Hallmark Holiday

by Paul Modic

It was the day before Valentine's Day and I had no prospects, but I didn't care, I'm used to it. My friend really wanted a date so I sorta steered my other friend toward her but he couldn't commit, typical male! Then he told me about a woman who has been going through some hard times: first she broke up with her husband and then her father died. 

He ran into her at the store where her hands were full of veggies and when he offered to get her a cart she refused. (Some people have so much pride?) That's when he thought she was really kind of frazzled and needed some attention, although he's always reading stuff into the situation and analyzes people constantly. He's friends with her ex so that wouldn't fly, but what about me? 

“Well, Valentines Day is tomorrow, what if I brought her flowers and chocolate?” I said. 

“Perfect.” he said. “She might need a friend, a man to talk to, or who knows, maybe you two would really hit it off. I'll even buy the flowers and chocolate.”

Since I've been sick I've had a caregiver who comes by on the weekend to cook and clean and smoke and dance and go to the Woodrose and one night at dinner she said, “Can't you wear something nice? You're always in your grey pajamas?” (Leisure wear, really.) So she got me dressing up for dinner: my nice African shirts, white party pants, vest, tie, and a dandy hat. It was actually fun, I felt some other personality coming through.

I went to the flower shop and asked them if one rose was more romantic than three. Yes? Then I wanted three, but I didn’t want to pay the price so I got just one with the greenery around it, and figured that would lower the romance level a little for this situation. 

“I'm just Valentine stalking,” I said. “I don't even know the woman.” They didn't care, gimme money, honey. I dressed up in my finery and went to deliver my flowers at her nursery school, chocolates I deemed unnecessary. She was out to lunch but would be back at two, I almost just left the flowers there but I went home, put my grey pajamas back on, then got dressed up again two hours later. 

I walked into the school and her startled co-worker saw the flowers but then relaxed. “She went to the bank, she'll be back soon,” she said. Oh shit, strike two. “I could call her, tell her there's a special delivery?” She took out her phone.

“No, don't do that, I'll just wait,” I said. 

“Okay, we can sit outside and talk for a while then. What's your name?” 

“Jefe,” I said, and decided to confide in the co-worker. “Hey girlfriend, can I tell you what's going on? Here's my strategy: I'm going to just hand her the flowers and walk away. If she says anything or asks anything then I'll hand her this card with a poem and my contact info.” I showed her the card.

She read the short poem and said, “No, you have to put this in with the flowers!”

“Really? But won't that seem aggressive to give her my email, I don't even really know her.”

“No! You have to put that card in. Just tuck it under the ribbon, she'll think it's weird if there's not something.”

So I tucked it in and soon the busy beauty arrived back. When I gave her the flowers she made those little girl sounds like a cross between mmm and some little squeal, you know what I mean? As planned, I quickly disappeared in my costume, my rock star uniform, and my five minute Valentine’s date was over.

(may you float in a bed
of chocolate and kisses
starry skies and
romantic near misses...)


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