Listen (Pause) New York (Sigh)

Dear New York,

It’s not me, it’s you and it’s over between us.

I’m tired of waking up early just to be greeted with you in a mad rush, always trying to get somewhere. Just think about all those disposable cups of coffee you’ve used over the years! I can’t stand you yelling at me at breakfast anymore. Why can’t you just nicely ask what I would like and with what kind of spread and whether I’d like milk in my coffee? Why must you shout over and over again if you can help, that’s not very helpful at all. Not only that, but I’m crammed in this tiny space while you’re shouting and spilling things and then ask me to pay some astronomical amount for a salad. But that’s getting too far ahead of ourselves. That’s lunchtime.

I’m sick of showing up to work and you barely showing your teeth in what is a growl rather than a smile. I’m wearing these shoes with heels and my feet are cold, it’s been raining all morning and I’ve got to carry all my work papers, my laptop, cell phone, I Pod, coffee mug, lunch, sneakers and clothes for an afterwork workout. My shoulder hurts from carrying it all on one side and I’m sick of you making me feel like a college student or an undeserving Brooklyn hipster if I want to wear my backpack.

I turn on my computer and after it takes too long to load I have a billion e-mails in my Outlook account. I read and sort and prioritize and try to get some work done. Then I’m suddenly hungry and realize it’s about two in the afternoon so I eat whatever’s quick so I can get back to sorting and prioritizing. Suddenly I feel exhausted and it’s already dark outside and I throw my heavy bag over my shoulder and get on the train. I’m pushed and shoved and offended with various smells. I don’t want to hear your starving musician friend practice his guitar or even worse, flute. I’m sick of you pushing yourself in front of me when I am clearly first in line to get into the train car. I can’t stand looking at you while I try to move in and you just look back at me and don’t move.

It’s nearly seven or eight by the time I’m home and I could care less about that after work workout. I try to make dinner or read my own e-mails and sort and prioritize those. Before I know it it’s nearly midnight and I’m passing out only to wake up in six hours and hope to get a pre-work workout in and tend to my new load of a billion e-mails.

When I first met you, I was up to the challenge. I would leave extra time just to meet you down around Bleecker Street or Cornelia Street in case I got lost and would prefer to just wander around rather than ask for directions. I looked forward to meeting you for dinner every other night, each one a new restaurant, a new cuisine and a new experience. Now I see that most of the time you don’t really know what you’re doing. To be honest, your cooking isn’t always great and it’s usually late and then you want me to leave a tip based on the inflated price of the mediocre meal. Not fair, I know, sometime it’s been great. Sometimes it’s mouth watering and fresh off the stove but really, how many times has that happened?

At first I enjoyed spending time apart from you. Nothing like a day at the Museum of Modern Art or the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the American Museum of Natural History, by myself. Nothing like a subtitled flick at the IFC, nestled in the back, all alone, to absorb and keep up with the words on screen. Even having a glass of wine while seated outdoors or on the grass in Central Park. And then there’s Brooklyn with all its glory of the young and the restless and Queens with its Thai and Indian food and the random friends that live in Jackson Heights, wherever that is.

But when I had my fill of time by myself, you weren’t there for me. We could never make plans in advance and in all fairness, we were both responsible for canceling. We could never have a conversation going because our phones would ring or vibrate constantly. I could hardly keep track of all your friends and you of all of mine. We started the evening at eight and finished at eight in the morning. We wore each other out.

Suddenly I saw your charm disappear in front of my eyes like a fog. You were always doing things to piss me off, get on my nerves and were expecting me to just take it. You weren’t going to change. You’ll never change for anyone.

New York, it’s not me, it’s you and it’s over. I hope you understand.

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