Friday, February 10, 2017

In Search of Love

Thought for the day: Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running and you will be found. [Lao Tze]

[wikipedia]
Valentine's Day is next Tuesday. Whether you love that holiday or hate it doesn't amount to a hill of M&Ms; it's still gonna happen... so I'm gonna share another (kinda, sorta) love story today.

Last year, in conjunction with a blog hop, I posted a rejected-by-a-magazine unabashedly sentimental piece called A Bouquet of Joy If there's a similar blog hop going on this year, I missed it, but I'm gonna post another short story reject anyway. This one is more smart-assy than sentimental, but I hope you still enjoy it.



       Jeremy Love scowled at himself in the mirror, and for the umpteenth time, considered filing a court petition to change his name. Love??? What a colossal joke! More like Loser or Loner, because as far as women were concerned, he might as well be invisible. “Where's Cupid when you need him?” he muttered.

       Pink smoke, scented with roses and cheap cigars, suddenly filled the room. “Right behind you,” said a deep gravelly voice. A diminutive, bow-legged, diaper-clad Danny Devito look-alike waggled his fingers in greeting, and then popped a well-chewed stogie back into his mouth.
     Jeremy stared at him, slack-jawed. “You don’t look anything like your pictures.”
     “Yeah, yeah, I know. So I need a shave. Bite me. You need help or not?”
     “I hate to admit it, but I do. I haven't been able to find love anywhere.”
     “Find it?” Cupid said with a harrumph. “What makes you think it’s lost, mortal? It’s all around you.” He regarded Jeremy through a haze of smoke, while shaking his head. “My guess is you’re one of those boneheads who won’t recognize love unless it plows right into you…  but what the hay? Business is slow, so I’ll see what I can do.”
     “Thanks, Cupid… er, Mister Cupid. What I'm looking for is a kind-hearted woman who sees and appreciates the real me.”
     Cupid nodded. “We should be able to pull that off, especially if I blast ‘em with my new gonzo love gun.” 
     “Gun? What… no golden arrow?”
     “Au contraire. My invention unleashes a hundred arrows at once.” He shrugged with false humility. “Brilliant move, I know, but I didn’t have much choice. Mortals aren’t as open to love as they used to be, so a single arrow rarely does the trick. Most of the time, they ignore my arrow when it strikes them, and instead of accepting the love connection I offer, they trust some stupid Internet site to make a match for them.” He snorted, and shook his head. “Anyways, with my shotgun-like approach, we’ll bombard multiple targets at once and increase the odds of hitting a good match.”  
      Jeremy grinned. “Just like an Internet dating site.”
     Cupid blew out a smoke ring. “I’m trying to help you, bonehead, and you’re gonna insult me?”
     “Sorry. I’m ready when you are...”
     The next thing Jeremy knew, he and Cupid were standing in the middle of a milling Central Park crowd, which included a bevy of beautiful women. He was accustomed to women looking through him, but evidently, they couldn’t see Cupid, either. No way they could’ve ignored a diaper-wearing cigar-chomping dude toting a humongous bow. Then again, this was New York…
     Cupid lifted his bow. “Ready?” Jeremy nodded, and a multitude of golden streaks shot through the air. Must not have hurt any of those lovely ladies. No flinches. In fact, most of them didn’t even lift their eyes from their cellphones and tablets.
     “Well, I did my part,” Cupid said. “The rest is up to you. Open your heart… and your eyes… and you’ll run into love today.” He waggled his fingers again. “It’s your destiny. Blah, blah, blah.”
      With that, he disappeared, leaving Jeremy standing alone in the crowd. Alone. Just like always. With hope in his heart and a tentative smile on his face, he looked at each woman who passed.
     Nothing happened. No one paused. No one looked his way. Nothing changed. Feeling like the world’s biggest fool, he finally started walking toward home. The more he walked, the faster he moved, with his head down, and the mantra, loser, loser, loser sounding in his head. By the time he made the last turn onto his street, he was all but running.
    In his defense, he didn’t notice the freckle-faced brunette coming his way, so he was just as surprised as she was when he plowed into her. “I’m so sorry,” he said, as he reached down to help her back onto her feet. “Are you okay? I didn’t see you.”
     When their hands touched, her face blushed a lovely shade of pink. “I know you,” she said. “You’re Jeremy Love. We live in the same apartment building. I’ve seen you around plenty, but at last, we finally... meet.”
     He smiled, temporarily lost in her eyes. “Really?” he said. “I’m sorry. I don’t know your name…”
     “It’s Wright. Miss Wright.”
     He laughed. “Of course it is. Would you like to go out for coffee sometime, Miss Right?”
     “How about now? And you can call me Destiny.”
     Jeremy’s nose tingled with the scent of roses and cheap cigar. Cupid, standing beside him once again, pulled out his cigar, and said, “Don’t mess it up, bonehead.”  Then he winked, and disappeared in a puff of pink smoke.
                                                       *      *      *      *
If you're looking for the love of your life, stop. He will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. [Dave Radparvar]

They say love hides behind every corner. I must be walking in circles. 




                                  Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.




56 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed your story, Susan - in fact, I loved it.
      In this dire, dismal, depressing world (sorry, I'm a pessimist...remember?) love often seems elusive or non-existent. Your words have resurrected the faith that love is still around us, just waiting to be found. All we have to do is put a little effort in discovering it.

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    2. "Love is where you find it. Don't be blinded. It's all around you everywhere..." (One of my favorite songs to sing in the shower, and I'm guessing you're well familiar with the aria.)

      Between your pessimism and my over-the-top optimism, we kinda make one "normal" person. :)

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  2. Susan, that was an absolutely lovely story --full of good sense and fun.

