subject line: the bicycle man August 13, 2017 by Hannah Brencher Florence, Italy I don’t know what it’s like to fall in love. I don’t know when the connection starts or if it feels different than any other chance encounter. But this week, I think I got a glimpse. I was crossing a busy street in Florence. Tourists were flooding the road, and you were patiently waiting to get through on your bike. I stopped to make a path for you, and we made brief eye contact. Has anyone ever told you that you have remarkably kind eyes? I smiled at you and you smiled at me, and we just stood there, in the middle of a busy street surrounded by strangers, just being happy. And just for a second, I wondered if this is how, in another world, love begins. With two people taking time to make each other smile when everyone else rushes by. In that other world, where I didn’t have a train to catch, and where you weren’t surrounded by 100 shouting tourists, I would have asked you where you were going. And, if I was feeling especially brave, I may have asked to come along. Maybe I’m wrong and that’s not what love is. Regardless, thank you, Florentine man with the kind eyes, for taking the time to make a stranger smile. Thanks for giving me hope that love may not be as complicated as everyone makes it seem.