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    Tiny Love Stories: “The Most Beautiful Man I’ve Ever Seen”

    With some pre-autumn cleaning, I slipped through more than 2,500 family photos. Only one made me cry. It’s not my image in my parochial school jumper, but my mother’s note behind the photo. 1964. Lorraine first grader. First day of work. She became a single mother when I was two years old. After years of losing work, she returned as a telephone company operator. Many of the employees were young. My mother must have been scared. But she did it for us, and in 1984 she retired as an executive in the same company. — — Lorraine Duffy Mercury


    My lover’s personality was bright and airy. He often spoke at the superlative: it was the tastiest meal he had eaten and the brightest sea he had ever seen. He made me believe in a fun extreme world. Fascinated, I ridiculed and jumped. I told him he was the most affectionate person I know and the most beautiful person I have ever seen. He was silent accordingly. I knew he loved me and I loved him too, but the lightness of his presence became unbearably heavy. — — Melanie Won

    When my second baby was born, I learned that he wouldn’t walk or talk. At the time, his two-year-old sister wanted me to go around the room for fun. I hid my tears. All I could think of was, “My son will not be able to spin.” Over time, he missed all the milestones except his smile. A few years later, I put my hand under my son’s arm and lifted him. We play music and spin while the disco ball illuminates the room. He screams while his legs flutter, his smile is so contagious that it also reaches my face. — — Jacqueline Greenberg


    When I was in college, I hugged a dog and wondered if the overwhelming affection I had for a dog was what people experienced when they were in love. Confused by sexuality, dissatisfied with not being able to love a man as much as he thought, he left himself to a life without connections. By the way, at the age of 27, I am celebrating my first anniversary with a fainted woman, and I feel soft to myself as a young man. I wish I could tell her that there was nothing wrong with her mind. — — Lucy Murnan

    Tiny Love Stories: “The Most Beautiful Man I’ve Ever Seen”

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