Sunday, January 20, 2008

three years since I've been knocking at your door

Some lymphocytes (sorry, I've got a bit of Immunology on the brain of late) become anergic. See, a lymphocyte is a cell that waits. It has, on its surface, a receptor that is just waiting to be activated. And you think it's as simple as that, receptor meets antigen, perfect fit, the cell becomes what it was meant to be.

But as a matter of fact, it's just as complicated as any other meet cute story is in real life. Receptor meets antigen, it seems like such a perfect match. It is a perfect match actually. But, predictably, it's not enough. There are other things that have to fall into place, the right secondary receptors, the right signals, a perfect, delicate microenvironment that tells the lymphocyte, this is the one.

All of this is rather unremarkable. Receptors meet various ligands all the time, sometimes it doesn't work out, and they move on. But the lymphocytes, when it had that perfect fit, when it found its soul mate but it just didn't work out, the lymphocyte can't just get over it. A lymphocyte becomes anergic. It becomes inactivated such that, even if that perfect fit presents itself, even if Mr. Right shows up, the lymphocyte doesn't react.

Some lymphocytes internalize their receptor when that happens, turn themselves inwards, safe from any future heartbreaks.

And I think that's the greatest fear, when you have your heart broken, that fear that you've been scarred such that you've actually lost the ability to fall again, lost the ability to even entertain notions anymore.


In other, somewhat related news, I think it's a shame that it's become so commonplace to say men are stupid or men are bastards or such pejoratives. Especially amongst my classmates, who are far too young to be so jaded. I don't just find such statements to be war cries for women to unite and bond over. It's bonding over the wrong thing. Or perhaps it's fine, if you at least acknowledge that women can be just as foolish and just as capable of stomping on a man's heart. Or maybe I'm just getting old.

And now, time to wash away all these sentimental notions by watching a whole lot of football. I predict that I will cry at least once today.

No comments: