(Anna Pavic once had an adopted son, Axel, Axel Mikael Pavic. Mika. He was
bright but he never did much of anything; he was a great dissapointment
to Uncle Max. He quit school at sixteen, wandered around various countries;
he worked in a fluorescent lighting factory on and off; he died of mercury
poisoning when he was thirty; actually, it was that and other complications.
He used to write me long letters and send me his stories and plays. This
is an excerpt from a letter of his that I saved in my journal.)
Listen, Jonathan. It is time for you to change. Here, in Haiti, I have
a classmate who knows the entire village; he told me this story: there was
a small boy born who could not feel pain. It was interesting. He could feel
the thorn entering his finger--but it was simply the texture of the thorn
sliding in. You learn through memorizing the pain as well as the fear. But
this boy had neither pain nor fear. His uncle had had this same curious
disorder. This is the moral of his story: these people who cannot feel pain--they
are careless; they die young.
His uncle died at the age of twelve. This boy died when he was only eight.
His newborn sister apparently suffers from this too. I think she will die
early too. But you, you cannot die like this newborn girl. You must be able
to feel pain--the pain of others--because it is a physical pain. Because
it comes from without whereas your own pain comes from within. Listen to
me, Jonathan, you must feel compassion for the world, otherwise, you will
slip away. What will I do then, alone?
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