Battered Hearts

By McEvoy

I've entwined several text records into this little piece for the 'I had a heart once' collaboration.

It's so cool to see what your RECord has inspired Metaphorest.

REsourced & REmixed in this record are:
'I had a heart once' Metaphorest
'Elle’ by robin_paulson
'Laura answers John' CrashAndBurn
'Apparition of a Heart' mushr
'I had a heart once (Expansion)' ntheon
'John's back story' McEvoy

Inspired by all the video and audio records already released in this collaboration:
Pickle_Blossom, Lawrie, Metaphorest, aszarkowski, slow_mo


LAURA comes home from work. On the porch, she finds an unexpected overnight package. She glances at the return address, with a mixture of hope and concern.

Inside, she opens the package and finds a DVD. She pops it in and sits down to watch. We cut between the recording and her as she watches.


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 there...

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 wonder...
is 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 half-coma.

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 floor.

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 across
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


LAURA sits in front of the fuzzy TV. She is speaking to her own heart on the phone. We see flashes of her memories on the TV.

HEART (sarcastic)
Happy birthday.

Where are you?

I had to get out of there. Sorry.

Don’t worry about him. We are not
going to let him ruin your birthday.
He’s an idiot.

I love him.

Forget about him, come home and get
ready with me, everyone’s waiting for us.

It hurts.


JOHN sits on the train. He regrets sending his message to Laura. A voice speaks a poem he wrote. (‘Elle’ by robin_paulson) We see flashes of his memories reflected in train's window.

He takes his seat
On the train
A hungry stare
Thoughts race across
His face
Il attend pour elle
The taste of alcohol
Hangs upon
His lips
As his heart
Gasps on the floor
Il attend pour elle
Every stop
Every station
Holds the promise
Holds the ghost
Locked in his head
Il attend pour elle
Invisible to them
He escapes
And he falls
Trapped there
As he waits for her


JOHN plays a DVD on his laptop. We cut between the recording and him as he watches.

Static... RECording starts with a BEEP

Laura, early 20's, sits on her bed. She looks like she's been crying, sad and broken. She sighs, then looks directly into the camera.

I refuse to believe it's too late, John.
It's never too late.

She looks past the camera, stares at nothing for a while.

LAURA (quietly and kind of disappointed)
Your video arrived here on Tuesday
by the way. You know what that feels like.
And you’d already told me that story you
know. Do you remember that night?

I saw an apparition of a heart. It was
dressed in a rain-stained trench-coat
and was wearing a fake mustache.
Maybe now it has lost a few pounds,
and a little bit of color. Nothing a good
diet, and a new haircut can’t fix.

I don’t miss this heart much to be honest.
Oh my! Is that a terrible thing to say?
Let me explain. I think it’s because this is
the heart that left my soul permanently
dripping with grimy tears.

So I don’t miss this heart much.
No, that is not entirely true.
I’m just learning to live without.

This doesn’t make sense does it? !
I’ve hardly slept these past few days.
I should have recorded it with my camera.
So you would see for yourself - my
heart slowly disappearing.

She looks down at the floor. Then, almost desperate, speaks straight down the lens.

It's never too late so don't you say that!
That soul of yours down the back of the sofa,
your heart on the rails...
It doesn't take much for you to pick
them up, dust them off and put them
back together. Just courage. Do you
remember that, John?

She wipes the tears off her face and straightens up


She holds her hand up. She’s holding two hearts.

It's right here, John. Since that
night it’s been with me. With mine.
They’ve fallen for each other.
They won’t let go.

She holds her hand closer to the camera.

It's right here. Will you have it back?
Because as soon as you get your heart back,
the soul will find you too.
And you will be whole again, John.
I don't have to find someone else...
I don't want someone else.
I want you, with your heart AND soul.
So will you take this back? It belongs with you.
And you belong with me...

She pauses, looks directly at the camera.

I love you.

She hits the record button. Static...

Battered Hearts

Created: Feb 03, 2010


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