The theory of hearts
It begins with a dull ache, a seemingly small ditch you can jump over and get on with your life. You count the minutes as you traverse the dusty, crowded road to work. When it averages to 48 minutes and you wonder silently if you can make it 50, just so it feels more ..right. You silently look at your life, almost as a curious bystander, while you go over the mundane chores you compel yourself to do. In a strangely detached sense of peacefulness, you might even find your zen; in that triumphant line of code in your tapestry of haute logic, in that hot sip of the sweetened tea you fill your evenings with.
But it never stops reminding you of it’s quiet presence. It shadows you as you walk aimlessly till you exhaust yourself into solitude. It accompanies you when you sit by the corner aisle for lunch, alone and tired of your own presence. It calls for you, when you are all but a tangle of limbs and peppered kisses, even if you ignore it resolutely. Always.
You see, there is a reason we try to ignore our broken hearts and fail so miserably. It has got to do with how they are made. The common myth is that we have but one heart, to break or mend. In real, we are made up of compound hearts, all beating in a frenzy of emotions and memories. Like a bug’s eyes under a microscope. One little piece will beat particularly loud when your mom hugs you out of blue and another will thump quietly when you watch your old pet die. They come with their own expiry dates and quirks. The biggest one of all, will always be the one which is empty (You will never dare to give it to anyone, it would destroy you if it broke.) and the smallest of them will be the love you would never have (They take away everything from you, don’t they.)
Interestingly, when one of these hearts breaks, the results are tragically complex. Because, unlike our rainbow of hearts, our brain is unimpressively monochromatic. A plain jane who is content having vanilla ice cream everyday. So the myriad memories which makes your hearts flutter otherwise, get dumped unceremoniously into your brain every time one of those tiny things shatter. And when the friend you knew would stay for life walks away one day, or when the love you lived in turns up into a soggy mess you can’t get out of; each of those precious hearts you hold, stop. And so they are all there piled up chaotically. Empty and worthless, yet they make your brain relive those memories, as stark reminders to their untold existence.
And those are pockets of pain that prod us with their aching familiarity of past. Each stab, a nod to our life and the mistakes we never made. Each plunge, a lost hope and world we will never have. And with that truth, we live, building yet another heart to dwell in and survive.