Young love: Cupid’s poison arrows

“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.” — William Shakespeare

Puberty hits us like the opening of a starting gate in a horse race. And, what a horse race it is: sex, drugs, and rock and roll for a short-term rush that often has long-term consequences.

We meet in homeroom, date during first and second period, have sex during the lunch hour, and are married or living together before school is out. College students move about as fast, but often with more booze.

We’re so sure at 17 or 18 that we have met the love of our life. We can’t imagine being with anyone else. In our young eyes, this is clearly forever. So how does life unfold when one becomes a mother or a father and/or a husband or a wife before s/he is all the way out of his or her own childhood nest?

Time to roll the dice?

Some of us step out of the way of cupid’s arrows or, with luck, are only slightly wounded. Some of us are careful and some of us aren’t. To use an understatement, it’s quite a learning experience, one that may haunt us or define us or challenge us for the rest of our lives.

Now, in matters of both head and heart, I don’t believe in fate. For better or worse, I think we are–at least subconsciously–aware of the choices we are making whether they are leading us toward oblivion or a fairytale life of happiness.

Yes, I know, my view is controversial. But, in terms of what we do with the messes and smart choices we’ve made, at the nitty gritty level of experience it doesn’t matter how it happened and whether it was destiny or fate.

Both messes and smart choices present opportunities and challenges. However we make our beds, we can allow the consequences to either control our lives into hell on earth or lift our lives up above the norm.

I explore these ideas in my novel Garden of Heaven about a young college student named David Ward who is certain a young woman named Anne Hill is his soul mate. Things go horribly wrong as is common in fiction as well as real life. David and Anne betray each other and one of them is out for revenge–that also happens in real life, and it all begins with cupid’s poison arrows.