Last week, we watched “The Tale of Desperaux”. In it, the narrator says “There are those hearts that never mend again once they are broken. Or if they do mend, they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way, as if sewn together by a careless craftsman.”
I, in my broken-hearted state, nodded and wept.
The next morning, I decided to carelessly sew my heart back together and wall it off. I’ve been broken-hearted so many times before, I decided I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I’m tired of being heart-sick, so I’ll just whip some stitches in there and wall off my heart.
Then, I loaded up my current addiction, Sims 3. I decided – and I’m not proud of this – to make the meanest, heartless-est, cruelest sim I could, and play her so I could vent my anger and hurt and madness and test out my newfound heartlessness.
I named her Quinn.
But I don’t just play the Sims. I’m a storyteller, so I craft their stories. I weave emotion into their lives, give meaning to the little tasks they do at my whim. I love my Sims.
I’m already not doing so well at being heartless, eh?
Quinn was mean. She was evil and mean-spirited and hot-headed, she enjoyed making enemies and hurting people, and loved getting into fights.
But every time she’d walk away from a fight, in my story, she was really sad. Deep down, her broken-all-too-often, crooked, badly mended heart would hurt, just a little bit, every single time.
In her sub-terrain home, she would sit on her couch and just be angry.
In my beautiful home, I’ve been sitting on my couch and just being angry.
In her story, in my imagination, something tragic had happened to her, and she’d walled off her heart. She’d mended it too quickly, and wound up hurting too badly to bear, and, brick by brick, tragedy by tragedy, built the wall til she couldn’t feel anymore.
But I could see it in her lovely face – I could see every freak I know. I could see every kid who threw shoes at me, real or verbal. I could see every bully, every jerk, every tail-pulling, rock-throwing, finger-flipping asshole I’ve ever encountered. I could see their broken, crooked, badly-mended hearts, walled off to protect themselves from whatever pain finally did them in and built their walls.
In the end, I deleted her game. I couldn’t take it. I was weeping for her, for her poor broken, crooked, hurting and hurtful heart. I loved Quinn, and my own heart ached for hers, hardened though it was.
And in turn, my own heart ached for my own heart, hurting as it is. I was filled with compassion for myself. I sat there, starting at my computer screen, and let myself hurt.
And I do hurt. I ache. I long for the life I had a month ago, a life of preparation and blissful unawares, a life on the brink instead of in the mush.
But in the end, a wall isn’t the answer. Not for me, not for my sensitive, bared-to-the-world, broken, crooked, badly-mended heart.