It became a daily routine of mine that at the end of each work day I would walk through the park and end up on top of the hill. This hill was the only spot in the entire spot that wasn't covered in sunshine throughout the day. It was a dark element. It just happened to be where three oak trees blossomed and grew together to form a shaded area. Since it was on top of the hill the park felt obligated to put a bench there. The scenery from the bench was beautiful. You could see the entire park as well as some of the city landscape. Although it carried a level of gloom about as the three oak trees never allowed any sunshine onto the bench. Because of this reason most people avoided it and found it depressing. I found appealing. It was quiet and peaceful. It became my spot. It became home. 

Then one day I was on my regular walk through the park to my bench and heading my way up the hill when I noticed a box was sitting on the bench. I stopped walking and looked around. Was someone playing a practical joke on me? Had someone actually noticed this was my spot and left me a gift? I continued walking to find out. As I sat down next to this box I started to analyze it. It was much like you would have expected. It was square shaped. It had wrapping paper and bow on top like you may find underneath someone's Christmas tree. As I looked closer I noticed that the wrapping paper changed colors. I watched in amazement as these colors seemed to change in waves. The colors must of put me in a trance because suddenly the box started to speak to me! 

"What's your name kid?"


"Well Winston it's a pleasure to meet you. My name is Love."

"Love? Like Courtney Love? Kevin Love?"

"No just Love. You know... like the feeling? I'm sure you've heard of me."

"Why of course. People throw your name around every day. Most of the time they don't really mean it. They just can't think of the proper words to say." 

"I guess you could say that. But who am I to judge?"

"So you're saying Love isn't judgement?" I asked trying to be funny. Love didn't laugh.

"Listen Winston I can't stay here all day. There are people looking for me and all. I just thought I might come and enjoy your spot. I can see why you find it appealing. It's quiet. It's peaceful. But don't you ever feel lonely coming to this spot?"

"Maybe sometimes. I usually like to come here to clear my head from the day and do some thinking. It's a nice way to decompress from the stresses of my daily life." 

"I can understand that now that I've been here. You have no idea how many people I've witnessed feeling completely alone while stuck in a room full of people. The people they call their friends. It's very sad." We paused for a moment. I could only image what was on Love's mind at the time.  I just couldn't help but find this situation very strange. I mean can you imagine being able to talk to Love one on one? What would you ask it? I had a bunch of questions but I first had to ask about the logistics of Love.

"Hey Love can I ask you a question?"

"Go ahead Winston."

"So are you the only box of love in the entire world?"

"Of course not Winston. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of us are temporary gifts and others last a lifetime. You never know when you'll stumble upon one of us."

"Well I sure haven't seen any of you for awhile."

"Winston routine is the death of adventure. Without a little adventure in our lives we close ourselves off and aren't open to new things. You've walked by love a dozen times in this park. You just were never open to it."


"There was a lost puppy here last week. He was a stray. He came running towards you but tripped in a puddle of mud and got distracted. You never saw him because you were jogging up this hill starring at the bench."

"I don't think I was ready to take on a puppy."

"You never really know what you're ready for until it's already happened to you. You find out afterwards if you are or aren't."

"You're very wise Love. But let me ask you this... Can you have love without sex?"

"Of course. Just like you can have sex without being in love. Now you're just getting me mixed up with hormones and desire."

"Are there other types of boxes out there that are similar to you? Like... passion or hate?"

"What do you think?"

"I'm talking to a box of love called Love. I don't know what to think anymore."

"Well there are, and just like love you'll never see them. One day they'll just creep up on you and it'll be there. People can search for passion and love, they can try to hide from hate and sorrow but they're all out there. They'll all give you a taste one day."

"I guess you're right. But can I ask you at least one more question?"

"Go ahead Winston."

"Do you need love to be happy? Do you need it to survive?"

"All you really need to survive is food, water, and shelter. But our society has evolved so much if you have a job you can pretty much find a way to survive."

"What about to be happy?"

"It definitely makes it easier, but no you don't need me to be happy."

"What do I need to be happy then?"

"You need compassion. You need to know that you care about people and things even when they are worse off then you. Or that they care about you when you're struggling. With compassion you'll have appreciation. With appreciation you'll find joy, and we all know joy is just the ugly brother of happiness."

"So you're saying people don't need you to be happy? Doesn't that bother you at all?"

"Nope. I love myself." I started laughing inappropriately.

"Sorry. I thought you were making a joke right there. But seriously it doesn't bother you at all?"

"Why would it? It's not going to stop people from trying to attain me. It's always nice to be wanted isn't it?"

"Yeah. I sure miss that feeling." I said standing up and looking down the hill.

"Can I give you some more free advice?"

"Sure." I said reaching my hand out. It was beginning to rain but the tree had hidden the raindrops from hitting me.

"Even though it might hurt in the end... sometimes you have to enjoy the fall."

"What do you..." I started to say before I felt a sudden shove in the back. I went rolling down the hill scrapping up my knees and elbows all the way to the bottom of the hill. When I finally stopped at the bottom of the hill I was laying face up towards the sky while the rain drops hit me in the face. "Love you're a real son of a bitch." 

A small beagle came over and licked my face. It tickled so I smiled and rolled away. The dog followed me.

"Are you okay?" A woman's voice asked. "I saw you fall down the hill. Did you slip?" I sat up and the dog crawled into my lap. I think it was checking to make sure I was still alive. 

"Yeah I guess I did. And what's your dogs name?"

"Angelina. After Angelina Love the wrestler." I suddenly looked at the woman. She was a very pretty brunette with short hair.

"I like that name a lot. Angelina. Love."

Published by Brian Argetsinger