Dear Journal: Streaks On My Heart

Dear Journal,

You know how it is when you haven’t thought about something for a while, and then someone shows up from that same time period and you’re thrust back into it? And it usually happens with negative things instead of positive things, like some kind of twisted irony machine tuned to a certain frequency only you and dogs can hear. Somehow two of those things happened to me today that triggered emotions I didn’t realize I still had, but yes they are still alive and well. Maybe they’ll never go away, and that’s a whole other story.

I used to have this convoluted view of emotion, like we’re all born with these squeaky clean hearts that haven’t been broken yet, that haven’t really done anything yet except keep us alive and keep us happy, just like little babies who smell so perfect and who have no blemishes on them. But then just like those little babies our hearts grow up and get some scrapes and bruises, some light or heavy streaking that helps to define our individual hearts from those of others around us. I imagined when I died the coroner taking out my heart and commenting to his assistant. “This is an abnormal heart,” he would say. “The individual who possessed it didn’t take good enough care of it. Notice the streaking.”

Even though I know that view is convoluted it still somehow rings true on some deeper, base level. There’s just something about our hearts that, while fragile, can sustain a lot of wear and tear. But even so, the streaks are tactile, a memory mechanism like scars that can jumpstart history that we thought was buried in our subconscious. Just one little jolt can bring it all back, meaning I guess we’re not as strong as we seem to think we are. Or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But I’m hurting right now, and no matter how much I know it’s not here anymore, my heart doesn’t know.

Sam

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