“Your heart,” she told me, when we walked the pier and watched the lobstermen pulling up their pots at the far end of the dark bay, after that clouded talk in the coffee shop, when we both kept sipping at long-empty cups and looking at everything but each other…
“Your heart,” she told me, “has unlimited capacity.”
“You’ve told me this before,” I replied, remembering a drive in the Florida sun in a rented convertible, when I backtracked ten miles to retrieve the hat that had blown off her head on the interstate.
She was young, then, and I was… idealistic. Impressionable. Eager to be anything that she told me to be.
Her answer came like the sharp mist off the whitecaps, chilling under my upturned collar.
“I was wrong, then.”
“Then, I thought you had a heart with enough room for everyone. A big heart. A heart like a balloon that could never pop, no matter how many people blew into it.”
I found her analogy lacking, but it had potential. I kept silent and waited, like the gathering clouds drifting along with us, far overhead.
“But my analogy doesn’t really hold water,” she mused, and I saw in her tight cheeks and quivering nose the telltale signs of a joke she knew no one else would understand.
“Your heart,” she told me, pausing to lean on a thick pole as a boat chugged past, wheezing white smoke behind…
“Your heart is more like a bucket with a hole in it. People pour their love in, and maybe it gathers for a bit, but it runs out just as quickly.”
Seagulls bobbed in the wake of the little lobster boat, facing various directions, as the twilight crept in around us and the chill of dusk oozed under my collar and raindrops began to patter on the mottled wood of the decking, drumming dully on the plastic lid of my long-empty coffee cup.