“Broken heart surgery.”
The first time someone took it literally, the joke was on me. I thought she had misheard me when she asked which part they had operated on.
I repeated myself and she replied in a sincere consoling voice. “I understand. It’s hard to admit that someone can break your heart to the point of needing surgery.”
I was so surprised that instead of keeping the joke going, I quickly admitted I was kidding.
I told her how one evening, at a beach party, I had been too close to an angry drunk. He pulled out a knife and, while attempting to go into a knife-fighter’s stance, accidentally cut me. It wasn’t a deep wound but it did leave me with a scar on the left side of my chest.
It’s the story I tell when I am not in a playful mood.
I’m no longer surprised when I’m believed. I continue and tell about the girl who broke my heart. “There she was a walking down the street, I said hello, she said goodbye.” I describe a fantasy of tending a stall in the market place, having two kids playing in the yard. Sometimes I make it all the way to singing ob-la-di, ob-la-da with the band before getting punched in the arm.
I never tell anyone that I was trying to calm the drunk.
Or that he was my father.