“Oh, there you go, that’s why you feel cheerless all the time,” the Doctor says, “You don’t appear to have a soul.”
“I beg your pardon?” I say, somewhat shocked and confused by my local GP’s peculiar statement.
“I said, it appears that you do not have a soul.”
“I soul?” I say, “I don’t have a soul?”
“Yes, you seem to be completely lacking one, this would account for your feelings of emptiness, fragility and ennui.”
Doctor Murphy gestures for me to sit back down, which I do. He puts the strange chrome medical apparatus which he has just used to determine my lack of a soul back in its leather snap fastened case and then he also sits.
“Is there anything I can do about a lack of a soul?” I ask.
”No,” The Doctor says unequivocally.
“Don’t I need to be religious or something to have a soul?”
Clearly irritated by my question the Doctor sakes his head as if I am a silly child asking if the world is flat.
“Religion is irrelevant, what we are dealing with here is your complete inability to feel any kind of normal emotions. Yes?. Compassion, warmth, empathy, companionship, friendship, love; these emotions are controlled by a person’s soul. You do not feel these things, yes?”
“Oh,” I say, unable to think of anything remotely intelligent to add.
“Have you ever been in love?” Doctor Murphy asks.
“Ever had a really good friend that you would do anything for without expecting anything in return?”
“Are you married? Do you have children? Ever had a relationship not end with you cheating, lying or becoming bored?”
“There you go,” Doctor Murphy says, “You are completely without a soul.”
“Did I lose it?” I enquire.
“No, you never had one.”
“And you say there isn’t anything I can do?”
Doctor Murphy spins round in his chair and taking my head in his hands starts to move my head this way and that. After a few moments of examining my face and eyes he stops and turns to his desk top PC and begins to type awkwardly with two fingers.
After a few seconds of silence only punctuated by the slow tapping at his keyboard I realise that he has either ignored my question altogether or has forgotten what I asked, so I repeat it.
“Is there anything I can do about this, can I get a soul if I don’t currently have one?”
“No.” The Doctor says impassively, “There is nothing you can do about it.”
“Oh right,” I say.
“Now, was there anything else?” The Doctor asks, clearly trying to rushing me out so he can get to his next patient.
“No,” I say, “I guess not.”
“Well,” Doctor Murphy says, “Take care.”
And with that I get up and leave.