There had always been wars. Even in the times of love and hope, there was always a reason to kill.
From the 17th century onwards, wars got more complex: families fought families, brother against brother, rich against poor.
If you were to ask when love started dying, it was probably at the dawn of the 20th century. For that was when Captain James Sandford, a man who had seen too many battles, began to notice the increasing coldness in hearts, and the dullness growing in people’s eyes.
It was only little things at first. Small, insignificant things. A gentleman giving a beggar a farthing instead of a penny. A landowner hitting a servant twice instead of the usual once. Even the poor were not exempt; folks stole more from other poor souls and yet they could still sleep at night.
So, it was, in the year of our Lord, 1903 that Captain Sandford decided to do something about it. From his travels in Afghanistan, he has spoken to medicine men, men who had talked with the Yeti (at least, that is what they claimed). In the years that James visited their homes high in the mountains, they taught him magic and sorcery (at least, that is what he claimed).
But the greatest of all tricks was the dilution of love into a potion. One so strong, that it could stop wars in an instant. The medicine men called it ‘God’s Tears’.
In the Spring and Summer of 1903, the Captain travelled the world, catching the tears of children for their mother, and the laughter of friendship, and the sweat of one lover for another. After diluting the liquid, he placed it in a large bottle, and placed this container in the highest building that he could find.
That was at the top of the Flat Iron Building in New York City.
As 1903, became 1904, and then 1905, the world grew darker and colder and soon the world was at war. All wars are bad, but this was an evil war which believed that humans were divisible into the great, the good and the dispensable.
There were more wars that century which became more about what the enemy were – about religion, about race, about the destruction of people.
And so, the world came to the 21st century and by then love was a scarce commodity. Soon love would be no more.
The problem was that our Captain James had fought one more war in France in 1916 and had fallen there, never to return.
And with him, he took the secret of God’s Tears to his grave. But somewhere out there, perhaps hidden on top of the Flat Iron building, there is a safe which contains a bottle where all the love in the world is stored – waiting to be uncorked.
It just needs to be found.
bobby stevenson 2017