*(originally published in the collection Telling Lies And Disappointing People)
Yvette broke up with me soon after I sat her down and explained that I had a baboon’s heart and was incapable of experiencing strong emotion. She didn’t believe me, at first. American girls with European names tend to be distrustful, in my experience.
“It’s true,” I told her, stroking her hand dispassionately. “An actual baboon’s heart. I had an experimental operation after surviving a plane-crash. I can’t feel anything.”
Yvette’s face was expressionless.
“It’s my cross to bare,” I said, gingerly patting my chest in the place where I imagined my heart to be.
I stopped stroking Yvette’s hand to smoke my cigarette. She tried to hold my other hand but it was occupied with a tumbler of whiskey, so she held the drink with me, caressing the tumbler affectionately.
I was drinking whiskey so it must have…
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