Frank Swoons


Frank Swoons
Audrey experiences a scary incident with Frank.

Obviously, I’m not a doctor. If it happens again, no question, Frank said he’s going to go to get checked out. But I just think it’s funny that all these years that I’ve been fainting–and that he’s seen how I look and heard how I say I feel–that he didn’t realize that’s what had happened.

Maybe it was just the anger that comes from being relieved, but I got kind of mad. Did he think I’d been faking this whole time? Or lying about how bad I felt after I’d faint? Or that I was just some kind of wuss? He assured me it was none of the above, and that seeing someone experience something unpleasant, however empathetic you felt toward them, was nothing like actually experiencing the thing for yourself. Which, fair enough.


But still, it does make me wonder to what extent medical professionals who have never themselves felt a certain painful thing are as sympathetic to the patient’s pain as they could be. And also, it’s an interesting gender thing. I mean, there are certain painful sensations/situations that simply cannot be experienced by a person of the opposite gender: cramps, childbirth, blue balls, and getting hit in the balls all come to mind.

It’s weird, this little incident made me realize two things. The first is that no matter how much you feel close to someone and think that you are experiencing their joys and their pain, the truth is that really, you are not. Actually no human can ever access the particular experience of another, even if it feels very strongly that you are.

The second is that we need a new word to replace “faint.” Because right now it feels a lot worse than it sounds.

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