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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

From The Archives - A Love Letter

While transferring files from a flash drive to my external hard drive I stumbled across a journal I wrote while at Columbia that made me giggle.  A letter of breakup to Chicago after my first trip out to Los Angeles.  It's funny how completely opposite I feel about it now.  Flip the cities, and I think it would be more appropriate.  Anyways, here it is:

3/26/07

Dear Chicago,

I've found love.  And before you get too excited I want you to know that it's not you.  I know.  I'm sorry.  I've been deceiving you these past seven months, and another year before that with phone calls, brief visits, and eventually my undivided attention.  It seems pretty cheap of me to make such a firm and excited decision to be with you and then, after only a week of real commitment grow bored.

I know that you've got a lot to offer, and that many who have been with you tell me that you're exciting and unpredictable, dedicated, but you're not for me.  You'll tell me that I haven't tried.  That I came tainted from my last relationship.  That this is my first real commitment that doesn't have my parents fingerprints all over it, and I'm sure you're right, but I also know that this unsettling burning ember in my heart is real, and it hurts.

It's funny, but the more I think about this, about what I want to say to you, about how to say it so that it hurts but only so much, I keep falling back on the over-used cliches, and I'm sorry about that.  It's not you, it's me.  There, I've said it, and now I'll attempt to back it up by some futile means.

You are a very strong and solid person.  You give so much to those who know how to ask, and you take care of your own.  I know that when I'm gone I may be missed, but you also know that you have to go on, and that you will carry on.  Stoic is the word that comes to mind.  I on the other hand am realizing that I am a lot less than that.  Having been so fresh out of a relationship I was on the rebound, and you were the easiest and most visible target.  I took you, used you, and now here I am getting rid of you.  I told myself from the get go that this was going to happen, but being the weak person that I am I just barreled on without really caring, figuring that when the time came that I would be strong enough to just give you the proverbial fuck you and storm out, all debonair and class.  It isn't going the way I imagined.  Wow.  Shit.  I'm doing exactly what I told myself that I wasn't going to do.  Here's me, breaking your heart, or am I breaking mine?  And I'm trying to get pity out of you.  It makes me feel like a loser.  But this is something that I have to do.

I know that your only thought right now is "who is she?" and "what does she have that I don't?"  It's a fair and just question, and I'll tell you, but I'm going to be frank and honest when I say that this one feels more real.  I'm kind of stressing right now, about how to say it all.  How to be honest, while being gentle.  So I'll just start at the beginning and tell you it all.

I heard about her through some friends who went out west.  They told me that she's really ambitious, a little cruel if you don't know how to stand on your own, but that when she gives she gives a lot.  Some of them said that I would really dig her, while others were convinced that she wasn't my type.  Some of them got really close to her, and so for spring break last week I used them as an excuse to get out there, and meet her.

Her name is Los Angeles.  She is an angel too.  I went out west for two weeks and got to know her really well.  She's a little shallow at first glance.  She knows how to dress, and she's all glitz and glamour.  She's got a movie star smile, and a sharp wit.  I know you've talked to people and even been with guys who will tell you that she's fake, that it's all an act she puts on, that she's some sort of siren out there to lure weary traveler's off their path and then swallow their souls.  I won't lie.  She is definitely a little tougher once you get past the surface, but there is something more there too.

She went out west, from New York I can only assume, because there has got to be some Jewish in her history (look at Hollywood).  She had that desire for the American Dream and went chasing it.  She couldn't escape her roots, and wanted to make something like New York, but the guys she met out there had left the east coast for the exact opposite reason.  It was too cramped, she got in a little too close and wouldn't give you enough space.  You're notorious for that, though not quite New York.  I'e got a friend with her and I don't know how he can do it.  Some guys are just made for that sort of thing I guess.  Anywhoo this isn't about New York, she's good in her own sense.  Very much one of those one night stand kinda girls, if I was into that.

The thing about LA is she recognized this early on and gave people space.  She gave them lots of space, but not too much.  She kept them close, and they stayed faithful to her.  She can be a little mess, and a little hard to get around with, but when you get past the city girl, you see that really she is all domestic and suburban.  That's the key right there.  That's what I was looking for.  It's a little more permanent.  A little more dedicated.  I'm a suburban kid.  I love the city.  I love to visit it.  City girls can be a hell of a lot of fun.  I mean look at you.  You're crazy.

Sometimes I feel like I am a little too young.  It's hard to take you out on the town because you want to bar hop, and I can't.  That and it is just too damn expensive.  You want me to spend money on you, and I do.  All the time.  It's getting a little much.  She's just a little more laid back.  I mean, sure to get around is gonna cost a little more, and I'll actually have to drive her places, which means gas money, but also means that I need to get a car, but she is just as happy walking in the park, or watching the sunset, or anything, money is good, but not the be all end all with her.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that I'm sorry for stringing you along like this.  Maybe had we met under better circumstances,  You're just not my type.  The people you know I just can't be friends with.  I've tried.  I really have, they're just a little too hard nosed for me.  I mean c'mon, six months now and not a one of them really feel like friends.  That's saying something.  I know that it shouldn't be about that.  I know that it's about you and I mostly.  That friends are a definite factor, but not the deciding factor.  It's saying something when I take a vacation out west for two weeks, and all of her friends mean more to me than anyone I've met here.  They're more respectable.  We've got more in common.

So I've rambled for a really long time and tried desperately to make myself not look like the bad guy.  To try and salvage some modicum of respect before I finally pick up and get the hell out.  I hope that you can understand, and not take things too personally.  I'm sure that once I've put some time and distance between us, and feel a little more stable with myself, that we can be friends.  I want to be, I really do. I want to be able to stop in for a weekend from time to time, but not feel like I have to prove anything to you.  You've been a good and terrible experience, and I thank you for both because you have helped me grow in ways I couldn't imagine.  I'm sorry.

~Nathan

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