Before becoming the custodian of the heart, Dr. Klaus Baumann was content in his pursuit of science. He managed to retain a rational perspective on life while searching for its origin. Every day a gift. Every day revered.
This night, like all others before, Klaus would set down his thick glasses on the nightstand next to his bed and welcome the familiar blur that enveloped him. His thoughts often returned to his childhood in Katmandu and the chronology of events leading to the present. Recently, since returning from the Coachella Valley with the El Stupido, the quantity of events and vivid depth of detail surrounding them, began to bombard his blur at an alarming pace.
Rather than worry, the doctor embraced the abundance and rapidity of his new recollections. How could he have forgotten so much of the space between the benchmarks? The people he merged with, the scents, tones and emotions that helped form him, were all swiftly coming at him. Each episode fitting perfectly in synch with the prior and following scenes. Even his life’s regrets now lay before him with new perspective.
The string and pattern of visuals for the past four nights, although expanding and accelerating with each new eve, kept ending abruptly on one of two separate events not logically fitting his timeline. He would open his eyes and anxiously reconstruct the chain, trying to derive the logic in the pattern.
In his fifteenth year, while at school in biology class, Klaus was debating with his professor the ethics of dissecting a live frog, which over the course of the semester, the majority of the class had come to affectionately know as Minu. Student Klaus Baumann, felt that without respect for life, indeed without humanity, how could there be honor in science. Science, he felt, was a nobel pursuit, and although it could be used to unravel several queries, could anyone ever expect to attain any finality? If taking life, meant getting closer to the impossible, it was a path, for him, that would remain untraveled. There was a small, but profound victory for Klaus that day, as the class cheered with him on the decision to forgo the demise of their green friend living at the back of the classroom. The doctor laughed to himself that of all the scenes in his life, this one had emerged as being so significant.
Now wide awake, out of habit when needing sleep, the man with no eyes gently tilted a small glass figurine of a top hat on the bedside table to one side, letting the hat rock back and forth, doubling in speed with each sway. Click…Clack..Click..Clack.ClickityClackityClickityClackity…..with each half sway the top hat got faster and quieter in tandem as it accelerated toward the infinite. His life’s timeline was now in fast forward, becoming vividly clearer until he was sitting at his parents dinning room table at the age of seventeen, rocking the same glass top hat in wonderment. As the hat rocked faster, it now synced with the present, taking him into an enormous crescendoing white blur.
Launched past the point of no return, he was strangely content with his incredible passage into the unknown, only looking back once, seeing the El Stupido eating hay and swishing his tail in the field next to the laboratory/home of the great heart. His own heart now ached and was too heavy to carry on the journey ahead. With his last breath, the man with no eyes let go and flailed into the mystic.
The next day, no one was at the door of the laboratory to welcome the lost and curious. No one was there to announce to the public that the incredible heart of the largest bird ever seen, had after seven years on life support, suddenly stopped beating.