Hallmark holidays, divorce rates, De Beers, STDs, Porn and the Prozac phenomena are killing romance.

Hallmark and De Beers have Mcdonaldized the idea. By providing set standards and days of how and when we should categorize romance, they are catastrophically ruining romance. How should Valentine bears and cut, clarity and carat represent our love and commitment to romance? Silly and trivial.

My generation of latch-key, multi-family children has created a jaded bunch of souls afraid of commitment. Divorce and the threat of AIDS have manifested a generation of people destined for loneliness. We are left to embrace a technological, singular, masturbatory existence and environment. Fantasy is almost better than the real thing, at least it is more; available, convenient, and safe. These variables inevitably contribute to depression, leading to the quick, happy imbalance cure of the late 20th century - ANTIDEPRESSANTS! Which incidentally contribute toward decreased sexual appetite.

Romance is dying.

Romance should make you weep. It does. At the end of every old movie a man goes to war, a woman looks with Bambi eyes, a love letter in a bottle washes ashore with the flotsam of high tide. A not meant for soul reads the letter and finds truth, the essence of love in their life. This is romance.

Sitting on the cold, damp feeling sand of the beach ... Under a blanket, shoulders embracing like a bridge for her shoulder to rest upon. His hand palming her hip. Her hands under her sweatshirt, between her breasts, rubbing together for warmth, elbows pressed into ribs. Her wisps of hair, like spider webs tickling his face snagging in the stubble. Waiting for the pink sliver of sun to pop over the horizon of endless water to start their day, their lives.

Him smooshing her tears with his thumb, forehead to forehead looking into her blue eyes. The tips of nose touching in Eskimo kiss, rain matting hair to head. Lights illuminated in bows of light … this is romance and it lives in me.

I am trying to keep it alive. Nourish it. I pretend that I am Elliot reaching out to E.T. telling him,

"I am right here. Gasping for breath in a bubble. Touching fingers, embracing the universe.

Lying on a dock in a small Wisconsin town. The boards press into our backs as we scan for shooting stars. My father used to joke that he wanted his ashes sent into orbit. I think of this when I see satellites blinking in a cascade across the the night sky, through the light years of firmament. Then, I remember the eulogy I gave and how I asked our friends and family to remember him when they witness this. I tell her this and she grabs my hand and squeezes, saying nothing.

Single mothers have been the most nourishing lovers for me. I credit their already unconditional love and lack of stand-up men.

With two fingers, she tucked the collar of my shirt and tugged me toward her. She gave me a wet kiss, not letting go. She pressed her tight, milk filled breasts into me and sighed with lusty breath. She pulled my hand and dragged me into the nearby dandelion fountain where we splashed and kissed. I tossed my keys to a friend.

I am barely keeping it alive.

Where are you?

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