ask Knox: liverbroke daily

07Jan09

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*I receive many letters from my readers soliciting advice on issues of the heart. In the interest of continuing the exploration of matters of the heart on this blog, I have decided to share my responses to some of the more interesting inquiries with my general readership. If you have a question or issue you’d like me to address, please feel free to write me at heartbrokedaily (at) gmail (dot) com. All letters will, of course, remain anonymous.

I’m a medical professional and I’ve often wondered why on earth we rely on the heart to describe our romantic inklings.  I mean, I know we need our hearts to live—but we need a ton of other organs to live too.  It just seems so arbitrary to me.  Why aren’t you, say, “The Broken Spleen Daily” or something?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

I’ve often wondered the very same thing.  And I agree, it does seem arbitrary to assign one major organ and not another to romance.  If we really wanted to be literal about the whole thing, the brain would be an obvious choice to represent love.  But there’s something un-romantic about the way “brain” sounds.  No one really knows why. Far be it from me to knock the heart, but if it were up to me, I think I’d choose the liver as the metaphorical romantically-charged organ.  I would even venture to say that the liver is the unsung hero of our generation.  And if it isn’t, the liver is at least my own personal guardian angel.  Ahem, allow me to quote at length:

“The liver is the largest solid organ.  It produces bile, which aids in digestion of fat.  It stores sugars until they are needed by the body.  It also produces components necessary for immune function and blood clotting.  Finally, toxic substances produced by digestion are rendered harmless in the liver.”

In other words, the liver is big, it produces a seemingly gross yet helpful essence that gets you through the inevitable bullshit of life.  It also stores happy thoughts for rainy days (and this blog).  It aids in dealing with outside forces hell-bent on destroying you and, when someone or something opens your vein, it’ll help to stop the blood flow.  Finally, it renders toxic substances caused by merely existing in a difficult world harmless.  Can you think of a better organ for love?  Take that, circulatory system.

Yet, I gotta say I wouldn’t “Liver” New York or say, “Baby, I liver you so much in that mini-skirt.”  For reasons we may never know, The Liver-Broke Daily just won’t ever gain any traction.  I hate to say it, but I have to go pop culture on this one.



One Response to “ask Knox: liverbroke daily”

  1. 1 aikaik

    Haven’t you ever felt that swelling feeling in your chest when you see someone you love? Or that strangling tightening when you see someone you’ve lost?

    It may not be your heart, but you sure as hell feel it in that general region. That, I would guess, is the reason why we choose heart. Not because of a language-oriented association with the word ‘heart.’


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