I'm Not Happy and I'm Not Sad.
I'm writing to tell you it's over.
Some people thought our relationship should have ended years ago. But 17 years is a long time and it's hard to give up something that's been so good, that's been so comfortable and comforting for half of my life.
I remember the first time. A fall Chicago day in '88. The bus stop at Jackson & LaSalle. Bobby D. introduced us. I was hooked at first sound. You, you!, changed the trajectory of my life on that very day. I would without a doubt, be a different kind of person if I hadn't met you when I did.
Later on, those encounters in New York and Philly were wonderful. We all had fun, though I think our adoration of you was more you of us. Later still, even The Apollo was great; we’d all grown up, but the vibe was still there. Then you came back from LA a few months later a different man. You'd found a new kind of girl. Younger, so much younger. A girl who wasn’t even a speck in God’s eye when you and I shared our most intimate moments.
You used to be such a clever wordsmith, your craft was your art and your art wasn't just adulated. We adored you. You were special – and that was a secret kept between you and us, a secret we treasured and held in the inner core of our post-post-post pubescent souls. But you understood us, you really did. You turned those ancient bitter schoolyard memories into a bittersweet nostalgia like no one else could.
But now the magic in your words is gone. What happened to the witty poet I cherished? My heart belongs to someone else now, S. I'm sorry to say it, but you've lost that je ne sais quoi (and your thesaurus, perhaps?). Dare I say forever? The thesaurus can be replaced, but the quoi…
Is it because I'm older and wiser now? Because I’ve seen the world, I’ve been hurt, I’ve loved, I’ve lost? Is it simply that I can see through your facade of sardonicism? No, I refuse to believe it. You've changed, S. You've settled. It's LA, no doubt. How can you be truly lonely and wanting in LA?
So, I'm sorry, S, but I won't be purchasing the new album. The clips I heard made me pine for you when I knew you.
You've become a stranger. But I’ll raise my glass of cab to you anyway. It was great while it lasted. But know that I'm still fond of you. Thank you.