I found Cupid sitting in a cubicle.
He was working on a computer. He wore a coat over his wings. I might never have recognized him if not for the chubby legs that didn’t reach the ground.
Also, the bow and arrow on the floor.
“What are you doing here?” I asked. “It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Shouldn’t you be flying around, making people fall in love?”
“Those days are over,” he sighed.
“Everything’s on the Internet now.”
He nodded to his computer. On the screen was one of those dating websites, Match.com or eHarmony. He tapped the face of a middle-aged salesman and dragged it across to an auburn-haired schoolteacher.
“That’s my new arrow. Just move the cursor.”
“There’s even an app for it,” he said.
The wrong kind of love
“Wait a minute,” I protested. “You’re Cupid, son of Venus. You’re a legend – or at least a myth! What are you doing in cyberspace?”
“Step into the 21st Century, Mister,” he said. “This is what romance is now. She makes her list. He makes his list. She makes a request. He gives a response. She e-mails. He e-mails. Maybe they meet. Maybe they don’t.”
He shook his head. “It ain’t Antony and Cleopatra, if you know what I mean.”
Poor little fellow. He looked so out of place. His tiny harp was stuffed in a gym bag. He wore shoes that covered the little wings on his ankles. All around the office, men and women were so engrossed in work, they didn’t realize the legend of love was among them.
“I’m used to it,” he admitted. “True love is a thing of the past. Today, it’s movie love, or computer love, or reality TV love.”
“What kind is that?” I asked.
“The kind where a marriage lasts 72 days, and someone else pays for the wedding.”
I tried to cheer him up. I reminded him that people still got hitched. He said 50% got divorced. I said couples still waltzed and tangoed. He said they were trying to make “Dancing with the Stars.”
I said there was still romantic music being written. He said, “Oh, yeah? Like ÃÂMy Humps’ by the Black Eyed Peas?”
“OK, you got me there,” I said.
A time for matchmaking
Of course, once, men wrote songs to Cupid. Starry-eyed dreamers implored him to draw back his bow, let the arrow go, straight to their lovers’ hearts. Shakespeare penned sonnets to Cupid. Milton wrote poetry.
Now, here he was, working websites.
It was all so sad.
“People don’t believe in romance anymore,” he said. “They believe in hooking up. They believe in texting. They believe in ÃÂThe Bachelor.’ They think ÃÂThe Millionaire Matchmaker’ actually knows what she’s talking about.
“They believe in overseas brides. Pole dancing lessons. ÃÂJersey Shore.’ Charlie Sheen and his goddesses.
“I can’t break through. I mean, what’s one little arrow going to do against the Kardashians?”
He exhaled. Wow. Could love truly be in such danger this Valentine’s Day?
Suddenly, across the office, a woman let out a sigh. Her computer had crashed. “I’ve had it!” she cried and headed for the door.
At the same time, a man in the corner saw his computer churning smoke. He pulled out the plug, threw up his hands and headed for the exit.
“What about those two?” I asked.
Cupid eyed me mischievously.
“I couldn’t,” he said.
“You could,” I said.
“I shouldn’t,” he said.
“You should,” I said.
“Well,” he said, reaching down toward his feet. “They do have something in common …”
Suddenly, he was up in the air, his wings exposed, his curly hair flowing. I heard harp music. He pulled back his bow. He aimed for the couple, true love about to take winged flight, when –
“HE’S GOT A WEAPON!”
Pow! Cupid was tackled by two security guards and dragged away.
Which only proves, as the old song says, that the thing most in need of love today – is love.
Contact Mitch Albom: 313-223-4581 or email@example.com. Catch “The Mitch Albom Show” 5-7 p.m. weekdays on WJR-AM (760).