As I’ve come to understand it simply by living and breathing in this body through love and pain, the heart beats in different places. Three to be precise. And each for very different reasons.
There’s the heartbeat in your chest. The one we point to when we’re so deeply broken, or when you feel such yearning to be with someone. This is the heartbeat I feel when I’m racing against time. Maybe just to say that I love them before it’s too late. You can feel this heartbeat rising, rising, so much so that sometimes you think it speaks loud enough for itself. That they can hear it and just know. Thu-thump. Thu-thump.
So you sit, hoping, they will hear it too and lean in to kiss you.
If they don’t, and the moment passes, they call this a heartache.
The other heartbeat I feel is in my head. They call this dread. You know, when you feel like shrinking away, or screaming at the top of your lungs just to break free. It’s a sort of pounding too that feels like something looming.
When the heart beats here, they call this a headache.
The last place I feel my heartbeat is down there. In my loins. I’ve felt it at a dinner, after the graze of a hand passes over my thigh. A graze that especially shouldn’t be there, not around guests. It’s a rush. Pu-pump. Pu-pump. A kind of swelling, but also a warmth. A luxurious need for touch.
This heart beat swells and fills me with an aching heat. Craving. I’ll call it — a carnal ache.
I thought the pain of heart beats was too much to handle. So I protected myself. Cooled my blood. Tempered my chest. Silenced my mind.
But as I am coming to understand it, the heart beats are all connected.
And all are a sign of connection. Missing someone. A moment. A touch. Finding the right words. Letting it spill out. Giving in and allowing things to change. Chasing flutters. Silly ideas. Heated passions.
The ache of my heart then, is simply a consequence of actually living.
And oh how I suddenly miss the aches of being alive.