People say: You get used to everything. And it’s true that when far away you get used to eating at times you would have otherwise considered crazy, and even to eating stuff had we been asked beforehand we would have denied more than three times ever getting close to our mouths, but there are things that no matter how long it’s been since the first time, no matter how rutinary, I just simply cannot get used to.
I cannot get used to the smell of blood. I can’t get used to seeing my animals die. Even if it’s me who kills them, even if I know I HAVE TO cause otherwise the’d suffer more. It’s simply their destiny. That’s what they’re for. They’re nothing but a tool, I tell myself. And whenever a tool is defective or doesn’t work anymore it needs to be discarded. No looking back. Capitalism to the death. Also in Science.
And you finish getting rid of your bloody gloves in the trash. Then you dispose of the last corpse in the freezer and leave it resting together with the others and shut the light. Enough for today. More tomorrow. Now time to relax with your colleagues, who have probably visited the freezer more than once today, also with the likely feeling that it was good for nothing if the experiment failed…again. And you have your beer, and joke about life…and death. Because just as a doctor needs to distance himself from the tragedies he faces everyday to perform professionally so we need to forget about their softness, their cuteness or even their bad mood -if they’re the bitter kind-, to repeat the same song every single day. Even though we never forget that our tools are living things. Even though I´ll never get used to the cold touch of their stiff bodies when they stop breathing (not right after of course, a while after the rigor mortis kicks in).
They say the PhD is a unique time for learning. Shame there’s no method to learn about these things. Cause these are the ones that matter. And I don’t think I´ll ever grow used to.