I remember as a kid that my friends and I would play all sorts of funny games with ourselves. Some would hold their breath while passing a cemetery and make wishes at 11:11. Others felt the need to chew equally on either side of their mouths. One of mine was played with an apple, twisting the stem while reciting the alphabet and whatever letter corresponded with the stem coming off was the name of your husband/wife/lovah. I still play this game with unabashed vigour. When I'm seeing someone, I hope desperately that the stem comes off at their letter. When I get a seriously good-for-nothing letter like 'H', I curse the heavens. At the risk of alienating the Harrys, Horraces (Horraci?) or Helmuts of the world, 'H' is not a sexy letter.
Today at lunch I had a granny smith. After I passed 'K', I became very excited as one so seldom gets that far before the stem detaches; I was filled with anticipation at which uncommon letter my future domestic partner's name would begin. As I rounded 'T', I began to become afraid. Why would this spawn of Satan apple not release my love stem?! After 'Z' had come and gone I debated whether or not to begin again at 'A'. Peering down at the freshly frayed green ligaments making up the stem, it occurred to me that this stem was a tangible metaphor for the abysmal failure that has been my romantic life thus far, that love was second only to that fucktard Waldo on my list of Things I Suck at Finding. I felt my innocence and sense of wonder slipping away from me all because of poor selection at the local Asian fruit stand, glancing around at the employees of the food court, Chinese each and every one, and felt their souls laughing heartily at my misfortune. Their mouths smiled, encouraging my daily purchase of a vegetarian western omelet with cheese (extra 50+), but their eyes...oh those eyes! "We do not care if you add 'Asians +++' to your Manhunt profile," they seemed to say, "You will nevertheless die alone and unloved and probably more bloaty than you had hoped for."
No, I said to myself. This would not be my fate as assigned by the employees of Pumpernickel's Breakfast & Deli. I gathered my valour, plucked up and dug what remained of my newly-clipped finger nails into that stem and began twisting with all my might.
And off it came.
I do not know if finding true love is as simple as putting all one's strength into twisting off an apple stem. I imagine it is not. I surmise that there are any number of feats and challenges that I will have to face before I find what I am after. But, Gordon, I'm coming for you.