. Korea really must be a great country. It is just so rewarding to see Dalton so happy.
Todd was on break from school and was able to make it. Good to hear his war stories. Reminds me of me in my prime. He is almost done. He will be continuing at Columbia for the residency program. Didn’t have to pull any strings this time.
The news is not all good. I saw Daisy at the wedding for the first time in a year. As you know, the news about the wedding was mostly good but I knew I would have to see her again. It was not as bad as I thought. And she is not with another man, after all. She just insists that things were not going to work out. I’ve come to accept it by now. But she also told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was expecting myself to think this was bittersweet news. It was not. It was the worst news I have ever heard. That is how I know
that Dr. Selyck is doing a good job with me. I am proud of myself, but deeply saddened over this horrible news about a woman I care about so much.
Well, Happy New Year.
Am I Anne Frank or Emily Dickinson?
As the war intensifies, the president calls for more troops and my condition deteriorates. What condition you ask? The human condition.
I checked in on Daisy today. She is not doing so well. I am going to arrange to have the best treatment available to her. I have told her I will help her finance this. She is very gracious and it warms my heart. I almost feel like I am in love again. Can you believe that?
Dalton and I got into a big argument today. He is very serious about entering the military. I do not understand why. He is making a lot of money where he is, he has a beautiful
wife. What more can he want? I can only hope he is not so serious. I have not told Daisy about this. I do not know if she speaks to her children. I told them to forgive her.
Todd is struggling as he nears completion of medical school. But I assume he will pull it together.
The Hersch family calls and wants me to start focusing my research on Alex again. They have run out of ideas. Kid is almost four years old now. The sentimental part of me knows I have to do this. I told them I need time, with all the things going on. It was a good compromise. They were very gracious. I look forward to seeing Anne.
I tried calling Dalton every day for the past week. No response. I hope that our argument was not that serious. It seems like we are winning the war, it should be over soon. So I hope that he takes that into account.
Dalton’s wife tells me he does not want to speak to me. She seems upset as well. I can only take this in stride for now.
Daisy’s cancer has spread. What more is there to say?
Todd graduates from medical school. Seems like yesterday I was writing about him graduating from college. The family was in town again. I cannot begin to describe how proud I am. Daisy made it. I must say I still think she is beautiful after the chemo. I told her there is always a place for her in the house.
I started my visits to the Hersch family today. Haven’t seen Alex in ages. But yes he still cries. Haven’t I known this all along? Yes, but I’ve neglected you, dear journal. I try not to tell you that I hear about him on the news. That people speculate about him. That my name is mentioned alongside his. It saddens me. And here I am.
The most amazing thing happened today, however. His parents put me in a room with him and told me to do whatever it is that I do. I honestly had no plan. The boy saw me and sobbed. He is a far cry (no pun intended) from the boy I knew years ago. He is a handsome young boy.
Guess what happened? He stopped crying. He dried his eyes and looked at me. Now, I knew I had heard that he could temper the crying. But I wasn’t expecting this sudden change. I went to get the door to show his parents, and he immediately began crying again. When I sat down, he stopped. When I went to the door, he cried. This continued until I eventually sat down.
I tried to ask him a few questions but nothing. Eventually he began crying again. I took a few notes and left.
Entry #261: Amazing news!
I got a letter from Dalton today. No return address. It says he is sorry about our fight but that he will be ready to talk to me soon. I cannot believe this news!
I went to see Daisy to tell her and she was so happy to see me. She has gotten worse but from the sounds of it, it is very beatable. And she is one tough gal!
The Parkers invited me over for dinner. What great neighbors I have. They inquired about Daisy and I told them what faith I have right now.
Even the war seems to be coming to an end. I think it is time we stop meddling in the affairs of others. I think we’ve learned from this war.
Time to go see Alex.
What an odd day. I sat down with Alex. He asked me a question. “Why did you tell my parents I stopped crying?” I hope you can try to imagine the shock of hearing the boy speak. To my knowledge he had only nodded his head. I told him I thought I had to. He did not answer any more of my questions, and I decided I could not say a word about this encounter.
I went to see Alex again and he continues to cry. I asked him if he could stop crying so we could have a chat like the time before. He did not answer. Then I asked, do you choose to cry or is it out of your control? He did not answer. So I asked, do you choose to cry? He nodded his head yes. He chooses to cry. I asked, have you chosen to cry all along? He nodded yes. Bullshit, I think to myself. Kid has some neurological malfunction we don’t know about yet. So I ask him, do you remember me from years before? He nodded yes. So I cleverly thought to myself how to prove this brat wrong. I even phrased it well. I said, “if you are so clever, tell me the biggest difference between me when you were born and me now?” He stopped crying and said, quite nonchalantly, in fact, that I wear glasses now. What is there to make of this?
