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Mouth Piece

When I was five years old, more than sixty years ago, I was playing on the top rung of a swimming-pool ladder near our home in what was then Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). I lost my footing.

Being very thin, I slipped between the pool ladder and the wall and knocked my chin hard as I fell. Just as in the film Jaws, the blue water (acrid with pool chemicals) bloomed red.

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This Isn’t Worth It

While sitting on the exam room table in my cardiologist’s office, I began thinking about the many years we’ve had these semiannual appointments. I’ve had not one but two emergency open-heart surgeries.

In a few months, it will be exactly nineteen years since my first surgery, I thought. That means I’ll be starting my twentieth bonus year of life!

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Command Performance

The reasons not to go to Mary’s wedding seemed overwhelming.

She was neither a family member nor even a close friend: She had, in fact, been my psychotherapy patient several years back. The very notion of attending her wedding raised the issue of professional boundaries: Wasn’t it inappropriate for me to see a patient outside of the office setting?

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