Sin Dolor -- reviewed by Mimi Carmen
So why isn't this event, the birth of a baby, being heralded with saintly acclaim? The child isn't born with the fragility of gossamer wings as he's heard other parents describe their newborn or even normal baby skin-and-bones' reactions to diaper rash. No, even sticking pins in him doesn't make him cry. Sin Dolor, ( the painless one), born from the gargantuan mother, and mouthy father who are street vendors, who sell fly infested goat meat, and who don't seem to understand much of anything about a baby who doesn't cry at all..
And can anyone help in the cause of helping humanity? Here he is, a good doctor in Mexico trying as best he can to help the poor, impoverished, unsanitary population, when he confronts the situation which stimulates his imagination, as he assists in the birth of a child who has no ability to feel pain. The doctor, who is also an amateur entomologist or arachnologist, wonders, if he is attracted to the child as an experiment? But no, he's a kindly man and cares for the child, wants to help him as does his nurse and also lover, Elvira Fuentes, (who had seen just about every horrible thing that can happen to a body, in her experience as a nurse in cancer ward in the hospital in Quadalajara).
Yes, this doctor is as dedicated as a saint, as hard working as a scientist discovering a cancer cure, He needs to get a piece of the child, a DNA, or some evidence to send his scientist friend, because this phenomena if it can be captured, can save lives. So, he attempts to befriend the boy with food, with scorpions, (the child is intrigued with scorpions), with deep talks to help make the child grow beyond his humble beginnings, as he realizes what is happening; the child, part child, part man by now is manipulated by his malicious father.
As the author intends, you will be horrified, and entranced at the same time as he draws you into his confidence, and as with the story of Helga in Flannery O'Connor's "Good Country People," you'll know a bittersweet moment of pain.