(A revised piece, written in 2005)

Of course, by ‘heart’, I dont mean take your name off the donor list or anything. I mean your secrets: your joys, your pains, your emotions. Only when you hand over these things to someone, whether that is by accident or on purpose, are you handing them a dagger to tear you apart with.

Keeping someone out of your heart should be like keeping them out of your underwear drawer. You might, on occasion, let them see the best on the surface of the drawer- but you’d rather they didn’t dig any deeper. You’d rather they didn’t see that pair you’ve kept since you were 15, or that pair you wear when you’re alone around the house. In fact, there are a whole lot stashed at the back of that drawer that you never want them to see, or touch.

There are two kinds of lovers in the world.

The lovers who act like they love you, they make you believe that they love you, when in fact, they dont. In your relationship, you will always be on the edge of heartbreak, and not even realise it. Maybe, from time to time, you’ll get a feeling of uneasiness- but you’ll quickly discount it because you have entrusted your heart to this person as you believe they have done with you.

Sooner or later, whether you come home to find them gone, or you find love letters from someone else, the pain of the realisation that all your love was just something to occupy them, will come. Maybe you’ll choose to lick your wounds and find someone new and keep chasing the romance of love. Or maybe you’ll take a look at your broken heart, with pieces missing; pieces you broke off and gave to them- your secrets: your hopes, your trust, your intimacy and realise that when its all mended you never want to see it broken again.

So you’ll wrap it in cellophane, encase it in perspex and place it in a glass box. Maybe, one day, you can show it to someone else but they will never be able to reach it. They can press their faces against this cold glass partition until the warmth of their own emotions reflects back and they begin to think that maybe they are really touching you. But, you’ll know when the time comes that they can scratch and beat and pound with their fists at your heart- you wont feel a thing- because they only ever reached it in their imagination. You’ve kept them at a distance, played along; you’ve let them fall for you and now they are broken to realise they never had you at all. You’ll realise that they were always on the edge of heartbreak with you.

When this happens, you will realise that you have become the thing that made you lock away your heart in the first place.

One day, you’ll decide to take out your heart. You’ll dust it off, watch the cold blue disappear and the blood red flow back through it. It will look so beautiful to you that you’ll put it on your sleeve. You’ll let everyone see it and touch it and you’ll marvel at how good it feels to be alive. Then you’ll hand it to someone- special or not, deserving or not- you’ll thrust it at them with all your might. You’ll break off pieces of it all over the place and surround them with it. You’ll leave pieces in their kitchen: in their car, in their bed, you’ll serve some up for dinner and keep filling their glass with it, until they are so full they can’t take anymore.

One day they will look around and see the mess of your heart all around them. They will feel suffocated- yet you- so happy to feel love in your heart again will keep giving and giving. It is then that you have become the SECOND type of lover in the world.

You have to be ready to realise that you will be with someone who is everything you want but keeps you at a distance; or, someone who holds you close to them but isn’t what you want. Maybe you’ll even make the mistake of thinking that nobody can ever be both; that the closer you get to someone elses true unbarriered heart, the further away from what you thought they were they will get. But you might just get both the person of your dreams who takes you into them like a missing piece of themselves and you’ll fit there, snug and secure in their love, till only death seperates you.

I can’t tell you which of these I am.

But here I am sitting thinking of you, wondering where your heart is; wondering if you’ve ever met in the middle of love and broke off half of yourself and exchanged it.  I’m wondering if you’ve ever looked around and saw you’d dropped your arms in exhaustion, and scattered all the pieces you were holding of eachother. I’m sitting thinking maybe I would like to kneel down with you and pick them up again. Maybe we can just pick each other up again?

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3 thoughts on “Keep Your Heart To Yourself

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