Necco (New England Candy Company) has officially filed for bankruptcy. America’s oldest candy maker, located in Revere, Massachusetts, was founded in 1847. They went belly up and resold to Spangler Candy Co., which hopes to keep making the classic Valentine’s candy favorite that was created in 1866—but not in time for this year.
I’m not a big fan of the other chalk-like Necco wafers that come in a variety of rainbow colors, including a chocolate variety that contained no trace of chocolate. They resemble coins in some pay-as-you-go game. Or slugs for the toll booth. But the really big sellers are the Valentine sweethearts. Sugary pastel-colored heart shaped candies with sayings stamped on them. Little quips like, "BE MINE," "HUG ME," "TRUE LOVE," and in recent years, "TEXT ME and TWEET ME."
There’s also an x-rated version of "Sweethearts" on the market. Sayings like, "BLOW ME," "NICE ASS," and "EAT ME." They’ve got nothing on Alice in Wonderland. You get the idea. What a way to say "I love you." Can the world survive without a candy heart exclaiming "FUCK YOU?" Highly unlikely considering today's fucked-up world.
The other day I saw a church signboard exclaim, "Let Jesus be your valentine because he loves you so much." As the story goes, the crucified Jesus was pierced through his ribs straight to the heart to insure he was dead and his sacred heart burned with an eternal fire pouring out hot blood like water. So says the Bible, not unlike the bleeding hearts who pour out their leftist hearts with tears and rhetoric over real or imagined injustices.
The heart’s the hardest-working muscle in the body's meat machine. Pumping lifeblood on a continuous ebb and flow. A red river of cells circulating throughout the skin bags tubular tributary arteries, capillaries and veins. Living on an ocean of blood rushing around inside our bodily functions. What makes the heart beat like a drum? Is it electric impulses that spark life in and out of flapping valves? A perpetual motion that keeps pumping oxygenated goo inside a ribcage prison of cardiac arrest. Nobody has anything figured out. We’re all fumbling, stumbling beasts with unused brains all boxed into the belief of love, feelings of hate tuned to wrong ideas. Let your heart decide what your brain cannot feel.
Searching for love with the speed of life in our cosmic loneliness. This empty universe is a mighty big space with no place to go. The moon rises plucking at heartstrings. An ancient fire in the belly warms cold hearts. Singing a song of hearts. All the love songs where the heart takes center stage. Broken, lonely, sad, sick, bless the poor dear little hearts. Of glass or stone, fragile, hard, evil-hearted or worse, heartless bastards.
The Aztec sacrifice of ripping out still-beating hearts of virgins offered up to the gods as a gift is no longer practiced in civilized society. If they couldn't find a virgin any old heart would do as long as it was still warm, steamy and throbbing. Cannibals who roasted hearts found them inedible. Very tough and chewy like bubble gum. A different kind of heartburn. There’s only one burning conclusion: the heart wants it all. The heart dictates what the brain cannot decide alone. It drives us insane with love or the lack of any love.
When Cupid shot the arrow of endearment through the hearts of unsuspecting they were smitten. The bloody illusion of love. Delusional love addicts pining away at the conception of love’s arrow bursting through the heart of the matter. Affairs of the heart never consider common sense. The universal idea of love has no relation to sexual desire. Heavy or lighthearted. Brave or chicken, strong or weak, all hearts serve only one function. To keep the body alive in combination with all major organs conspiring with the brain to perform in concert with some unknown mysterious spark of life.
Yet another Hallmark greeting card holiday. Raking in millions on heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, red roses, and overblown romantic dinners for two. Lots of gold and silver bling with or without diamonds. Perhaps a charm bracelet of hearts will suffice. A card with a paper heart on a spring that pops out when opened. In grade school every student was given Valentine cards dropped into the open brown paper bag taped to the front of their desks with their name on it. A purely democratic and equal opportunity for all to experience the joys and pangs of love. This Valentine’s Day I thought it’d be nice to make a card that says, “To whom it may concern, I love you!” Nah, probably not. To know me is to love me.