So many shades of red, our love.

"Shower the people you love with love." In a sea of conflicting ring-tones it is perhaps the only one which bears any relevance. In one moment it is battering my ear drums and in the next it simply resounds.

So I hum the tune.

I hum it at least fifty thousand times because it's right there, in my head, and I take on the air of a woman obsessed. Shower the people you love with love--I begin to brainstorm in a strangely literal way.

This begins as I am at my window, leaning outward toward my neighborhood with my elbows propped on the sill and my neck thrust forward. With my thoughts fully trained on the magnificent outpouring of love, my eyes fill to the brim with tears, and it occurs to me how beautiful if only I could shed those tears onto the people passing by on the sidewalk three stories below. The very first tear clings to the edge of my eyelid, precariously, as if it does not wish to let go yet knows its higher calling. I blink to encourage it, and it falls lightly to the sidewalk below, hitting no one. I try again, to the same effect. These tears of love, they will touch no one. So I retreat momentarily from my window.

I return with a pot of cold coffee, left over from this morning. Love. I extend my arm out the window and, with a simple turn of my wrist, drain the contents of the pot onto a man who is walking his cocker spaniel. Some of the love splashes up onto his dog. The man turns to look at me and returns my affection with a string of sharp, forceful words. I hear only the urgency with which he projects them upward toward me. Of course. I smile briefly back at him, and again I retreat.

I return with a gallon of skim milk, a jar of mayonnaise, a bag of unshelled peanuts; without hesitation I shed this love down onto my brothers and sisters below me. Without waiting for their joyful response I rush back to the kitchen. Dishes, drinking glasses, my finest cloth napkins. Gently I distribute my kindness and devotion from the window. One of my silver serving spoons strikes a woman on the shoulder and she screams up at me, "You're crazy!" Crazy, yes. Crazy in love. My love has worked the people into a frenzy; I can hardly differentiate one exuberant response from the next. Their love overwhelms me as I begin slinging spoonfuls of mashed potatoes down at them; with a screech I hurl the entire bowl out the window and someone's windshield erupts into a cloud of sparkles and song. In a particularly inspired moment I scream "James Taylor says hello!" to a man, before dousing him with a special kind of love: a raspberry jello mold infused with peeled grape halves and carrot shavings. So many shades of red, our love.

"The best part of living is loving," an old friend told me in my youth.


A four course meal.