Paris welcomed me with a puff of sweet perfume. In Rome, I stepped foot on cobbled streets to the blast of trumpets. Amsterdam was a mist. Seoul, an airhorn and thundersticks.
Off the tarmac at La Guardia, I was welcomed by an indifferent shrug. Then she pointed me to a line where throngs of disaffected young men waited their turn to court her, flowers in one hand and their egos in the other.
Suddenly, my bouquet of roses didn’t seem so special.
“You’re nothing special” she said.
I imagine she wasn’t always this way. There was a time when the affections and exuberances of youth flushed her cheeks with flattery. She would have taken my roses, her eyes warming and swelling and blissful.
Now the old maid, her skin is leather and her jaw is fixed. The cracks in her skin tell the story of broken promises, her sidewalks trampled by the greedy young proletariat. There are large empty spaces, holes in her heart, which testify to her hurt. She’s been hated but worse, she’s been abandoned. Worst of all, taken for granted.
She decided to endure. And it’s by this decision that she shrugs at my arrival, points to the line and says,
“You’re nothing special.”
For a better take, Jessica J.