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graph of the heart | by romanlily
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graph of the heart

There it is. A black line printed out on a sheet of paper. A line that shows the direction that my life runs, and all the peaks and crests that go with it. The doctor called to say that my heart is fine. I had noticed it beating in an aberrant rhythm a few weeks ago, and it had me worried enough. I'm just not used to having such a vital organ kick up such a fuss. The doctor was a wrinkled old man, a Southerner from tip to toe. He smelled, disconcertingly, of a nightclub at closing hour. This despite the fact that he had come highly recommended by a couple of friends. He casually studied at my EKG readout while I told him about my heart palpitations. A few minutes later I found myself lying on the examining table, with him pushing his chilly stethoscope all over my bare chest. I know this is what doctors do, but all things being equal, it's still really disconcerting to have a complete stranger touch you in this way. We waited together there for my heart to perform its curious palpitation under his listening ear. His hands and stethoscope wandered through the lands while I lay there cringing. Finally as his hand snuck around to cup my left breast, the heart backflip happened — yes, there it is! he said, brightening...

 

But he called to say that it's fine, and that I'm as healthy as a teenager. Which was meant to make me feel good, I guess, but mostly made me cringe again.

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Taken on February 8, 2005