Heart Attack by Max Apple, 1976
The magic trick:
Mixing different insecurities into one
Quick slice of surrealism here. The story appears to be about a man’s health concerns and a fear of aging. The nurse’s role in the scene begins normally enough but soon grows increasingly strange. Quickly, the story has mixed in the man’s sexual fantasies (at least I assume these are fantasies), and the notion of age-related insecurity takes on an entirely new dimension. And that’s quite a trick on Apple’s part.
“I need a doctor . . . my arteries.”
She points again to the pamphlet and reads, “Arteries, though similar to, are more important than girls in several ways. Look at this one pink and flexible as a Speidel band. Over there threatens cholesterol, dark as motor oil, thick as birthday cake. Cholesterol is the bully of the body. It picks on blood, good honest blood who bothers no one and goes happily between the races, creeds, and colors.”
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