Tiny Love Stories: “The most beautiful man I have ever seen”


During a cleanup before fall, I looked through over 2,500 family photos. Only one made me cry. It wasn’t the picture of me in my parish school sweater but my mother’s note on the back of this photo: “Oct. 1964. Lorraine first grade. My first day of work. She became a single mother when I was 2 years old. After years of inactivity, she returned as an operator for a telephone company. Many of the employees were younger. My mother must have been afraid. But she did it for us, and in 1984 she retired as an executive at the same company. – Lorraine Duffy Merkl

My lover’s personality was bright and airy. He often spoke in superlatives: it was the tastiest meal he had eaten, the brightest sea he had seen. He made me believe in a world of pleasant extremes. Nice to meet you, I let go of my cynicism and jumped up. I told him he was the most loving person I know, the most beautiful man I have ever seen. He was silent in response. I knew he loved me and that I loved him, but the lightness of his existence was becoming unbearably heavy. – Melanie Wong

When my second baby was born, I learned that he wouldn’t walk or talk. At the time, her 2 year old sister wanted me to walk around the room for fun. I did, hiding my tears. All I could think of was, “My son won’t be able to turn. Over time, he missed every step except the smile. Years later, I put my hands under my son’s arms to lift him up. We play music and spin as a disco ball lights up the room. He whines as his legs move, his smile so infectious it ends up on my face too. – Jaclyn Greenberg

In college, I cuddled my dog ​​and wondered if the overwhelming affection I felt for him was what people felt when they were in love. Confused about my sexuality and frustrated that I couldn’t love a man the way I thought I would, I resigned myself to a life without human connection. Now at 27, celebrating my first birthday with a woman who makes me pale, I feel a sweetness towards my younger self. I wish I could tell her that there was never a problem with her heart. – Lucy murnane


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