Dating column: The heart and tourniquet
You see, we human creatures are highly adaptable, and when the stresses of life are too much, there are biological and emotional ways to take some of it away. If a person gets too little oxygen to the brain, they will pass out. If a person eats too much food, they may throw up. If a person takes a nap too late in the evening, it will be difficult to sleep at night. This is natural, and the heart has a similar response when too much is thrown at it.
If a heart gets emotionally overloaded, it can decide turn off. This happened to me. I guess you could say I am basically heartless, and you wouldn’t be too far off.
Two Wednesdays ago, my grandma died. I have never been through such a strange and consuming experience. I got the call in the middle of class, which was then followed by my violent yet therapeutic 30-minute sob session south of the Sparks Automotive building. The day persisted to bring tough and tender moments among loved ones.
Just a couple of days earlier was Sunday, or what my friend Emily calls “boyfriend day.” My then-boyfriend and I were breaking ground in our relationship, but by Thursday I began to lose all feeling in life. I didn’t choose to, but I must not have been capable of dealing with what was happening because my heart could only take so much.
It was as if I were wearing a tourniquet around my heart because it began to die. I am not talking about the kind of heart that pumps blood to the limbs, but that other heart, the kind that is drawn all over a special valentine and represents a powerful part of a person, that yet is somehow difficult to locate.
During this tourniquet process, I could literally feel that the all-too-common tunnel vision associated with love was being cast off my eyes. What emerged when the darkness lifted were these two people and all of the ways which these people didn’t fit each other. Later without the emotional piece, I lost interest in the work it would take to fill in the gaps in the puzzle.
Hearts are important. They make us just a little bit dumb so we do things that don’t really make sense. The brain will tell you to worry about commitment. The brain will say things such as, “It is probably going to hurt,” and “Chances of success are slim nowadays.”
This is the purpose of a heart.
Tiffany Thatcher, Life Editor firstname.lastname@example.org