Tiny Love Stories: ‘I Had to Take Your Picture’

As a blue dawn I think of how life would proceed without being 80 years old. How to spread those dim vapors? Eggs, coffee, a thin slice of toast and – should I open my homemade jam of marmalade? With unqualified work to make the jam – by cutting countless citrus oranges into small pieces – I have always saved these jars to be given to special people. But today, in a wild, life-affirming gesture, I open up protection for myself. Sticky and flowing, the marmalade acts as an elixir, which melts the trailing blows of blue. – Marilyn Slutzky Zucker

I was teaching English in Myanmar, when we met two years ago. The music added us – listening to a cheap guitar, as we tried to harmonize. I was learning Burmese. They covered our apartment in Post-It notes with the Burmese name of each item. This January, I returned to Australia because my mother was ill. In February, when the army coup in Myanmar, he said, “They have stolen our future.” I could feel his frustration and pain. But every night when we do FaceTime, he smiles and joins his neighbors as they bang the barn in protest. An eternal harmony. – Hearing aid

For three days, Chris praised a six-hour round trip from Virginia to Pennsylvania for his work to mourn me as his father. Over the years, my father had a crazy drive for me, his strong desire to show an unconditional love. Taking me from Virginia to Chicago, we talked so much that we missed our exit. I felt that the only people who would continue to love me was that my mother and brother were very deep. But Chris did and did. My father would be happy to know that someone is still driving crazy for me. – Apoorva Sisodia

Metro entered 14th Street. His hand was stuck in my pocket; Held my yellow tulip. It was an evening of March, but Tulip was in the sun, his hand was warm, and I felt like spring. Sitting in the metro seats, wrapped in a full stomach and a heart rest, I talked to him about things I no longer remember. A woman on the train waving her phone said, “I had to take a picture.” “The way you’re looking at each other – I have a cold.” I miss the woman she photographed and the stillness of those spring flowers. – Kaitlin powers

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