When I was in high school I got my heart broken and I listened to Every Rose Has Its Thorn ad nausum for 3 days straight.
It was a dark time. Literally. I covered my walls in black satin and traded in soft white light bulbs for red floodlights. Total fire hazard, but who really cares when your roses are covered in thorns.
Just after college, I had my heart broken again, and I went out and bought a book of poetry by Jewel (yeah, that one). She writes a bit like a female Bukowski. I bought it because I wanted to be bitter but I didn’t want to hate women. Progress, I guess.
Today, at 46, I woke up to the smell and sight of dog shit covering my living room. The carpeted living room. The entire carpeted living room. Matted down paw prints, piles, smeared, dabs here and there. You could say my heart was broken.
But this time, I opted to put on Spearhead, grabbed the Folex, some rubber gloves, paper towels, and went to work. (He actually has an anthem for cleaning up shit, if you ever need it. It’s called “Bad shit happens, but good shit happens too.” I had to smile when it came on.)
So there I was, middle-aged, cleaning shit for 2 hours.
But smiling. And, truth be told, dancing on my tippy toes on the scattered sheets of paper towels by the end.
I suppose that’s part of growing up: taking care of your heart. Deciding not to wallow in shit, and, instead, dancing your way out of it.