To me, the fascinating thing about this is his language acquisition. His ability to comprehend very important things at so young an age. Indeed, Dr. Wilkinson noted this. Yet the boy refuses to take tests for us. It makes things rather difficult. It’s as if he knows what is going on.
Entry #265: Dalton is dead.
As I prepare to hand out Halloween candy to little kids, I cannot stop thinking about children. Children, almost like Dalton. And I cannot stop thinking about you, dear journal. You are my only real friend in this world.
The war is over. We won. But did I win? If Dalton had waited just a few months, he’d be alive and well. And to think about the last words I said to him. I’m sorry but I cannot write much more. I know I have ignored you. I will be back soon.
Alex and I have become friends, I think. We have had real conversations. He is a brilliant boy, the things he understands. I tell no one about our conversations because I am wary of his brilliance. I only record it here.
When I think about Dalton, I think about my selfishness. It was my selfishness that didn’t want him to do what he wanted to do for himself. It is my own fault that he left the world on odd terms with me. I cannot describe the feeling of not being on speaking terms with your own son, but then knowing everything will be okay, and then finding out that he has died in a foreign country before you can even shake his hand and move on. It is the worst feeling in the world. It is worse than seeing my ex-wife in the hospital.
The good news to report is that Todd is doing very well. He relies less and less on me with each passing day, and he comes to visit his mother every few weekends.
My findings lead me to trust that Alex has been consciously crying for a long time. Perhaps even since birth. He remembers the minute details of being a newborn baby. These are details no human being has ever been able to recall. How do I know he knows them well? Because I remember those days so vividly. They were the best of times.
Today, I was sitting down with Alex and he asked me why I do not cry with him.
Seeing Daisy in the hospital makes me feel lonelier and lonelier. I know that being with her should make me happy, but she is in intolerable pain. I still have faith that she will pull through.
I have begun coming to the Hersch family during the day, when Matthias is not around. Anne always makes me a glass of lemonade. She is a true sweetheart, and she continues to grow prettier with age. She really understands what I am battling through at the moment.
I asked Alex again why he does not cry around me. He doesn’t answer. He stares out the window. I then asked if he could do me a favor and stop crying around his parents. He told me that would be impossible.
If Alex chooses to cry, there must be a way to make him stop. I’ve told Dr. Wilkinson that this is a theory of mine (but I did not dare tell him why), and we’ve brought Dr. Alexander in for his expertise in neuro, but Alex resists all testing as if trying to prevent us from learning. I have built a trust with Alex and I cannot tell any one about my findings with him. I have learned through betraying him how quickly he understands when I have done so, and I even felt a little guilty telling Dr. Wilkinson my theory. I just want to help Alex.
Daisy is going to be fine, I think.
I have done a terrible, terrible thing.
I have been so ashamed to tell you this. I have taken advantage of Anne. This happened almost two months ago. It was during one of my daytime visits. We were having a heart- to-heart conversation. She broke down crying. I told her, what if I had a cure for him. She was already gripping me tightly. I had whispered it in her ear. Oh, how hopeful she looked. How beautiful. She deserves that great man for a husband, not scum like me after what I have done. She was so hopeful, and then the little devil in me re-emerged and started caressing her and taking advantage of her sadness and asked her what the price was going to be. Soon she was on her knees playing with my cock and I know it only felt good because of the sick fetish I have had for her since the beginning. Sick! I am sick! I took advantage of a beautiful woman knowing that she would never be able to tell any one. And I have no cure for her son, my friend, who consciously cries all the time, who is a rare genius, who disallows me from telling any single person any of these details because if I lose his trust I will lose any hope of furthering my research.
I have seen Anne and I have seen Daisy over the course of the past two months and when I see either of them, I cannot stand to live any more with myself. Success is nothing compared to happiness, and happy I am not.
I owe it to the Hersch family to find a cure for their troubled son. I am afraid to consult any of my colleagues, but I will have to try somehow.
Todd called today to find out what is wrong. I hung up the phone after a short but untruthful explanation. He is also a reminder of how awful I am. It’s too bad there is no hell for me.
Like Alex, I too cry myself to sleep every night.
When I look into Anne’s eyes, I see the same dumb hope I saw in Dalton’s. Doesn’t she realize the fraud that I am? I am so awful and I know it, and yet I cannot just admit that to her. Isn’t that what she deserves? Why am I such a bad person? I cannot even bear to tell any of this to Dr. Selyck. Alas, dear journal, as we come to the end, it is just you and I. So now you know – you are the one person I have been truthful to. I can confide in you, confess to you, and I want you to know now that Daisy has walked out of the hospital cancer-free, that as much as we can feel the pull of the sadness of our own actions, there is always hope. And there will always be hope.
