“I am heart!” he cries wearily, “Follow me and all will fall into place.” His bloated, swollen body waddles its way gently forward, the outer sides of his arms sliding reluctantly along the well-greased walls whose proximity forms a long, narrow alley. Those who, waking momentarily, observe his immensity emerging from the shadow will most often feign remembrance of an important detail and turn back to pursue another route, or they will lower their brows carefully over their eyes as they awkwardly duck and shuffle sideways past him.

Today, however, we observe a much rarer path being taken by young girl, perhaps in her mid-thirties. She stands, feet spread just farther apart than one might expect, arms crossed, in the very center of the approacher’s path. She looks hard into his eyes and tosses her head as a futile signal to the wisps of hair dangling before her face to make themselves scarce. When the man is within just a few paces of her, a distant smile swims sluggishly onto his face and he stoops to his knees to put his head level with hers. The effort that is required for a man like him to perform such an act is great enough that whatever the girl had been planning on saying topples over in embarrassment.

“I am heart,” he repeats, “Is there something that you would like to say?”

“You are Heart?”

“No, I am heart.”

She struggles to see beyond him into the darkness, but, giving up, turns back to him with a vague look of puzzlement on her face.

“And,” she pauses briefly to confirm that she is not saying the wrong words, “Have you any followers?”

He chuckles at that, and replies, “No, child. Follow me and all will fall into place. The one for whom everything has fallen into place needs me no longer.”

“Can you help me, do you suppose?”

He rises heavily to his feet and slowly rotates himself until his back is to her. Her shoulders sink and she is beginning to turn away when he calls back to her, “Follow me. I am heart.”


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