When a heart is no longer working, skilled surgeons implant a conduit to redirect blood flow. This little piece of temporary heart does the job of a once working organ because even the most vital parts of us can stop, sometimes.
Out of the surgeon's hands, the heart is not so easily mended. Everything I know about medicine, I learned from Meredith Grey. Everything I've learned about being "dark and twisty" however, long preceded her, even if she serves as the authority on the matter. This temporary fix is not a solution. At any given moment, the conduit may be in need of repair; when the wear and tear of scattered heartbeats becomes too damaging. This past year has begged for a brand-new heart.
And so we go back under the knife.
But it's not so easy to replace broken parts, by the light of day. In surgery, the heart can be disconnected from the brain, left to its own devices: To learn to beat by a new, steady rhythm. Give the brain time to acclimate to the newness of a heart that has been taught how to regain its shine.
I miss being shiny.
I spend too much time with children; notice the nuance of a smile, the meaning of the smallest glimmer in an adolescent eye. I used to think that growing up fell on some sort of timeline but now I know that isn't the case: we grow according to the scope of the world we are brought into. Some people never see beyond certain states--or states of mind--and others travel. Others have no choice.
The things I know have muddled my shine.
So we put in a conduit. When our hearts are no longer beating on their own. Foreign pieces that do the task of vital organs. This is what survival looks like, when we need to be reminded. When it doesn't feel like time, or love letters written by unwounded hearts, can repair the damage that has been done. When the person we used to be feels so distant from the person we are now that even we talk about her in second person. Her.
I desperately want to reconnect with her.
So my tired hands struggle to create a piece with enough strength, enough promise, to keep my heart functioning. A proper conduit, all on my own, so I can bring the butterflies from the lowest part of my belly, up to my heart. Where the flap of their wings could teach my heart a new rhythm.
This is Me:
My name's Melissa. I'm the girl with her hands in her journal.