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  3. A great tale indeed. One never knows what is around the next corner if they are open to it and don't walk in circles lol but if you find a creepy guy in a diaper wanting to help you out, run!

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    1. HA! I'll keep that in mind. (There's a guy who walks around in Atlanta in a tutu, but no diaper so far...)

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  4. excellent tale and yes, with your patented humor. Indeed, you have to look and listen - I basically met Ray on the phone - he sold electronic parts, I was buying for my company. His voice lured me, then we met in person a year or so later - I already liked him.
    Enjoy Valentine's Weekend

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    1. Hmmm, Ray must have a reeeeally nice voice. :)

      Smarticus and I met in eighth grade. (His voice hadn't quite settled yet... but I liked him, anyway.)

      You guys have a super weekend, too.

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  5. Love your Cupid story! And the video :)
    Happy Valentine's Day ♥

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    1. Thanks! Isn't that video a hoot???

      Happy Valentine's Day to you, too.

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  6. Awww...what a sweet story. I love a happy ending.

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  7. I really liked your story, Susan.

    We all look so much more attractive when we look up to someone else instead down into our own despair.

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  8. Fun story indeed. I guess when you do the things you love to do and another person happens to be around you will like him/her because of common interest , I guess.

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    1. Thanks. Yeah, my guess is that common interests last a lot longer than good looks.

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  9. Ahh, what a sweet story. I always see my muse the same as your Cupid. I do write romance, so maybe he's doing double duty.

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    1. That must be why he looks so scruffy... he's too busy to shave. If we want him to hang around a little longer, we'd better get him to ditch the cigars. :)

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  10. This story just made my (heretofore yukky) day!
    Methinks those rejection-ers need a whack up the side of their heads!

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    1. I'm glad to hear it!

      Then again, if they hadn't rejected it, I would've had to rack my poor feeble brain for something different to post today, so I'm good. (Lazy, but good...)

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  11. awwwwwww
    Fun story, made me smile. Indeed when you stop and look things can get interesting.
    Loved your special posts over at The Really Real Houswwifes.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. :) I'm glad the story made you smile. And I'm reeeeally glad you liked my Housewives guest posts, because I had a lot of fun writing them.

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  12. I loved your story, Susan! Happy endings are rare these days. Hope you have a happy Valentine's Day. :)

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    1. Thanks, Connie. I'm glad you liked it. I'll take a happy ending any day.:)

      You have a wonderful Valentine's Day, too.

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  13. I love this! Short and sweet and I love the grown up version of cupid, that's genius :)

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  14. Hi Susan - lovely story line ... pity it was rejected - but maybe to our blessing ... fun thought - gosh Cupid I hope is not like that .. perhaps he is and I need to adjust my life! Wonderful story .. and perfect for this time of year ... cheers and have a brilliant and happy weekend with Smarticus ... Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Having a story rejected doesn't bother me all that much. C'est la vie. The magazine bought the first story I sent them for a very nice sum of money, so I figure I'm ahead of the game. :)

      You have a wonderful weekend, too. Cheers!

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  15. Clever new angle on the traditional love story. Nice one, Susan.

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    1. Thanks, Keith! (the king of short stories...)

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  16. A diminutive, bow-legged, diaper-clad Danny Devito look-alike...sounds like someone I dated a few years ago. And where's a guy with a gonzo love gun when you need one?
    Brilliant story Susan. I absolutely loved it.

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    1. HA! You crack me up.

      Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  17. What a great story. I'm sentimental at heart.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks. I'm sentimental at heart and all my other parts, too. :)

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  18. Great story! Can't figure out why any magazine would reject it.

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    1. Thanks! The magazine prefers traditional stories that adhere to expected guidelines. I'm more surprised they bought one of my stories than that they rejected the others. :)

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  19. Lovely story, friend Swid, wish we could sit dere and talk 'bout things with a fine glass of wine in hand by the fire place or open fire at the beach ... weather permitting ... I honour u as a fine writer ... still haven't read your book ... will take it along on ma next travel project ... Love, cat.

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    1. Thanks, dear cat. Judging by the u your poetry reveals, I'd love to sit around chatting with u, too.

      Cool! I hope you enjoy it. :)

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  20. I am laughing here. First the picture, and then the story. “Yeah, yeah, I know. So I need a shave. Bite me. You need help or not?” HaHa! Dying.

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    1. Super! I'm glad it tickled your funny bone. :)

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  21. Beautiful post. I can never ever forget Valentine's Day. My mum's birthday is on 14th February! :-) She will turn 80 on Tuesday. Talk about big celebrations.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. How wonderful! Eighty is quite a milestone. I hope your sweetheart of a mother enjoys a wonderful birthday.

      Greetings back atcha.

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  22. I loved this story...so sweet!

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  23. Ha! I loved your story. I always knew Cupid looked like Danny Devito. Whatever magazine rejected this can go suck it.

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    1. Thanks. The magazine editor wants standard cookie cutter romances, I guess. :)

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  24. That's a cute story. I say submit again elsewhere. It's worth a publish. :)

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    1. Thanks. I appreciate the vote of confidence, but now that I've published it here, no magazine would be interested. C'est la vie. :)

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  25. I'm a little late getting here, but I really enjoyed that. Thanks.

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    1. No such thing as being "late" in the blogosphere. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  26. This was such a cute story Susan... I totally agree that love can be right in front of us and because of social media we don't see it... I think we need to get back to basics...xox I hope you had a really nice Valentines xox

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    1. Thanks, Launna. I'm glad you liked it. That's the irony of social media: people get so wrapped up in the online world, they don't see what's happening in the real one.

      We did. Thanks. I hope you and Valentina had a good one, too. Especially since it's "her day." :)

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