Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I hate you. I love you. Leave. Don’t go away.

Dear Fellow New Yorkers,

I don’t hate you. Seriously. I know that may be hard to believe if you’ve ever been one of the unfortunate souls to cross my path when I’m in a rush (always) or annoyed (often) or over-stimulated by all the noise and crowds (eternally). So my apologies if you’ve ever been subject to a string of epithets mumbled into your ear. Or if you’ve perhaps found yourself struggling to get out of my way as I bear down on you, nipping at your heels with my over-anxious toes. And despite what I may or may not have said to the contrary, I do realize that although you might have trouble walking down stairs, swiping a metrocard, or operating an ATM, you are not necessarily a complete moron.

Even if I’ve actually said “I hate you,” well, it wasn’t true. I swear.

In fact, as hard as this may be to believe, I actually feel a great deal of tenderness towards you. Really. And to prove it, I’m going to list some of the things I love about you. Perhaps then, in times of doubt, you will be able to refer back to these examples of my love and know that, no matter what I say or do, you forever hold a special place in my heart:

Your diversity. What a place. I love the constant reminders that there are infinite numbers of people in this world who are not like me. Everyone everywhere should have such daily revelations.

Your forthrightness. How refreshing to be able to regularly dispense with guessing what exactly it is you want, need, feel, or think. You regularly make it so readily known.

Your balls. So few people here appear afraid of anything. And though of course we all are, it’s great to know we’re all constantly working to overcome it.

Your openness. So many things to experience, and so little judgment regarding any of them.

Your presence. For although sometimes we all wish we could just get some peace, this wouldn’t be the same place if there weren’t so damn many of us packed into such a ridiculously small geographic area. Makes it hard to feel physically alone, whether or not that’s the case psychologically.

So thanks for being there. Now get the fuck out of my way.

One of You


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