Sometimes when I’m out jogging, I wonder what kind of texture my heart would have if it were cooked. I’m thinking that it would be dark meat, since it works constantly instead of in short bursts. I was a vegetarian for 15 years, so I have no idea how to know when a human heart is safe to eat.
I’m also thinking that my heart would be quite tough. I base this on the concept of certain cows not being permitted to move much in order to keep them tender. There, the metaphor doesn’t escape me. If work makes things tough, my heart would just sit there mocking you as you chewed for 15 minutes. Beating all day counts as work, but what about abstract work?
Does worry make a heart harder to chew?
Do trials make us hard hearted?
We could track down a person who’s never had a problem, never had a breakup, never been laid off and cook up his or her heart. Except that would be murder, and that person doesn’t exist. Everybody has problems, each registering in proportion to earlier problems. Right now, some heiress’s heart is getting tougher because she had to settle for the less fancy BMW. Right now, some nurse is watching her third death of the day and barely feeling anything. Detaching is the only way she can get through it.
That thing in my chest also never completely closes. “Murmur” is a very cute word for “one side doesn’t work quite right.” Doctors warn me of this and tell me to take antibiotics when I go to the dentist.
The very idea of being taken down by bacteria from my own mouth seems ridiculous. What does that even look like? Am I going to be walking around Green Hills Mall after going to the dentist and just suddenly keel over in the middle of Claire’s? Clutching my chest, cursing oral hygiene? Honestly.
I agree with the doctors.
Open hearts are said to be good things, but even 7/11 has locks on the doors. Sometimes, some shit goes down and you have to throw the deadbolt. A heart that never closes can be taken down by any old crackhead that wants to waltz in and rob the place. Its employees just stand behind the register, handing over cash and wondering why no one ever put up bulletproof glass and a silent alarm.
That open heart could kill you.