The Kansas City Star - - Uplift -

Mod­ern Love in minia­ture, fea­tur­ing reader-sub­mit­ted sto­ries of no more than 100 words. Sub­mit your own at ny­times.com/tinylovest­o­ries.


We were ly­ing on the shaggy car­pet of my 500-square-foot apart­ment, play­ing Banana­grams, de­cid­ing what love feels like. I said, “It’s the work­out where you squat and catch the medicine ball at the same time. It’s fall­ing and lift­ing at once.” Paul said, “How heavy is the ball?” I thought about it – about his de­pres­sion and com­pul­sive­ness, my type-A per­son­al­ity and body-image is­sues. Just be­cause we are in love doesn’t mean things have been easy. I replied, “I mean, how do you think I got thighs like these?” E.J. Schwartz


Un­der the guise of be­ing a du­ti­ful – not heart­bro­ken – son, I called my mother on the sec­ond an­niver­sary of my fa­ther’s death. “Michael, I’m not go­ing to be one of those wid­ows com­plain­ing about how tough life is,” she said. “I got out of bed, went to the gym and had lunch with friends. Your dad would have been dis­ap­pointed if I didn’t. None of this ‘poor me.’ ” Turns out I needed that call more than she. My re­gret for be­ing un­able to visit my fa­ther a fi­nal time faded. My mother – is right: Life is for liv­ing. – Michael Pointer


I was smit­ten with the ma­gi­cian. Un­ex­pect­edly alone at his show, I vol­un­teered to be his au­di­ence par­tic­i­pant. On­stage, he asked me to write an ev­ery­day ob­ject on a piece of paper. I wrote “elec­tric tooth­brush” and sealed the en­ve­lope. “Does it vi­brate?” he said, smil­ing, flirt­ing, ap­par­ently read­ing my mind. We went on a few dates, then he sent me an email to break it off. Gmail sug­gested some re­sponses: “I un­der­stand,” “I agree with you” and “No wor­ries.” I wish he had dumped me via magic in­stead. He could have just dis­ap­peared. – Jenny Gore­lick


I was sup­posed to help my par­ents move in the morn­ing, but Ai­lene chose that night, at 1 a.m., for her ul­ti­ma­tum: We would ei­ther leave my car as a cou­ple or never see each other again. I loved Ai­lene. She loved me. Yet, my be­ing trans had, to that point, com­pli­cated my re­la­tion­ships. (My mother, in­cred­u­lous and in­quis­i­tive, had once asked, “Does this mean you’re a les­bian?”) I would re­ceive my first hor­mone in­jec­tion the fol­low­ing week. Who could love some­one like me? I knew who. It was 4 a.m. when we left my car as a cou­ple. – Am­ber Meyer — NEW YORK TIMES

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