I don’t write a lot of open letters.
I remember when I lived on 64th street in that grand, old, dilapidated house. It seemed so vivid at the time, but in retrospect my life there seems so one-dimensional – as if I didn’t begin to be the person I am now until I left.
We used to talk all night on instant messenger. My computer was in the dining room, far away from any comfort at all. It didn’t matter, though. I could sit forever and talk to you. Idle chatter. Guess that Tori lyric. Whatever.
I used to send you songs, especially that one summer when I really started writing them. I’d dash one off and email it right to you. I trusted you so much with them – I don’t think I’ve ever let anyone that close to them before or since. I let you in on these little secrets of mine, and wove some of yours in too, and you always accepted them so graciously, sometimes even replying with another snippet your oblique novella (never finished).
It all got so different when I moved just around the corner from you. I don’t know why. On one hand, it let us be close friends instead of just remote acquaintances. On the other, I was near you so much, being constantly reminded that I was just idle entertainment; I was no main act. I’m always cautious to say that I fell in love with anyone, because it’s hard to love in only one direction, but in my way I know that at the time I was in love with you.
You knew. I know you knew, and knew it then, and would remind you occasionally in case you had changed your mind. You were always quite kind about it, really, because you let me into so much of your life (I’ve never been sure why).
I still hold some of those memories – stupid memories – so close to my heart. The stupid movies we would go to see, the time we put an old shoe into Andrea’s Christmas gift so she wouldn’t know what it was, the time you took that perfect self-portrait of your hair and your bangs and I decided that it had to be the cover of my album. And the music; you made me listen to Rufus Wainwright, and told me how the song was about how his lover had died of AIDS, or the first time you made me listen to Elliott Smith and Built To Spill, or the first time I made you listen to Dilate. So much good music in your room.
I’m really sorry for whatever I did to you. I think I talked about your life too much, as if somehow a tiny piece of it was owed to me. Or, maybe was a little too mean to you in my songs; both are crimes I’ve gone on to repeat. I don’t know; sometime that Winter I did something to erode the closeness, and you just went on living.
I’ve gotten over lots of girls – you’ve seen me do it once or twice. But, you know, I’ve never really gotten over you. I don’t think it’s because I never got to kiss you because, let’s face it, how many of these girls have I gotten to kiss, really? I just think it’s because you always let me feel so safe, and so cool, and I just don’t have that anymore. I guess I’ve never really had to lose anyone else that I’ve loved.
I’m sorry, you probably didn’t need to read any of this. I was just singing one of those songs and I realized that I really do miss you.