Seeing Alex makes me feel guilty but I think we are getting somewhere. He begins to open up. I ask him how he knew when I told others about him, and he says he can tell by my behavior. That is a start. He does not tell me what it is about my behavior. But I trust him, just as he trusts me.
I ask him if he thinks he might be able to stop crying. He says maybe.
Hearing that ‘maybe’ makes me cry a little less myself.
It turns out the pain Alex has been experiencing lately is due to brain cancer. My guess is that this stems from whatever neurological disorder Alex has. I hesitate to say he has a disorder, however, because he has been so conscious of everything from the beginning.
Am I sad? Yes, I am. You’d think that things are relative, and this is no big deal. That’s not the case. Alex is like my Dalton. And yet, I have become numb to the pain. I no longer cry.
As Alex enters the hospital, he continues crying all the time just as he did when he was born. He no longer talks to me. Even when we are alone, I am no longer acknowledged. The connection is lost. I can only hope he will recover.
Daisy has moved in with me. As connections are severed, others are re-gained. We are in this together. I have begun explaining my research to her, the Hersch family, and my colleagues. As Alex sits alone in a hospital bed, there is no way for him to know that I have betrayed him. I can only hope he understands that I have betrayed him for his own sake. People look at me as some kind of hero but I do not need the acclaim. In fact, it makes me feel worse about betraying Alex. But as I said we can only have hope, and my hope is that Alex would understand. I love him.
I have declined all interviews with national news outlets as Alex cries incessantly. He is going to die.
I sat by Alex’s bedside today and tried to talk to him, alone. I told him all kinds of things. I tried to ask questions. He cried.
Then, I told him I did not want him to die. I told him that he reminded me of Dalton. That he was brave. That he was like a son to me. And that I loved him. Can you believe an asshole like me had these feelings? The same asshole who cannot look Alex’s mother in the face? I cannot even know what she thinks of me. She probably pities me, and herself. She probably has no energy to hate me.
But Alex stopped crying when I said these things. Oh, even his trust in me makes me feel filthy. But yes I had the selfish pleasure of seeing him stop crying. He squeezed my hand.
Alex has died. He died last night, in his sleep. Ironically, when he slept, he would never cry. And he was not crying when he died.
I did not cry when I heard the news. I was braced for this. I hugged Matthias and Anne. I also spoke to Anne privately. I told her how sorry I was. She said it was okay. But I re-
emphasized how sorry I was, hoping she would understand. Again, she said it was okay. I have failed to redeem myself to her, and for that, I am truly worthless. Just as she cannot explain things fully to Matthias, I cannot explain myself fully to Daisy, and for that, we will struggle. My one hope was that I could speak to Anne, but I don’t deserve the consolation. I deserve the worst imaginable punishment.
It is nice being with Daisy again. We are happy, now that we have each placed things in perspective. We share the same pains but we also share the same memories of happiness. It is good to balance the good with the bad.
Todd continues to do well. The Hersch family came over for dinner last week, which got me inspired to write again. Anne and I share a secret that can never be told, but surprisingly she does not act with vengeance toward me. She acts as if she loves me the way that we should love any one else. She forgives me, I think, because she understands.
The Hersch family, my colleagues, and the media – even Daisy – they are all curious to know what it was that gripped Alex. Indeed, my research, my many hours playing with Alex alone when no one could see him snapping out of his stupor, the conversations we had, the friendship we formed, this was all a big shock to people who had only known him as a crying boy. Everyone wants to know my professional opinion on the matter.
To the public, I have said that this was a neurological disorder. The public also does not know all the facts. It is believable to them.
To my colleagues, I have explained that he had a highly functional brain that advanced at a rapid rate, like a young genius, except faster. I then went on to discuss the small size of his hippocampus and nucleus accumbens as well as bizarre firing I noticed in Alex’s amygdala the one time I was able to hook him up to an fMRI.
To Daisy, I say quite simply that I do not know what was wrong with Alex, but that is not true at all.
What is true is what I told to the Hersch family outside in my driveway last week, out in the darkness as Daisy was doing the dishes. They hadn’t asked what was wrong, but I had to tell them because they had suffered for so many years and they were good people and they deserved to know. And I thought knowing it might make them feel better: it was, I thought, a small, good thing to tell them, so I did. I told them that there was nothing wrong with Alex. There was nothing wrong with him.