Ewan Gass

Clinical Intimacy

Clinical Intimacy


S was a good person. Such a good person. They all told me that – so it had to be true.

S is unique. It seems that most people think so – his mother, his sister, his best friend, but relative strangers too. In fact, they and others all have much to say in the inquiry into S. When prompted, when the tape recorder in front of them clicks, a succession of family, friends and professional contacts in turn describe his shapeshifting charisma. All struggle to account for the enigmatic figure who has wandered through their lives, doing some good things – and some bad. Yet as they talk, it becomes apparent that they are not so much telling his story, as they are their own – of their common need for love, touch, retribution, closure. Together, their tissue of voices reveal the complexity of care.

In a series of intimate snapshots charting the relations of one ordinary yet extraordinary man, Clinical Intimacy explores the emotional conditions and moral consequences of a life lived in service of satisfying others.