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Isn't it romantic?

2004-04-21 - 9:48 a.m.

I used to take the bus to my old job. This involved walking or bussing to the main line along which the buses that went across the river travelled. Sometimes Iíd wait at the Rideau Centre, sometimes at the next stop which was right in front of the Parliament buildings.

One fine spring morning I was waiting in the warm sunshine when I noticed a folded piece of paper stuck in the wrought-iron fence that borders Parliament Hill. It didnít look like trash; it was folded carefully and obviously deliberately stuck there. I glanced around, curious. No one was watching that I could see. Never let it be said that I am daunted by the prospect of looking foolish. Or by potentially picking up trash, apparently. I sauntered over, pulled it out and unfolded it.

It was a love letter. A poem actually.

I donít remember the exact wording but the gist of it was that the writer had been admiring a woman from afar. He rhapsodized over her many apparently-evident good qualities and then ended with something along the lines of ďI try to speak to you, but I donít know what to say.Ē And at the bottom was a manís name and phone number.

Much as itís fun to think of this grand, goofy, romantic gesture as being directed at me, I knew it wasnít. I didnít wait at that bus stop regularly and at the time I was sporting a conspicuous engagement ring.

I carefully folded it and put it back. Iíd already found my prince charming; let some other woman find hers.

Whenever I think of that poem, I feel buoyed up to think that I live in a world where people actually commit these acts of romanticism (cheesy though they may be). I walked by the same spot on my way home and the poem was gone. I donít know what became of the whole thing and I wonder if the intended target ever noticed the paper there and, if she did, if she read it and realized it was meant for her.

I like to imagine she did.

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