Don't Play with His Heart/The Way to His Heart is Through His Stomach or The Ties that Bind Hand-made Collage

The denizens of the Institute for Anatomical Anomalies, each singular in his or her own way, provided researchers with the raw material for the most talked-about case studies, but none more so than a fifteen-year-old Caledonian lad named Lowell Gilroy. Graced with a perfectly normal face, all other parts of Gilroy's anatomy were fully visible. His condition limited his contact with the outside world to the team of specialists who studied him and the two women who looked after him.

Nurse Ann Garrison attended to his medical needs while native-born orderlie, Willa Kawaponga brought him meals and tidied his room. Being a boy of fifteen in his circumstances, it surprised no one when he developed crushes on both women. He flirted with them, conceiving various schemes to extend their visits.What no one anticipated was the jealous rivalry that arose between the two women as they vied for his affection. Garrison flaunting her educational background told the orderlie that the boy lit up whenever she placed his heart in her hands and gave it a gentle therapeutic massage. Uneducated, but possessed of great common sense, Willa scoffed at the nurse's claim and pointed out that it was the sustenance she brought him three times a day, accompanied by a helping hand working the food through his intestinal tract that won his heart. The women bickered for years over whose attentions served the boy's best interest.

Then one day in the boy's seventeenth year he developed a brain fever accompanied by violent convulsions. Fearing that in his mad thrashing he would do himself bodily harm, the two women joined forces and improvised a solution to restrain his limbs using yards of hemp rope found in a nearby utility closet. The effectiveness of their solution was immediate and when Lowell came to he found the restraints slyly delightful and only reinforced his feelings for both women. Crisis averted, his caregivers resumed their daily ministrations. Aware of how close they had come to losing their shared object of affection, the women shared the tasks of massaging both his heart and intestines. In the remaining years of the boy's life the women grew close, though each thought her tender knots had secured the boy's affection.