May 2015 - Comments Off

Nikolina Lazetic

Burden

August 30, year any

Now that there is only one day between me and Other Continent, I am unsure about how accurately I have packed. It is mathematical: as the hours lessen, my doubts grow – an awful inverse proportion! Have I calculated correctly the number of items required for each of the five months? How absurd: using the same suitcase traveling back and traveling to! Builders of suitcases should take into consideration that the same suitcase will be used multiple times; sometimes it ought to fit a one-month large memories, sometimes eleven months worth of items.

August 31
(but really just hours later because the last entry was past midnight)

 

Trouble! I had finally gone through each item in the suitcase, and in closing it I had to press with with my whole body and a metal chair - I had done it, it was done. And now this!
I have agreed to meet an old friend who came to bid me goodbye: not only did this goodbye take more than two hours but he, as he kissed my cheek, dropped something in my hand and told me that I ought to take it along!
The weight of it was horrific, and it took me good five minutes to even look at it in fear that my gaze upon it would add to the burden.
It was a small leather bag, but the weight made it feel - undoubtedly - larger than my suitcase.
Seconds felt like minutes and a paralyzing anxiety made its statement through sweat on my forehead as I was opening the bag. The bag had buttons, and I spent a fair share of seconds with each of them – there were exactly six – as I went through all the possible excuses I had stored in the past years, searching for the one that I could use to set aside this unexpected burden.
But then I opened the bag, and almost fainted: not out of joy but due to despair! None of my excuses would ever possibly cover such a thing: he had given me his beating heart.
How was I supposed to say that I would not take my friend's heart with me? What would that heart do beating to an abandoned room? There aren't even clocks there to beat back!
Trouble! I better go figure out how to fit this thing in my suitcase, and I will think about its content once it's packed.

September 5

I did not manage to fit the leather bag into my suitcase, so I had to carry it with me on the plane.
Oh the terror when I was asked if I could be carrying anything potentially dangerous!
I was just one menacing look away from bursting into tears and saying that I practically have an AK-47 with me; but the officer scanned the small leather bag and said nothing. I think his uniform prevented the flow of emotion that would sound the alarm: the officer saw nothing dangerous about someone's heart traveling with me. Voilà!

September 5, hours later

The heart ocasionally bleeds, which does not surprise me; after all, it was a twelve-hour flight and then a twenty-three minute walk to The Motel.
Still, what an impressive heart – such a long way from home, yet still so full and beating!
I cannot really place it in The Motel, so I am going to leave it in the small leather bag for now; I will think about its contents once I'm Home.

October 1

I was about to leave The Motel and had almost forgotten the small leather bag; no wonder, after so much packing! It was much lighter this time, and when I opened it I noticed that the heart has decreased in size. I wonder if it needs something...hearts don't need to be watered, do they?
I hope all the natural light at Home does it some good.

October 1, hours later

Horrific! The heart kept beating irregularly throughout the whole trip, which was almost three hours long. The taxi driver seemed like a decent man, so I asked him about the needs of a heart; how horrible he was to me!
Apparently he had once given his heart to someone, and apparently that someone was better at carrying hearts around than I am. Does he know what this heart has put me through, this burden?!
Why did he take his heart back then, if the person was so good at carrying it? Has it gotten too small to be taken care of?

November 12

I have placed the heart into the light, yet it still keeps withering. What more could a heart possibly need? Water?
I am clueless – I hope it sorts its terrible heartbeats out soon.

January 3, year new

The heart has shrunk. It can no longer, by no means, be displayed! And what a beautiful, full heart it once was.
Oh well - I have put it in a drawer now. In a few days, when I am about to fly back to Continent, I will finally be able to fit it in the suitcase. It is no more than a size of a walnut, and just as hard so no damage can be done to it. Good!

Published by: in Issue 2: Spring 2015, Prose, Volume 71

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