SIMPLY PUT, there are only two kinds of wounds: ones that kill you and ones that don't. The ones that let you live leave scars, great or minor. Old wounds, apparently healed, can gape and bleed under the influence of scurvy or other diseases, and old injuries often twinge, pain, ache and throb in cold and wet weather. You never really get over them, and they don't make you stronger. Where once you leapt and ran, you now limp and halt. Where you had two eyes, you now see the world through only one. The instant agony gradually fades, or is eclipsed by something worse, but if you are destined to survive, you tend to be much more careful under circumstances similar to the ones that put you in the way of anguish, agony and loss.
The operation is considered a success if you live long enough to die of something else.
February 18, 1996
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