The Dissolute Doctor Diaries: Tears, Peers, And New Year Fears


Dear patient log,

I constantly yearn for the redemption of my Soul. Every unending hour I am reminded of my futile attempts to exist beyond the natural world, for I am no longer living. Gratefully, I have endured thus long so that the knowledge of my livelihood has been desperately sought by diseased persons. I am dictating this to a writing student who has too much time on their hands. Oh, hands, how I miss thee.

Disclaimer: Sir Thomas Birch is the ghost of an Elizabethan doctor. He obtained his medical degree in a time where they thought a body could contain ‘too much blood.’ Any advice given is ill-advised as it may make ill those advised.

Question: As soon as I step outside, my eyes can’t stop watering. It’s a bit annoying and I don’t know what to do to fix it!

Answer: I have a follow up question that must be addressed nere I give you the wrong information?! Are you wet and cold, or wet and warm? This is important! If you are hot and wet, we must drain some blood immediately. If you are cold, then we must remove a large proportion of phlegm. Your body is at an uneven balance of the four humours, and without altering the levels, you are at a terribly high risk of disease! I must admit I am not sure what diseases are particularly pungent during this life, but I am imagining cholera – a truly thankless terror!

Question: I have a hard time making friends because people make me a bit nervous. Any advice on how to be a bit more confident with people?

Answer: I am very sorry to hear that you are unconfident. We oft thought those who were most displeasing to look upon were the unconfident ones, so it is a sorry tale to hear that even the plainest of souls are stricken down with the curse of ugliness. For some advice, I am reminded of a line I read in a book once, because I was a rich man in life after all, that spoke, ‘Thou must fake it, ’til thou makes it.’ It may be hard to comprehend what these complex lyrics tell, but I am sure they will speak to you as touchingly as they have spoken to all that have read them. If you were seeking a way to become the most proud and the most though-of, try wistfully slapping the former alpha opponent with a leather glove, that always brings a large gathering of people to your very side!

Question: It’s been quite a while since I set my New Year’s resolution and I’m quite sad that I haven’t stuck to it. I always get so unmotivated around this time of year anyway, and I was wondering if this was normal.

Answer: It is perfectly normal to feel unlike yourself. The fears that come with the dawn of a new age are arife and it is rather difficult to allow them to subside and for your passion for work to reemerge. I myself find this time of year particularly difficult; the dark evenings are when the shadows begin talking and I quiver at the sight of an empty room… Alas, I make it through and I am able to begin to live once again. It will not be long until you are swooning in the sunlight and all of your problems seem to be far away. To sooth your sorrows, I feel inclined to remind you that your days on Earth, trapped within the shackles of your mortal body are numbered, and soon your Soul will be free to roam with the Hand of God.

Have any questions of your own? Email to have your queries answered by our in-school professional.


Wessex Scene Editor 21/22. Living vicariously through other people.

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