Chainsaw“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy! All you need is love. All you need is love! All you need is love, love, Love is all you need!” Lyrics excerpted from the Beatles non-album single-”All You Need Is Love”, circa 1967… and currently being hummed from the next room.

First of all — it isn’t easy… it is NEVER easy! Secondly, unless the “love” in question incorporates food, water and shelter (oxygen?) it isn’t all you need. Thirdly, where the hell is that coming from?

Rising and rounding the corner. Following the soft subtle soprano. Thee Secretary (HCSAWWT’s secretary in residence) sits prim and proper at her desk, working away as always. Hair in a tight bun, horn rimmed glasses in place, conservative skirt suit pressed and polished. Looking like a 1950’s throwback librarian on the verge of shushing some poor soul. But somethings distinctly different… she’s humming and… smiling?

Wordlessly she pauses, in her tune and endeavors, to spare me a glance. Which drifts and is followed to the corner of her desk. There, within a beautiful ebony vase, resides a dozen dead roses. Beside it, a half empty heart-shaped box of chocolates. Not her usual décor and she’s allergic to chocolate, so their source is obvious. Without further acknowledgment she resumes task and tune.

Questions aplenty but my attention waivers to a new sound. “HOT STUFF!” giggles, crunching, “BE MINE!” more giggles and crunching. Glancing down the hall seeing John Q. (my yellow stuffed-bear sidekick). Face covered in chocolate (that explains the half empty box) and clutching a box of candy hearts, which he reads aloud preceding their crunching.

Across the way stands Frank (the angel of death and personal friend of mine). His touch can be detrimental to life, ergo the roses (thank gawd he didn’t gift puppies or kittens). He, too, has a box of treats… labeled Marlboro.

Both of their gifts bear Thee’s familiar, professional signature. With an unfamiliar, impromptu heart drawn beside it. So, it would seem my cohorts have exchanged Valentine’s Day gifts in their own fashion. Nice, but from experience it doesn’t always work out so well.Choking On What’s “In The Air”

Many moons ago inspiration struck when a local flower shoppe, with an overstock of Valentine bouquets, began selling roses- two dozen for $10. The following day I arrived at work with 24 buds in hand and the best intentions. Going from station to station, delving out a rose and wish of a Happy Valentines, to female coworkers.

Delight and praise at this innocent kindness lasted for about 5 minutes. When one lady outright and offendedly refused the gesture, saying her husband would kill me. Okaaaayyyy… moving on, trying to salvage the mood and intent but to no avail. She rose and ranted with violent criticism and escalating husbandly threats. Then, in an insane twist, indirectly insisted that if she couldn’t have a rose then nobody should. Embarrassed and bewildered, digressing and deviating from the game plan. Releasing the remaining roses back into nature to avoid a potential HR confrontation. Never again but left with the question of — “why?”.

Why not just politely refuse? Why not just take the damned thing and pitch it on the drive home? Is your relationship that unstable? Is your spouse that insecure or jealous? You do realize that killing someone over a rose still garners a prison sentence… in most countries? Are ya friggin’ nuts, lady? Or maybe your perspective of this holiday of heart is more personal?

Another question arrives on coattails. Should Valentine’s Day be solely exclusive and inclusive to expressions of love by couples or proclamations by those longing to be? Should matters of the heart be reserved to those who’ve already found love or extended to those still searching for it? Should it be shared with others, other than your one and only, only one? What about family? Parents, siblings, offspring or close friends? Like X-mas, everyone gets love, or Easter ­— hid and everyone’s looking for it?

Perhaps the answer lies within the individual. A holiday of opinion rather than fact. To celebrate how we best see fit. Being warily mindful of whom we give roses to.

To all reading: on this coming day of Valentine an extension of love, as platonic as possible, extends your way, along with this week’s photo. Pickup a second copy of the paper so your spouse has one too.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.