Styrofoam Heart

February 14th, 2010

I found two odd objects on my desk on Friday: a pack of Fun-Dip candy powder from a sweet friend and a discontinued condom package we were thinking of using in the magazine. Sadly symbolic because there’s going to be no fun-dip happening for me on this doily-edged, red- velvet day. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a heart-shaped void where a relationship should be. Not that I haven’t had more than my fair share of overnight hook-ups and years-too-long live-ins. But I lack the knack of day-to-day living together that grown-ups my age should have developed. I like the falling-in-love part better than the through-thick-and-thin part. Yes, I know that’s incredibly immature, but my teenage marriage was a terrible love accident that I never really got treated for. Lots of casualties as a result, and over the years, I built up a protective carapace of scar tissue where the wound was. After I had lung surgery years ago, a deep scar formed along my ribs and under my breast that for a long time was numb to feeling. I think it sealed off the terror I felt through that time, and in the same way, my love scar sealed off the sadness I didn’t want to feel. Unfortunately, it also sealed me off from the sweetness that can come with love. At some point, the scar on my ribs lost its numbness and became a badge of honor, but the one on my neglected, protected heart is more stubborn. I keep it mostly hidden because I feel to blame for it, but my word for 2010 is Change, so maybe there’s still time for me to have a change of heart.

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