For the Control
Note and Disclaimer: Be kind, I never wrote this character before. But he seems fun…despite all of M*A*S*H never being ours.
Sometimes, I check in on those that do not like to face me. There can be wars, famines and illnesses and yet, this doctor cannot face the reality of it. He needs to have a grasp on a different sort of reality that he alone can control. But I guess that is the charismatic character of Doctor Anthony Borelli.
Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Borelli left like the world owed him much because of how he was raised. As a child, he was adored by his mother and often beaten by his drunken father. He and his mother had a close relationship. She taught him that there were things that he could control and others he should leave to God. Borelli was thrilled with what he could take by the hand. He disliked anything he could not.
One thing he could not control was his mother's brutal murder. He was devastated by her sudden death. The night that his father beat her to death and got away with it was the day he decided that he had to take control of his life. That was how he decided to become a doctor. He could heal and prevent death. That was his true calling.
By the time the United States entered the First World War, he was ready. He had the smarts and the now-how to save people's lives. However, Borelli was not given what he truly wished for – action. He was kept behind the lines and only helped soldiers after they had their surgery. It was easy work and he soon grew bored. He had all the control, but none of it was challenging. All requests to move forward had been denied.
After coming home from France, Borelli felt empty. There was nothing for him except being in practice and getting married. The one woman he desired was already married and he did not want to chase scandal. Instead, he remained in regular practice, but soon grew tired of the usual cases and traveled the country, attending surgeries, seminars and more. Then, he became more well-known for his commentary, observations and assistance. He developed techniques that began to be in use in regular circles. He was a frequent speaker at medical conferences. That he could control. He thrived on the ways he could tell people what to do, the fame he sought and more. He grew his ego.
This prestige followed him into the Second World War. This time, the Army gave Borelli several selections on stations. The famous doctor didn't like the looks of the Front Line action and decided to keep safe. Remembering the last war, he thought that his age and experience did not merit the youth's sense of adventure. He was interested in helping to save lives, not be in the way.
By the time he was assigned to Tokyo in 1950, the Korean War was in full swing. Borelli had the knowledge the new league of doctors required. By the time he met Captains Pierce and McIntyre, he was respected and bored. When he was invited to the 4077th in Korea, Borelli took it. He damned his disregard for exploits and decided that he needed a change. Being near the fighting was nothing. He heard enough in France.
But for Borelli, he lost control. Being near to the bloodshed, he could not understand what he was supposed to do. For the first time since his mother was killed, he could not reach out and keep control. Losing control of himself, Borelli drank heavily and could not help any patients except to direct surgery. There, he learned that control was something he had to hold onto dearly. Anything that prevented it was a weakness and should be built up. He had to be strong in a war zone.
Borelli had to take a second shot. He arrived in Korea again, a little over a year after the initial visit. This time, he was toughened and ready. He had another method he had to demonstrate. But he had another factor to contend with: Hawkeye Pierce. The two clashed horribly, especially when Borelli controlled everyone's moves. At the aid station, they even fought until they were reminded that it was not their egos they should cater to. It was the lives of those they had to save. They at least could control that.
After his war, Borelli retired and returned to the States. All of the control he intended to use was gone. After Korea, he realized that there were truly some things he could not handle himself. He could not be the leader by his merits alone. He had to work together with his colleagues for a solution instead of taking it up on his own.
That was a hard lesson for Borelli. For many years, he sought the control for himself. Now, he had to release it to others. A new generation of doctors were coming. He could coach them, but could not control their every move anymore. He should not have assumed the power to begin with. It was not his to take.
I am Death though…and there is always a way to me. Anthony Borelli had taken control as his anchor against all harm. For him, it was a way to ensure that nothing cruel happened. Later, it was a tool to alienate him from others. Luckily, he learned his lesson in Korea. He is not going to be surprised by a sudden stroke. That is something he cannot control.