It is only the second day of February and already, the city is awash with the color red. Everywhere I look, I see teddy bears clutching love hearts; I see heart-shaped cakes and heart-shaped cards. Last night I was gazing at the moon outside my window. Her roundness shone with great allure. I was touched as always, by the sight of her. I was just as relieved that she’s so far away. Out of reach of this heart-shape-crazed lot of people. I swear if they could, they’d take a chisel to her surface! And why stop there? I bet Earth and Sun would get remodeled too!
Sigh. Earth is already getting remodeled. We’re just chipping away at her, one diamond at a time. It’s only a matter of time before some crazy engineer comes up with an even crazier plan…
But that’s not why I’m holding you hostage in this darkened room with a heavy sack over your head. My people got a little too aggressive with you. I apologize for that. I don’t want to hurt you Cupid. I just want to talk, eyeball to eyeball. Then I want us to go someplace in the woods, where even the sun dares not bear witness…and then we’ll talk some more. Okay?
Great! In fact, as a show of good faith, I will now untie you and take the sack off your head. See? I mean no harm. Are you thirsty? Can I get you anything? No? Okay. Let’s talk.
First, the rules of engagement:
Pay attention. I know you’re good at this one. It must take a lot of focus to aim an arrow and execute a perfect shot. You must teach me how to do that someday – after you earn my trust of course! Way, way, way in the future.
There will be no shooting of any kind during the course of this meeting. Your bow and arrows are in a safe place. We wouldn’t want any accidents, would we? We both know this is another forte of yours. So many accidents Cupid! What’s the deal with that? No. No. Don’t answer that.
There will be no speaking from you today. Isn’t silence your third strength? All those gut-wrenching ‘WHYs’ you must get! Humans trying to understand why their hearts hurt so bad…but not a squeak, not a whimper from you. So no, there will be no words from you today. Are we clear? Good!
Now to the agenda:
I am aggrieved Cupid. You must be surprised by that. What with my gentle tone and everything. What can I say, I am a nice person. But the fact is, I’m not very impressed with you. So I’ve got a few things to say. I’ll walk you through it, don’t worry.
- I have nothing but the utmost respect for you. So we’re going to settle this like humans. Well… One human and one trigger-happy bow-slinging arrow-shooting sneak. If you’re going to shoot me Cupid, shoot when I can see you. That’s what we decent folks do. What kind of person lurks in the bushes, springing arrows on unsuspecting victims?
- Drop the act Cupid. You are not the goody-two-shoes you pretend to be. I’ve been through some shit because of your shenanigans. Enough with the well-rehearsed look of shock. It does not suit you. Just drop it.
- What’s with the shenanigans anyway? Aren’t you a little too old to be playing pranks with my heartstrings? You pull this way and that way. You try this and that. You pull too tight, you forget to untie. Come on! It seems to me like a whole load of guesswork. You’re supposed to be the expert. Shouldn’t you have perfected this match-making thing by now? How are you still able to screw up so royally?
- Do you test the quality of your arrows? Do you know what they do to people? The intended effects and the side effects? No? Okay, how about we try one of your arrows on you, how does that sound huh? CALM DOWN CUPID, CALM DOWN! I said there would be no shooting, and there will be no shooting. But your reaction is rather telling. You know exactly what your product does to people, don’t you?
- Easy on the trigger. I think you’re a little too liberal with the dosage of your product. You’ve shot me on a few occasions. You’ve shot me good. One potent dose after another! Your arrow dissipates in my heart and it decimates my last iota of common sense. Really Cupid, is it necessary to make me so puppy-eyed and dumb? Sometimes I wonder if the arrow really hits the heart or the head. Is it your aim that’s off or your dosage? Whatever it is, fix it.
- Be honest Cupid. Your arrow has an expiry date. But you never tell us that, do you? You know it won’t last forever like you claim. Why are you such a straight-faced liar? You should have well-publicized disclaimers – Product is best before…Euphoria will not last beyond…the harder you crush, the harder you will crash…That sort of thing. That would really help. Don’t sell me the moon and then send over several kilograms of moon dust gift-wrapped in a killer smile. Come on. That only works the first fifteen times. What will you do when I finally wise up and return to sender, huh?
- Do humans get a choice in this business of yours? I know your entire Modus Operandi leans heavily on taking people by surprise. Wouldn’t it be fair though, to provide a return address? Shouldn’t you be directly responsible for the clean up of your messes? You shoot me up with reckless abandon. You shoot that poor fellow up and then you run off. What if I decide I don’t want the package? What if he decides he doesn’t want it? Why should I be stuck reading angry emails from a disappointed guy? Why should he be stuck reading sad texts from me? It’s your mess Cupid. Any angry/sad/whiny/pleading/full-of-hot-air feedback should be directed at you! I demand a return address and a feedback questionnaire. Your boss needs to know that it’s not all peachy over here.
- Isn’t it about time, you modified your shooting kit. It is twenty-freaking-eighteen, who the heck still uses a bow and arrows? Okay, fine, use your damn bow and arrows, but for Pete’s sake, will you just accessorize? Have a teeny-tiny kill switch installed into the arrows. Don’t you know what that is? Let me explain. A kill switch works like an ‘as you were‘ command from a General. Your arrow is a drug. It is so addictive, it keeps us humans hooked. Once we get a taste of it, we only want more. And more. And more. And that’s where your little arrow lets us down. Suddenly, it just stops working. The elation wears off. The illusion disappears. The cessation begins. And it drags on and on and on. This is where a kill switch would really come in handy. That way, break-ups would just be a matter of shaking on it and pressing a button. Easy peasy. Imagine how much good this could do your PR! No more tear-stained pillows, no more tear-streaked cheeks, no more curses on your head…you get the picture. You need the kill switch more than I do. If you don’t know who to talk to for this kind of thing, just ask me. I know a guy….
Alright, you look like you’ve been listening. I know you haven’t. We’ve had this conversation before. So here’s the deal, I have one last thing to say. If you hear nothing else, if you remember nothing else, if you do nothing else Cupid, do this;
If you’re going to shoot me, make sure to shoot him with the same dosage and precision. Strike that. Double his dosage. Forget everything I said earlier about overdosage. That only applies to me. It’s not fun following someone like a puppy and hanging on to their every word. It really isn’t. And I’ve been the love-sick puppy one too many times. I think it’s someone else’ turn now.
You owe me Cupid.
After everything you’ve done to me, you owe me.
Also, I’m keeping one of your arrows. If you screw me again, you are getting this one straight to the heart. You know I’ll do it.