Listen, let me tell you a story. The story, really, the one no one ever tells because if everyone knew it no one would love. No one could love.
They would be afraid.
But, seeing that I can’t love anymore, don’t have the capacity, the ability, really, to do so anymore, I can now tell you the story. And since you’re dead inside, or at least you think you are, then this isn’t a crime against humanity. It’s not forbidden.
Ever heard of the term “two-hearted” or “double-hearted”? No? That’s okay. Remember it; it’s important.
You see, we’re all told to not be careless with our hearts. “Be careful!” Every old wives’ tale. “Don’t give it away!” We’ve all heard it.
However, here’s the secret: to fall in love you MUST be careless with your heart. There is no other way. Still, we’re told that this delicate, precious, living pulsing beating thing you keep in your chest should stay in your chest, protected by skin and bone. Clutch your hands over it – guard it!
But to be in love, to give and receive love, you must take those very protective hands and pry your ribs apart, crack your breastbone and reach into that cavity and take this pink, life-giving organ into your hands and pull it out of your body.
You must pull it out, cradle it, and hand it as a gift offering to another who will, in turn, do the same.
For once your heart is now in her chest and hers in yours, the exchange is complete and both of your hearts once again safe and protected.
Did you see the careless part? Or shall I say parts? Yes, when you pry your chest open – danger! something else (fear, loss, pain) could slip in, reach up, and grab it. Or, in the exchange, your heart could be dashed to pieces, trampled upon in a street, by passerby or by the offeree.
But the most careless action is the entrusting it to someone else to place in her chest. What if she cannot contain it, if yours is too large? Then she will pare you down. Or if it’s too small? Your heart will be overtaxed and she will wither and your heart with it.
Or worse… What if she has two hearts? Yes, remember those two hearts? She gives you one in return, but it’s a false one, a weak one, a copy but not the real, primary thing. And while at first it sits inside of you and mimics the ebb and the flow, the beat-beat-beat… In time it fades. It slows.
It rots and dies in there and off walks your heart inside of someone else who has stolen it. And now, now she is done with you.
You asked me if she broke my heart, and darling, I lied to you. I’d said yes but that’s not the story. That wasn’t the truth.
I was careless with my heart as I needed to be. And now it’s gone. She didn’t break anything. I’m now just an empty chamber, waiting for something to put me out of my misery.
How’s that for a story?