matically. After his discharge, I volunteered to follow him in my office, where he joined Theophile, Marc, and Belony, the original group of survivors.
Theophile was picked up by Gordon when he was admitted with a type of fungal meningitis. When he came to the office he always looked remarkably well, wearing a brightly colored shirt and a broad-brimmed straw hat. He was tall and thin but not wasted and had an infectious grin. He complained of headaches after his meningitis, and Gordon treated him with codeine. Whenever he ran out of medicine he would show up unexpectedly at our office. Since I was there more often than Gordon, I would frequently renew his prescriptions.
Marc was one of the first in whom we diagnosed toxoplasmosis of the brain before he died. Initially he responded dramatically to treatment, but the nursing home he was discharged to inadvertently discontinued it. When he returned to us he was paralyzed on his right side and could not speak. Although restarting antibiotics forestalled his death, the drugs did not restore his strength or his speech. He returned to our office in a wheelchair each week to see Margaret. He smiled on one side of his face and drooled on the other in response to greetings from Fanny and Clara. They mercifully ignored his disability and carried on one-way conversations with him: “Oh, Marc, you’re here. The doctor will be right with you. You look like you’re doing better.”
Belony, like so many of these patients, was a student in his early 20s who lived with his mother. His English was not as good as Previlus’s. He was more debilitated than the others and more frightened. Rumor had it that he believed he was hexed. His mother, who brought him to each visit, clearly thought so. She adorned his neck with a makeshift amulet, a little sack containing herbs, miniature pictures of saints, and strange hieroglyphic drawings. His hair was falling out in patches, and he covered his head with a stocking cap. As Belony had little spontaneous speech, his mother would answer my questions. He avoided eye contact, preferring the floor. I felt