Some years ago...
I was up with insomnia listening to Coast-to-Coast AM with Art Bell. The guest, Paul Pearsall, PhD. (referred to in Last Heartthrob as The Hawaiian Physician) told Art Bell a couple of stories from his book. This was the first.
"I recently spoke to an international group of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers meeting in Houston, Texas. I spoke to them about my ideas about the central role of the heart in our psychological and spiritual life, and following my presentation, a psychiatrist came to the microphone during the question and answer session to ask me about one of her patients whose experience seemed to substantiate my ideas about cellular memories and a thinking heart. The case disturbed her so much that she struggled to speak through her tears.
"Sobbing to the point that the audience and I had difficulty understanding her, she said, 'I have a patient, an eight-year-old little girl who received the heart of a murdered ten-year-old girl. Her mother brought her to me when she started screaming at night about her dreams of the man who had murdered her donor. She said her daughter knew who it was. After several sessions, I just could not deny the reality of what this child was telling me. Her mother and I finally decided to call the police and, using the descriptions from the little girl, they found the murderer. He was easily convicted with evidence my patient provided. The time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him...everything the little heart transplant recipient reported was completly accurate.'"
Art Bell's response: "Wow!"
The second story was one of the most tragic romances I ever heard. A young woman fell in love with the dead man who had literally given her his heart. She knew him only through his memories.
Art Bell's response. "Oh my god!"
I can't honestly recommend the book. Based on minimal subsequent research, I found that most articles refer back to these stories, which could be apocryphal.
The murder story struck me as the most original twist on "The Postman Always Rings Twice" that I'd heard in some time.
I had to find a somewhat more palatable way to handle the misplaced romance.
It was pretty clear to me from the start that the stories had all the earmarks of noir.
Copyright © 2015, by Bruce Cantwell. All rights reserved.