60. a lexical assault

Sammeln Sie Herzen? the cashier at the local supermarket wants to know: Do you collect hearts? I smile and shake my head to indicate the negative. She is slightly unnerved; to her it’s a straightforward question, but to me it causes me to stop and pause—do I?—after which it feels like a lexical assault. Treueherzen, Loyalty Hearts: an appropriation of love, and loyalty, for the purposes of keeping anxious, coupon-clipping housewives busy.

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