Have you thought about thoraxes since the second grade, when Mrs. Kiefer stood beneath the projector-skewed, halfway-onto-the-map-of-the-world body of a gigantic ant and pointed at its middle? Matt Harvey gave us reason, finally and horribly, to do so again when the Mets announced earlier this month that the star pitcher is suffering from thoracic outlet syndrome. On Monday, Harvey underwent season-ending surgery to address it, and two days later posted to Twitter what amounts to proof of life from his hospital bed. It raises some questions, like: What is he reading? What is he wearing? Why is he positioned like that? Do humans have thoraxes?
Below, a close dissection of Harvey’s photo.
1. His posture
Maybe there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for the way Harvey is reclining. Maybe he is doing the sad thing and watching someone else hold a baseball — he says he is watching the Mets, of course he is watching the Mets, of course they are losing without him — as he pretends that it is he who is holding the baseball instead. Maybe he was told to sit this way by a doctor on account of the removal of one of his ribs. Maybe he is awaiting the arrival of his very own Eve. Maybe he is high AF. What I’m trying to say is: Maybe there is a reason Matthew Edward Harvey is halfway through the Yorick speech in Hamlet.
“Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft,” Harvey croons, cradling an invisible skull. His mother stops filming briefly to take the photo. At home, her MacBook Pro™ with Retina™ display™ is full of Matty’s monologues and soliloquies, an iPhoto™ library of wheretofores and turtlenecks. Lately, her son has been thinking about mortality.
He turns to her suddenly. “Dost thou think Maddux looked o’ this fashion i’ the earth?”
2. His wardrobe
What is there to say about the fact that Harvey, who is in a hospital, who had his thorax outletted — or maybe de-outletted, I’m not sure — who is anyway resting in his hospital bed with a big ol’ sippy cup of water to indicate the extent to which he is An Invalid, is dressed as if he is at a bar? Where is his hospital gown? Did the nurses not give him one? Did Harvey insist on being operated on while wearing his sleekest, silkiest, skipping-the-red-ropiest outfit? Were the buttons ever buttoned? Do the buttons even exist?
3. His reading material
The book on Harvey’s bedstand is Elena Ferrante’s The Story of a New Name. Now. Far be it from me to suggest that Harvey would not be reading a bestselling paean of female friendship, but Harvey is definitely not reading a bestselling paean of female friendship. New Name is the second book in Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels series, meaning Harvey would’ve already had to make it through the O.G., which at one point features a walk to the beach so long, thirsty, and emotionally fraught that my thorax may never recover. I, for one, would like to hear Harvey’s thoughts. Why did Lila drop that doll into the cellar????
4. His #branding
Moving on: Let’s just admit now that Harvey is a shill for Apple. He is holding an iPhone. He is next to either a jumbo-size iPad or something that was custom-made in its image. Both are positioned so you can see them with ease. The iPhone, in fact, is framed by the curves of the straw, Harvey’s hands, and the television such that it is the visual center of the image. Did Apple pay Harvey to do this? Yes. Does the iPad belong to his hypercompetent, tech-savvy doctor, who uses it to flip through her cases, diagnostic tools, patient records, etc.? No; that is a thing that happens only in commercials.
A complete list of things iPads are useful for is as follows: (1) taking orders at airport restaurants and then flashing when your flight is coming up like you’re not going to sit there and savor every last drop of your $16.50 Blue Moon, COME WHAT MAY, (2) “Why don’t you give Mommy and Daddy a little quiet time, here’s Minecraft, no time limit, go ahead, take it, please, I don’t care if it hinders your brain development, just go,” and (3) exchanging their physical proximity to you for negotiable American currency, if you are famous and have what the experts refer to as a “social media following.”
So there you have it, folks. Happy meat pills, Harvey.