My heart

by Anna Masucci

When you are suffering greatly, awakening is the best and the worst moment.
As soon as you open your eyes, for a few seconds you float in a limbo, out of yourself, above the world. This is the best moment of the day, everything seems wonderful, you are completely relaxed as when general anaesthesia starts to work and the cold table of the operating theatre becomes a soft mattress of sweet-smelling flowers.
But it only lasts a moment, the moment before is already the moment after and the worst moment has come.  You begin to remember, you feel a stab of pain and then you remember why, as if your suffering flowed from the veins to the mind. It is awful. The awareness of your pain, a moment after you have forgotten it.
This is how I felt this morning. Like yesterday and the day before. I have been suffering for many years, because of people, of things, of myself, of life. I decided to do it this morning. I have been thinking about it for months, but I wasn’t brave enough. Today it is all too strong and unbearable. I have made up my mind. I get dressed, I take my car keys, reach the nearest motorway and pull over in an emergency stopping area. I unbutton my shirt and with a pair of scissors that I keep in the glove compartment I cut my chest. I open it, I see it, it is there, leaping. My heart. The only cause of all the pain. I dive both hands inside and tear it out. At one go, without hesitation. It keeps on beating, I open the car door and leave it there, close to the guard-rail. I take a needle and a flesh-coloured thread and sew up my chest, I button up my shirt, start the engine and go back home. I feel nothing. It isn’t wonderful and it isn’t awful. It isn’t.
I know I have made the right choice, now nobody will hurt me, not even my thinking, and my only scar will be the one on my chest.
This morning is already tomorrow morning, I opened my eyes and the best and worst moment were the same moment, the same as any other. I don’t know how I feel, I don’t feel anything. I am going to wake up and have breakfast, but I would wake up out of habit, I don’t feel the need to do it nor the need not to do it. I am completely anaesthetized, I can’t feel the cold table nor the mattress made of sweet-smelling flowers. Someone rang the doorbell, I opened the door but there was nobody out there, I looked down – maybe it was the newspaper delivery – and I saw it instead. It is breathless and it has a few scrapes. It beats slowly. It doesn’t ask for explanations, it doesn’t ask me how I feel. It doesn’t ask me for permission, he gets in and I let it in. My heart. It is back home.