While waiting for results from a prostate exam, a writer turns to the example of Marcel Proust and Dr. Édouard Brissaud, Prousts model for Dr. du Boulbon in "The Guermantes Way" and the man who first documented Gilles de la Tourettes Syndrome. With the Frenchmen in his head and his diagnosis hovering, the writer grapples with the proper response to mortality, considering dogs as a metaphor for wandering souls, the scratch of a pen and its connection to eczema, and the contrast between his mothers murder and his own uncertain future. As Slavitt writes, The mind is not where the real business of our lives is transacted, but somewhere else, in the recesses of the body.
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