A BREAKUP LETTER
I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight. Honestly, I thought you smelled terrible. Altogether, we spent two rocky years together, filled with long walks, late nights and disappointment. In the end you broke my heart. You broke me.
My previous love was nothing like you. She had a pedigree; better educated and less messy. She didn’t smother me or leave trash lying about. She was grounded and not at all flashy. But she was also stuck-up and obsessed with her sports teams. And she talked funny, using her “Rs” all wrong and mispronouncing “potato”. It drove me nuts.
I was bored with her. She was provincial and stuffy. You were cosmopolitan and uninhibited. It was a no-brainer. You never made me any promises, but you got my hopes up. There were so many things I liked about you. You hung out with good looking people and loved staying out all night. You were always in the mood to grab a beer and a burger, though I couldn’t afford most of the places you wanted to go.
At one point, if seemed like we really had something. You knew some of my friend’s from summer camp and shared my love of comedy and pro-wrestling. If it weren’t for you, I’d never have met the guy who gave me my dream job in the West Village. (It’s not your fault it ended badly.)
The most intoxicating thing about you is how you draw people in. Everyone wants to be around you as if the association will make them somebody. You’re naturally charismatic. I can’t blame them for liking you. Those who’ve known you the longest are just as enamored with you and never let outsiders speak ill of you.
But I think you’ve changed over the years. You used to be wilder. But somewhere along the way you stopped hanging out with artists and revolutionaries. Now you spend your time with CEOs and Wall Street types. You’ll let them put whatever they want wherever they want on you, the bigger the better.
Your obsession with wealth and success fucked with my head. You made me believe that I couldn’t compete; that I wasn’t talented enough, not rich enough, not good looking enough for you. Being around you gave me high blood pressure.
I didn’t want to leave. I knew you’d think me a failure, someone who couldn’t hack life with you. I try to tell myself it isn’t true: that I left you after all. But you keep needling me, posting on Facebook about our friends who are making money, getting married and appearing on television. I get the message loud and clear. They’re succeeding where I failed.
You’re tempting me to come back. Daring me. Questioning my resolve. That’s what you do. You manipulate people into thinking they can’t be anything without you. I loved you and you made me miserable. You’re just like the rest, pretty parks and cupcake shops built on top of rivers of shit. You broke my heart New York, but I think I’m finally getting over you.