The Art Of Breaking Up Book > Contribute a piece of writing inspired by Break-Ups - Writing

I Had a Heart Once

By Metaphorest


JOHN, 25, gaunt, sits on a battered old sofa in a messy,
characterless room, talks directly to us it seems.

I had a soul once. But I lost it
down the back of the sofa. I guess
I could reach in and try get it
back, but it’s so crumby down

John peers at the cushions, scrunches up his nose.

Anyway it’s probably all squished -
covered in old food and anonymous
hair. I don’t miss it that much to
be honest. In fact I can’t say I
notice a difference...which makes
me a soul like an
appendix? An evolutionary remnant
on it’s way out the Darwinian door?
Maybe the soulless are the fittest,
the survivors. Makes sense.
Well...sorta... does it? I lost
some brain cells in a bottle of
vodka last night. Definitely won’t
be getting those back...but then I
have this tendency to overthink
things...a few less synapses firing
might not be so bad. Tiny pistols
going off, disturbing my lovely

John drifts off for a second, lost in nostalgia.

Anyway I’m here to tell you about
my heart. Had this habit of wearing
it on my sleeve, see. Bad idea.
Automatic doors slammed shut on it
- crushed the thing - just like
that. If I had a soul I think I’d
miss my heart a little. We had some
good times me and it. Bad times too
- sure - but when we got on a roll?
Boy oh boy did we ride that wave...

John shares a warm, fuzzy moment with himself. Happy
nostalgia this time. Then his face turns sober again.

Sometimes I think I could have put
it back together - my heart. It
happened on the tube. On a Tuesday.
On my way to work. Is it me or do
these sorts of things always happen
on a Tuesday? SLAM went the
automatic doors. SPLAT went my
ventricles. An audible gasp in the
carriage as commuters cringed. The
thing went limp first, then dropped
off. Was too embarrassed to claim
it - it looked so sad - all
deflated and limp on the formica

John holds his chest, longing, looks at the floor as if his
heart were there now.

I mean I tried to save it. I really
did. I stayed on the train ’til I
was the only passenger left and,
stealthily, bent down to pick the
battered, trampled organ up, but,
slimy with blood, it slid the whole
way cross the carriage, out the
automatic doors and down the gap.

John mimes the sliding heart with a flattened hand. Watches
the imaginary object slip out of his grasp.


He takes a moment to contemplate this. He straightens
himself up.

Which is why, Laura, me and you can
never happen. It’s too late for
this hollow shell. Save yourself.
Go find someone whole. If there’s
anyone left.

John gets up off the sofa and walks towards a camera sitting
opposite him on a tripod, recording. He stops dead, puts his
face to camera.

Oh. And Happy Birthday.

John hits the record button. Recording stops with a BEEP

I Had a Heart Once

Created: Dec 10, 2009

Tags: monologue, script

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