Tiny Love Stories: ‘We Are Not Ready for Real Life’

My first message to you after 44 years of high school: “I miss you; You had long, beautiful hair. “You told me about the car accident in which your lower body was paralyzed. I told you that our perfection does not depend on the body. You wrote to me about art, cooking, living in Mexico, your love for your son, your blissful creativity after surgery. In December, you stopped sending messages. I was shocked to learn that you died. Then I re-read your previous message, how we are unseen and mysteriously connected. What a gift, intimacy with you. – Alice hogan

After my 13-year marriage broke up, I rented an apartment in Rome just a few blocks from my family’s home. Three days later, Italy went into lockdown. I started a new life with the rest of the nation, working remotely and spending time with my children. My division suddenly became the second most important thing. As my wife and I struggled with the epidemic, pain and remorse came to the side. Is it possible that the lockdown is our friend? This may sound cruel, but we are not ready for real life. – Federico Petrangeli


My grandmother Ruth was like a secret agent. Before cellphones or the Internet, he would secretly track his grandson. At the age of 23, I moved to Mexico to work at a resort. I was, after all, on my own. One night, while I was drinking wine with my colleagues at a beach bar, a person from a nearby village came in and shouted the full name. When I replied, they spoke to me and said, “Your abusers have called every house in our village. I was chosen to search you with this message: ‘Village loves you. Please call. ‘”- Amy Gottliffe

“It’s time, it’s time, for Green Ginger Wine,” we would chant every Friday night as we danced around the kitchen, my girlfriend’s hand on my waist, my wife’s hand. We were drunkenly drunk as his child screamed with joy at our feet. It would be a long time when I admitted to myself that sex with her no longer feels right, that I was more in love with our lives than being with my boyfriend. When I broke up with him, I remained friends with his wife, and wondered if their child would miss me. – Melanie Prior

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