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Some Hearts Are Moons

My doctor likes to listen to my heart. He likes also to call interns into the exam room and say “Give this guy’s heart a listen, and tell me what you think.”

Placing the stethoscope on different parts of my chest, they look perplexed. Waiting the doctor out, they don’t venture a guess until he says “It’s nothing. Runner’s heart. Slow. Steady.”

“Yes,” the young woman said today, “but it’s not just the low rate, is it?” She moved the stethoscope again. And again. “The beat itself. It’s so calm. Gentle.”

And I knew then that I was a monster, that all my fire had turned to ice, that I was a student of the silver snow.