A rose is the ultimate token of love, isn’t it? This tatty old plastic rose is a painful reminder of my youth. I personally can’t understand why people want to be young again. All the pain you go through in your teenage years. The longing for acceptance and respect. You want to be different and stand out, but at the same time you want to fit in and be exactly like everybody else. What a dilemma. No way would I want to go through that again.

I don’t know exactly how I obtained this rose. I can’t remember whether I bullied the person into handing it over to me or not. My memory about this has faded, but the pain I feel when I look at it suggests that it was not given to me voluntarily. I know who I got it from and I remember the situation. It was at one of those travelling fairgrounds with a shooting booth. Teenage crowd, typical situation: girl loves boy, boy loves another girl,  the other girl couldn’t care less and second boy loves first girl, all without anybody really knowing what love actually means. Everything happens in secret, well hidden, or so they think, convinced that nobody except themselves knows, despite it being so blatantly obvious.

As you grow older you watch the next generation repeating the pattern. And just like we were, they are convinced nobody will notice. What can the old folks possibly know about the pain of searching for true love. Weren’t they born old?

What is most surprising though, is that for some people it never seems to end. Watch people in the rest home… It goes on, the craving for respect and acceptance and the search for this one special person.