Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New York Love Letter

Dear New York,

You smell bad. I've long given up on being bothered by this, because there simply comes a point when it's a waste of energy. We've been part of each other's lives for 5 years now, and in that time I think I have grown to love you. But our pheromones don't seem to match. My body is telling me that your genes and my genes just aren't compatible, and that if we made babies they'd come out all mutant-ified and have extra arms growing out of their foreheads and a penchant for spoonerisms.

I'm sure you'd make beautiful offspring with someone else.

There's a lot about you I like. I spent all day yesterday walking through Central Park. It was gray and rainy, which is sincerely my favorite kind of day. I twirled my umbrella and splashed in puddles, and when I got too chilly, I sheltered myself in the Museum of Natural History. I spent 3 hours in the company of dinosaurs. They're not much for verbal conversation, but they have a lot to say.

I love that you have grown so tall that I can stand on your shoulders and know what it's like to see the sun flash off the top side of the wings of flying birds. Rockefeller is the place I like to do this the most. Somehow I've never been to the top of the Empire State Building, but mostly that's because I have an irrational fear of being swept off my feet by Carey Grant.

I spend most of my time on the ground, due to not knowing enough fancy people to be able to spend a lot of time gazing out the windows of high-level apartment buildings. Down here on the ground there are a lot of spectacular things, though: The gay pride parade, halloween, bagels, running fingers over every type of fabric you could imagine in textile stores, skipping stones across the Hudson, the UCB Theatre, beautiful strangers, dollar slice pizza at 3am, improbably thriving wildlife, trains that arrive at exactly the right moment, storefronts at Christmas, every type of music, people I love. There's a lot more than that. Right now I'm sitting on a stair in the Egyptian Wing of the Met, while an ancient lion stares at me in a doleful sort of way.

Seriously, he's been alone for nearly 2,000 years, he just wants someone to love him.

I want you to know that you're perfect just the way you are, and I wouldn't want you to change even a little bit. Except could you do something about how unhappy a lot of your people are? I know you try so hard to make it better; you offer everything anyone could ever want. Maybe you could give some more reminders that people can find those things more readily with kindness than with hostility. And maybe if everything didn't have to be so dictated by the exchange of those little green pieces of paper. That whole class divide thing kinda sucks. Also: more free cupcakes. That'd be great.

I always knew that you weren't for me. Getting into this relationship with you was like skydiving. You were exhilarating and incredible, and at any given moment I couldn't decide whether to scream for joy or wet my pants. I existed fully in every second, knowing it was eventually going to end. And similar to the time when I actually did go skydiving, and the guy I was strapped to said "Oops," and I saw the parachute go briefly under my feet, there were times when I wasn't exactly certain that this ride was going to end well. But it did. You brought me to Earth safely, and even though reorienting might be a little nausea-inducing, I'm still grateful that you got me here, all safe and sound. It was a hell of a ride.

There is one time of year when you look best, and it's right when Summer has turned to Autumn. The temperature is chill but cozy and you find a way to have beauty in changing leaves even though your trees are sparse. That is my favorite outfit on you. You look good in fall colors.

I am so grateful for the relationships I've been able to have while I've been with you. I'll always be thankful for these incredible people and friends. You're always changing, and I know that when I come to visit you again, you won't be the same place I loved. But in a way, you will be.

Because you'll always be stinky.

Love always,

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