Bilal Dardai imagines life as Dick Cheney's new heart

April 4, 2012

Download Story
Former United States Vice President Dick Cheney returned home from the hospital Tuesday after receiving a heart transplant two weeks ago. Cheney, who is 71 years old, received the transplant from an unknown donor.

"As he leaves the hospital, the former vice president and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor's family for this remarkable gift," his aide Kara Ahern said in a statement.

But what of this "remarkable gift"? Who donated this heart -- and more interestingly (to some), what is this heart like? In a piece that he calls "The Tale-Told Heart," Neo-Futurist Bilal Dardai imagines life as Dick Cheney's new heart, addressing to Cheney's old one. Read an excerpt or listen below:

"A letter to my previous host.

Dear…

Dear…?

Dear.

I’ve, I’ve forgotten your name already, old friend; it is so absurd, it’s so sad. We were together for, for how long, I don’t know, I stopped counting after the first 35 million beats. I was the size of your fist. I was always the size of your fist.

Old friend, I don’t know what happened. I recall existing, as ever, with our usual autonomous manner, and then there was shock and then there was seizure and then I had stopped and then it was bright and then I was rising and then it was cold and then it was cold and it dark and it was bumpy and then it was bright and then it was warm and then there was shock and then I was working. And then I was working. And then I was working. Beat beat. Beat beat. Beat beat. Beat beat.

And I’ve forgotten your name, and you are dead and have probably forgotten it yourself. But I compose this message to you of my own electrochemicals and emit it like radio waves in the hope that it may arrive to wherever you might be now.

They put me inside something called Richard Bruce Cheney. From behind his layers of wrinkle and fat I can hear other people referring to him as 'Dick.' The tones they use to refer to him as 'Dick' seem to vary from affection to scorn."

The Paper Machete is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your The Paper Machete Radio Magazine needs filled here, or download the podcast from iTunes here.