Hi, I’m Austin. I’m a political science and theater major, I like cats, my favorite color is purple… Oh right, I almost forgot, I’m a heartless monster.
This news may be a tad surprising. I know, I know, I look like a puppy kind of guy; but I can assure you that I’m a feline fella. Puppies are cool and all, and I truly love them, but kitty cats will always have a special place in my heart.
Oh, wait, I don’t have a heart! (And that, my friends, is how you segue.) I apologize if I’m not an expert on the subject, but I only learned about my heartlessness a few months ago. When Phillip (yup, callin’ you out babe) brought this issue to my attention, well, I was shocked! I immediately went to check my pulse. A wave of relief rushed through me as I came to the realization that I did, in fact, still have a pulse. Now I don’t have a medical doctor, or any doctor for that matter, but I was always under the impression that in order to have a pulse you had to have a heart.
I thought that Phillip would be equally relieved after making him aware that his information was bad. I thought that he would be utterly elated to find out that the boy he “loved so deeply” was still living and breathing. But instead of proclaiming his excitement and jumping for joy he called me, if I recall correctly (and I do), “such a sarcastic little b****.” I was so confused.
It turns out that he meant heartless in a metaphorical sense. He meant it to criticize me on my “lack of any feelings” or my “inability to care about anyone but [myself].” After learning that I told him that the confusion was his fault. Our heart doesn’t control feelings, our brain does. Telling him that didn’t go over very well either. I was just trying to save him from any future embarrassment if he were to try and use that metaphor again. I was being a nice guy, but of course Phillip wouldn’t appreciate it.
He was upset. We had a date planned for the day before, a Saturday. A family emergency came up and I had to postpone. I pushed the date back by exactly one week. And because of that, I was heartless. He claimed I was overly ambitious. To be fair, I kind of am. I had my career goals planned since the second grade. But according to him if someone couldn’t help me reach those goals then I didn’t have time for them. In his mind, I was just using people to get where I wanted to go.
I, obviously, disagreed. I always thought I was a nice person. Yes, I was sarcastic and ambitious; but I always made time to help out my friends, other people I cared about, and even complete strangers. Now I hadn’t known Phillip for that long, and I never trust someone who says, “I love you” after the first week, but it still hurt. If he viewed me that way, how many others did too?
I refused to go around asking people what they thought. First of all, I felt it to be selfish. And second of all, I doubt people would actually tell the truth. I just try, now even harder than before, to be kind and helpful. I didn’t know Phillip wrong, and he did have some emotional problems that were out of my control, but I never want a person to feel like they’re worth less than my goals in life. People, at least to me, will always matter more.
I knew I wasn’t heartless. It wasn’t because of my pulse, or because I try to be a nice person. I knew I wasn’t heartless because when Phillip was yelling at me about this I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t apathetic, I felt terrible.