In the Big Apple, big hearts seem to get trampled under foot. Desire is held out, temptingly, in the millions of people and billions of dreams and trillions of capital that brush past you, accidentally knocking your shoulder. Romance flickers alluring in the candlelight cafes filled with beautiful people bringing morsels of the latest delicacy to their lips, with you the voyeur looking through big plate-glass windows and overpriced menus posted on them. Love falls through the cracks, lost in the hustle and bustle, overshadowed by narcissism and necessity. There’s no time for love. Or love, like time, is money, and people are stingy with it.
In flat, flat-out, forsaken mid-Michigan, in the white-gray coldness of polar vortex, in houses that won’t sell and jobs that can’t be found, in processed food and mediocre coffee, in people mouthing “New York” as if it were a distant planet discovered only via their TV, where trends don’t come and go, they just don’t come at all, and most people know hardship as an old friend, love is abundant. It fills the air, surrounds you like a bear hug, springs easily from people’s lips in words and kisses and smiles. It sparkles in eyes that are glad to see each other, and extends tenderness in hands that touch yours for friendly emphasis. It doesn’t hide; in fact, it reaches out. It’s egalitarian. Love here is like fuzzy long johns, steamy-delicious hot chocolate, crackling logs in a fireplace, a kid wanting you to tuck them into their quilt-filled bed with a story — all warm enough to melt the snow.
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If you’ve run across this blog post as a reposting somewhere, you can find other blog-musings and more polished essays at Outside the Circle, cbmilstein.wordpress.com. Share, enjoy, and repost — as long as it’s free as in “free beer” and “freedom.”
(Photo by Cindy Milstein, anonymous big-city sidewalk, 2013)