In honor of the Penguins playing their big game seven tonight, I’m posting an old-ish painting I named after Brooks Orpik. OMG, go Pens! (I don’t think it’s healthy for me to watch tonight. Someone needs to cut my electricity and take away my Blackberry.)
Everyone told him that one day his heart would stop aching. That the mere idea of his ex-wife rolling around on the seat of a John Deere with that sleazy farmer the next town over would eventually stop plaguing his mind. That the toothache-y throbbing inside the walls of his heart would dull before he knew it, that time would be his Novacaine.
But after two years, ten months and twenty-eight days of sobbing in his pillow and soiling his sheets, Orpik had enough. He decided once and for all to go to the source – cut the pain at the source. His papa told him this was a bad idea, that how would he be able to feel anything again? Orpik didn’t care if he never felt love, happiness or joy again. He didn’t care if the sweetest woman in all of the land wrote him love letters and brought him a case of Milwaukee’s Best; no, he didn’t care that he would only feel a dull void in his chest.
And so he took a melon baller and started digging. He dug and dug and dug, not bothering to stop to answer the door when his peals of excruciating pain summoned the neighbors like some sadistic dirge from the Pied Piper’s flute. He dug and dug and dug some more, flinging bits of flesh and blood-soaked muscle against the bathroom tile, vaguely appreciating its semblance to globs of pizza cheese as the chards slid into an oozy heap on the floor.
Finally, he reached his ribcage. Cracking them open with Superman-caliber moxie, he gently palmed his heart. He let it linger in his cupped hands, taking note of the rhythmic bassline it played for his body. Orpik ran through the good times he and his heart had: the way his heart fluttered during that first kiss after Sunday school; the way his aorta pumped excitedly when he downed a bucket of beer-battered wings down at the diner; the way the big pulpy mass swelled when he watched his gerbil give birth.
And just like that, Orpik wrenched the melon baller and, with a symphony of cracking bones and crunching cartilage, ripped the heart straight out of his chest.
This Sunday, Orpik is auctioning off his heart. He hopes to raise at least $8 and use it to buy several Big Gulps to enjoy while watching Bowling TV.