"you could be a general surgeon, or an ophthalmologist, or an orthopedic surgeon, or an anesthesiologist,"
-or you could be dead, she thinks. because in her searching eyes in the mirror and in the dark red-carpented cold room, where eleven of them are seated in a circle, she has never felt more like a corpse. her heart beats, steadily, with a rhythm too staunch and too strong for her vague reality. she cannot determine what makes it spasm.
but there is something perfect and logical in the situation; it seems almost too simple - only the dead should stand the line of the gates of final farewells. it's not that she wants to die, of course - at least not until she begins to wear the sour smell of decay - but a short life lived had brought her deeper and further than it should have, so that in this field she had progressed further than some, though she knew she could pick herself up, as she had already determined to do. yet even if, or when, she extricated herself, she would never be able to forget, and sometimes knowing something was as good as living it.