David Vetter: The Boy in the Bubble
Notes for a story:
Can you live without touching the skin of others, the skin of the world?
Ten seconds after he was born they placed him in a sterile cocoon.
He thought the world outside the window was flat and one-dimensional, that trees were just cut-outs in the distance.
The awful sadness in his eyes and in those of his mother. She only got to touch him once, to place her hands on his face. He was twelve years old and their first touch was moments before he died.
The doctors who played God, who enabled his life, and then deserted him one by one to his plastic prison.
Homo Sacer – a being not allowed to die but also not really allowed to live. Bare life. An accursed man…
Freed from his cocoon to have a bone marrow operation, he was taken on a trolley to the operating theatre. His wonder at the dust motes floating in the light ‘like tiny snowflakes.’
Bone marrow, taken from his sister, proved fatal to him – a dormant virus in her marrow was reborn in him. Tumours flowered with abandon within his unpolluted, flawed body.
What is a meaningful, true life?