You've heard of love at first sight, right? My concept. The plot of Romeo and Juliet? My premise. All the great romances in history, including that of Donald Trump and himself? My handiwork. Almost emptied my whole quiver on Larry King alone. Hey, make no mistake: the God of Love has had a good run, all right.
Still, contrary to popular opinion, it's no cakewalk being Cupid. It takes more than the right touch in archery to run the whole romance racket for almost three millenia, especially in the five boroughs. The paparazzo keep getting in your face every time you go clubbing in Soho, and gossip columnists misquote you about who's being seen canoodling with whom, and the fashionistas are always abuzz about which designer's togas and sandals you're wearing now.
My professional life has taken some really wrong turns, too. The Federal Aviation Administration came after me for flying blindfolded into LaGuardia without a license. Cops in Greenpoint arrested me just for firing gold-tipped arrows draped in dove feathers into the hearts of hipsters. Some hotshot lawyer even brought a class-action suit against me, charging that my practice of inducing instant love caused dangerous cardiovascular side effects.
But you know, you start making your bones 800 years before Christ is born, the job is bound to take a toll.
To make matters worse, I got kind of full of myself. Listen, it happens. If Cezanne painted a portrait of you, it would go to your head, too. So I lost my bearings. Made a few extra bucks feeding exclusives to "Page Six" about which celebs I would shoot next. Then Hercules and Pan and Posieden got wind of my lousy attitude and held an intervention. Clinical depression set in, throwing off my judgment, not to mention my aim. I even contemplated suicide. Then I realized killing yourself is out of the question if you're already an immortal.
I never found the right girl, either. Here I am, Doctor Of Desire and all that jazz, responsible for every match ever made in heaven, and every Saturday night the only conjugating I'm ever doing involves verbs. Could have made a killing to beat Croseus cornering the market on irony. Nothing star-crossed ever happened for me in my one-bedroom in Chelsea, thanks to my intimacy and commitment issues. Tried everything, including shooting myself with one of my own arrows. Even saw a top Park Avenue shrink, who told me finding true love can be tricky when your mother is Venus.
I got really fed up with the whole bar scene, too. Typically I would still be left there at last call all by my lonesome. So about 20 years ago I pulled a Garbo. Started phoning it in.
But lately I started thinking comeback. Held a few focus groups, brainstormed some new concepts based on my own personal experiences in the trenches. Came up with some new guidelines and reforms and pithy sayings. Love at first sight lasts only if you take a second look, for example. And if you go out on a blind date, keep your eyes open. I mean, call me old-fashioned -- if you're 2,805 years old, you tend to be -- but that's my idea of real-life wisdom. It's all spelled out in my upcoming tell-all, "Shooting For Love."
I finally found Miss Right, though. Yay! We plan to get married on Valentine's Day, probably in Reno. She's down to earth, a claim I, given my wings, can certainly never make. She also really accepts me for myself. It makes no difference to her, as far as I can tell, that I'm actually a myth.
Bob Brody, an executive and essayist in New York City, blogs at letterstomykids.org. His alleged humor has appeared in Smithsonian, Forbes and McSweeney's, among other publications.
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