on august 16th of 2015 i wrote “cherish kyle souza” in my journal and as hard as it is to believe, i can still find that feeling in a pot of memories that boiled to the top and evaporated into a home that had dried out. a home i poured my whole soul into but clogged on the abundance and 7 years later i find myself walking past 31 diamond st in a brooklyn snow flurry after a few gin martinis, thinking about the time your friend tommy taught me how to enjoy them, about the time we sat at the bar on the corner and decided this apartment was the answer to our emptiness. and somehow i feel a gratitude i didn’t feel when i left, when my friends carried 5 years of history down 5 flights of stairs and your only response was “i want the keys back”. grateful for all you taught me, the mirror you stood in front of me. all the insults we let burn holes in one another like a lit cigarette being thrown into the street. we always said the end would be petty because we felt too much for each other to let it feel like nothing, too much misery to not bring company to witness.
you used to deem this our neighborhood; a place we washed our dirties and claimed our relationship clean. a place we thought we could find the love we were lacking but in the end only highlighted the space in between.
i used to feel just like that; jealous and angry at the sight of anything that reminded me how fragile it all really is. how it isn’t much at all without the chaos. and how stupid i felt for not seeing it sooner. how i was just filling up the empty space he’s never learned to fill on his own. how i wasn’t chosen, just a replacement for the one smart enough to walk away before me. a short term lease renewed out of convenience. and here we are watching the reboot, knowing it’s bad before it starts because we’ve already seen the original. we’ve been the girl screaming for attention in hopes someone hears all the things we’re not saying and drags us out by our hair. we know how exhausting the never ending blending can be. how he blends into whatever surrounds him, whether that’s a sports team or another woman. blending to buffer the insecurity, blending to break you down to bits and pieces he can swallow whole.
the bqe at a tight 45 and a salt that won’t leave the air until september. a skyline that used to feel so out of reach but you smear daily keeping with the pace, keeping a finger on the pulse. everything it took to get you here collecting like dust on the dashboard trying to block your view. but it really changed your life, your perspective, and there’s no unseeing that. this place really gave you a chance. hell, a million little chances to be a million different things. new york saved you from what you would have been had you stayed. or shit…really saved you from what you would have remained: small minded, ignorant, so blind and so proud of it.
oh, honey. all fire but no flame. in over your head and hiding under an argument, flailing and fragile and trying to forgive yourself for knowing better but saying yes anyway. mad at everyone else for a choice they told you not to make. soon you’ll see the difference between what he gives and what he’s taking. soon you’ll feel the difference between who’s just barely bending and who’s breaking.
Remember why you moved here to begin with, why you hate the Union Square subway station, the way your heart was beating when you first saw the skyline sitting in Holland tunnel traffic with your things packed into a van. Remember all the things you gave up just to be here, including major food groups. Remember LES on a summer night and Central Park after a snowstorm. And if nothing else, remember that New York made you who you are today. For better or worse, but definitely more.