Doctor Who: Yes, Katy, There Is a Doctor
April 2014 has been a bad month in House With One F. Jobs have been lost, loved ones have entered hospitals, and bizarre vehicular failures have been the norm. Amidst all of that misery, I received at my house out of nowhere the card you see above written in Old High Gallifreyan. The return address was a set of galactic coordinates, it contained a $150 Visa gift card, and it was simply signed "The Doctor".
Jef With One f
That card allowed me to buy groceries for the rest of the week, and had just enough left over for an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese with my daughter. It was, in every sense of the word, a godsend. I showed the card to my daughter, who at four years old is starting to be able to read, and of course she recognized the name of her favorite television hero. Shocked, she asked me, "The Doctor is REAL?"
Luckily for me my phone rang right at that moment, and by the time I was finished talking she was once again engrossed in Jake and the Never Land Pirates. I didn't have an answer to her question off the top of my head when she asked, but after some thought I do. I'm leaving it here for her to read later when she's a bit older.
Katy, at some point someone will tell you The Doctor isn't real because he's just a story. That's the problem with the modern world. They've forgotten the true importance of stories. In the beginning there was not The Word, but The Story, a tale men told themselves to explain the miraculous and the terrible things they witnessed around them that they could not comprehend. Those stories became the first gods, and as their stories grew they inspired men and women to do great things to honor their gods. Stories are the only true religion because only a story can transcend reality. Whether true or untrue, every story is real because the effect it has on the person who hears it is real.
Yes, Katy, The Doctor is real. He exists because bravery and kindness and mercy and capricious meddling exist, and without such things what on Earth would the universe be like? The stars would just be flaming balls of gas instead of beacons to wonderful adventures, and we would all be slaves to the long odds of living and inarguable fate. If there were no Doctor, there would be no one inspired by The Doctor to look at the crying children of the world and regardless of his or her own safety or guarantee of success say, "No more". Perhaps other stories would take his place, but the fact that they have not tells me that they cannot. There is only one Doctor, and a world that can conceive of a Doctor is a world that can conceive of the wonders he performs and acknowledges their possibility.