The Guide to Courting Chris… And other things you Might Ignore


Snow drifts softly onto the ground, not uttering a peep, until I flesh out my umbrella to catch them as they fall. That’s when I hear them peppering my sky, hear their footsteps atop my head. And I breathe in that sweet air as I hurry home. My hands are the coldest at this point.

Valentine’s Day is drawing near. It seems to be a stolen type of holiday in America, because we have to define ourselves with gifts and glittery cards, someone else’s sultry salutations printed on their empty insides. Christmas was stolen from the Christians. Halloween from the Pagans. I wonder who we (the consumer) stole Valentine’s Day from. Maybe it was from that incriminating Saint, who spoke of love for the lips of the separated. Or could it be that cherubic babe flying yonder, armed with a temptation soaked on arrows. An innocuous prick, and suddenly we’re enthralled by the drive to love.

I hardly flinch for such a day. As a self-professed romantic, I have no duties to fulfill. It’s a musician without a sound. An artist without its rich palette. A writer who has no comprehension of words. Or possibly, a writer who is missing her words. It is a day that fills me with a shameful type of loneliness, because my colors, my hymns, and my language are gone. I need someone to love. And for that reason, I hate what Valentine’s Day has become.

Throughout the day, I thought of how to court myself. If I were a young man (or woman) who has stepped into a subway train, and happened to find myself finishing the last few pages of Anais Nin’s House of Incest, what would I say? How would I approach such a specimen? What would I think of myself?

If I were me, sitting there, and I knew that person objectifying me over there was awaiting a signal, then I would send one in the form of a short script, such as a scroll or pamphlet, complete with music and loud artwork to accompany the rant. It would be titled, The Art and Careful Instruction on How to Attract Chris… by Leon Symone.

First, an introduction…

Dear So-and-Such,

Let me extend a kind kiss and a grand welcome. You have successfully gained an interest in the fair Chris, who will most likely ignore you. Or, if you notice, she may exchange steady glances, as if penetrating you from head to-toe with brief shocks of low voltage electricity. Please, Such-and-so, do not interpret this as disdain or indifference, for this creature who sits before you is full of surprises. This common practice is one she plays well, for many reasons. She is an isolated species, engaging in social functions; but, also one who experiences peace and chaos through the abandoned ritual of purposeful isolation. She is a shy being, who could hardly muster up a hello without a hint of liquid courage. Thus, a dance has commenced. And, if you choose to take the lead, you will find a most magnificent journey, complete with serenity, horror, passion and, of course, the loyalty and companionship in an adventure, who silently finishes a short story on the A train to Brooklyn….

To be continued—-

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