You receive the heart smeared with blood and grime on the palm of your hand, the way one might receive a delicate chicken. The organ was still beating.
‘Why? What’s the matter?’
‘I don’t want to talk about it. Just take it.’ The twin retires on the sofa like a war-torn general.
‘But it makes no sense. Your heart should belong to you only. In any case, what I am supposed to do with it?’
‘Burn it. Throw it away. Slow-boil it, for all I care. I’m done with it.’
He falters towards the bookshelf and picks up a copy of ‘The Outsider’ by Camus. You just stand there dumbstruck, having no clue what to do with a beating heart.
You almost throw it away, but then decide against it. Maybe it’s better to slow boil it after all. ‘A peppery broth of the Twin’s heart’-there’s a certain flavor in the phrase.
You’ve always been an innovative cook and a voracious reader for that matter. The Twin had his mind over football and motorcycle repair.
You wash the heart of the grime and blood. You put the heart inside a pot with some water and light up the stove.
‘Camus was a filthy bastard!’ the Twin proclaims and throws away the copy. He was never much of a reader.
From inside the pot, you could still hear the faint lub-dub under the hissing sound of the boiling water.
‘Gosh, that’s a strong heart. Wonder why he wants to get rid of it’-you think.
The Twin has picked up a copy of ‘A Moveable Feast’ by Hemingway.
You start chopping onions and garlic.
The Twin rushes through the pages.
‘Hemingway is just a drunk guy who is profoundly over-hyped’. He throws away the book.
You sigh. You’ve seen the pattern enough times to recognize. It’s a downward spiral. He’ll end up settling for Dostoyevsky and feel miserable for no particular reason.
Inside the pot, the vegetables flow in a serene manner centering the heart, quite like ballet dancers. The Twin is rummaging through the bookshelf.
‘Isn’t there a single decent book in your collection??’
You toss fish sauce and pepper into the pot. The broth is almost done. Sure enough, the Twin has picked up a torn copy of ‘Crime and Punishment’. You gracefully scoop up the heart along with some broth and put it in a soup bowl.
‘Do you wanna taste of it?’
The Twin doesn’t reply. He just sits there with his hands over his temple. The book lies open on his lap.
You put a spoonful of heart inside your mouth. The visions rush in like a torrent. Ah, now you remember. It was raining. You were inside a cafe. She was wearing a red dress. You start to feel miserable for no particular reason.