Since the doctor made me bring my heart home because she wouldn’t remove it like I had suggested and thought best, I’ve had to pull my heart around with me all week, everywhere I go, in the wagon. I don’t have children and really don’t appreciate seeing them in stores or other places, but I’ve had to bring my heart along wherever I go, mostly because of the icky tendon thing that connects us. It’s been messy in places like the grocery because she cries and kicks sometimes—like right in the middle of the chip aisle—and I have to pull the cellophane back over her, just to keep her hydrated. I continue to squirt my water bottle on her because I know she needs it.
I was attempting to garden last night when she lurched in her wagon again. I sprayed her with the hose, but she was having none of it—she just cried and cried. I sat next to her on the ground, our cord muddy, me wiping it off with my hands. “What’s the matter?” I said, patting her robust red heartiness. She squirmed as if she hadn’t been touched in years. She turned over in the wagon, which was a sight to see under the mesquite where we were sitting, just her and me. My heart doesn’t know language so she pantomimes everything. I like charades, so we get along.
“Baby, you’re going to chafe yourself,” I said, wanting to use my spit on her like a mother would. She started playing in the water like an Olympian, using only her left ventricle. She just kept flopping around, having the time of her life there in the wagon next to the mesquite and in the garden hose water.
“Do I know you?” I said, finally sitting down in my pajamas in the dirt next to the wagon. I propped my shears against the house and really looked at my heart, beating heavily but regularly in the wagon. She could have cardboard over her and it would make her happy, if it kept her warm, if she thought she was safe. If she thought she was camping.
The problem with my heart is that she always thinks she’s safe, which she somehow metabolizes into feeling happy under the worst of conditions. My heart makes do. She doesn’t listen to me, which is irritating.
I note the gravel that has stuck to our cord, the little white pigeon feathers that now stick to her. She’s already napping again. In a way, she’s cute—in the way you see anything living innocently before it dies.
I heave myself up, brush myself off, make a mental note that my tulips will never bloom, all of this while keeping my cord intact. I spit on my fingers and rub them up and down the sinew that still connects me to my heart. She’s still sleeping.
“C’mon baby,” I say, pulling my napping heart in her wagon to the back porch, shading her ventricles from the sun with my body. She is kind of slimy and a little smelly by the time we make it to the back door, but so am I. I wipe my hands on my now disgusting shirt before picking her up, her enlarged warm beating bloody self, and move us back into the house.