[start: 2:40pm; end: 2:47pm; 7 minutes]

H is for Heart

The human heart is as big as a fist. But it has a lot more blood.

This is something my paramedic instructor told me what feels like a hundred years ago. In truth, it was only … -counts on her fingers- twenty years ago, exactly. So not a hundred years. But time and space and size are all relative, aren’t they?

So I’ve been carrying this thing, this news, this information, around with me for twenty years, not knowing what to do with it. Every time my ex-husband and I fought, I wanted to say it, to put my fisted hand over my heart and thump my chest, saying, “you know, my heart is this big, this big, but it’s got a lot more blood. so much more blood,” but it always seemed overdramatic and not all that pertinent, since I was the one who was having the affair and it was really his heart we were talking about.

This new boy I have, he’s more into bones and skulls than hearts and blood. He doesn’t like squishy things. Beaks. Teeth. Nails. Claws. Those are his realm, his element and his tools. To talk of hearts and fists and blood and chests — he wouldn’t follow. He would only bend me back, pierce the edges of my neck with points, break my words into hollow bones.

Onward, I carry it, I carry it. This heart, it weighs as much as a hundred fists, a hundred years, a hundred years. Or maybe just as much as two fists, twenty years, one beat.


All of the Quick Fiction A to Z stories, in alphabetical order

Cool image from this artist