What I Want To Say To The Girl Who Wanted To Do Long-Distance With Me


We were brought together by chance and circumstance, and we were ripped apart by chance and circumstance.

I kept trying until I couldn't anymore. We're only human, babe.

It's dumb to feel guilty about things you can't control, but these are my confessions, and it's about time you got some answers.

In a way, I'm sorry — not for the role I played in our demise, that I couldn't help. I'm sorry for the fact I had to play it at all.

No matter what you feel or what you want, you can't put 200 miles between people and expect their lives not to veer in different directions. Being that far from you, I couldn't do anything but miss your FaceTime calls, disappoint you from a distance and fill your time with diminished returns.

It probably felt like I didn't love you, especially when I started getting distant, and especially when I said so. I shouldn't have lied. I just needed you to let me go, and I didn't know how else to convince you to do so.

I did love you. I should have told you that before now, though I doubt it would have saved us.

Love doesn't save anyone from space, and space was the thing that was always going to keep us apart.

At that point, it didn't matter how much I loved you because I knew I'd never love you more than I did at that moment. We were too far apart to grow together. We'd peaked. It felt pointless — like the only directions to go were down and out. These are directions I am familiar with.

I began missing and resenting you at the same time. And it was neither of our faults.

I ended things because it felt wasteful spending so much time and energy on a person I didn't know when I'd see next — who I might never see again. We were a broken body part, fingers gone defunct. We needed to be amputated.

And how much I would miss you didn't make it any less true.

I tried to put you out of my mind. This long-distance thing never worked, not even in the movies. We weren't even supposed to happen in the first place. I should have been in New York, and you should have been in Boston, but there we were, meeting in Florida and falling into each other on the bathroom floor of that little bungalow on the bay.

Vacations always feel short, unless you meet someone new and spend your time wrapped up in them. But the smart thing to do is to go your separate ways and leave them in that memory.

You convinced me to be dumb. You didn't care we were going home to different cities and different lives. You felt there was more magic in us to mine.

You didn't make any rules or demands. I didn't know if I wanted a long distance thing, but I knew I didn't want nothing. Never seeing you again didn't seem right, which is weird because usually it does.

You kept texting me, and it felt like you were still there with me every day. Soon, it even felt like we'd taken a step — that we'd graduated into something.

But then, I went out and didn't tell you, and you felt betrayed. Then, you went out and didn't tell me, and I remembered how you'd throw kisses around the bar like looks. I felt betrayed, and it was idiotic because we started playing this game I hated.

And I knew neither of us could win.

I visited you. You visited to me. We saw Central Park and went whale watching. It felt like treading water.

You'd kiss me at the train station and walk away, looking over your shoulder as you went. I wanted to say, What's the point? You're going to go back, and I'm going to go back, and it's not going to be the same. We're becoming each other's burdens. We're drifting. Next time will be worse. So kiss me again. Smush your hair in my nose, so I always have the smell. Nice. Now, get on the train.

But I just waved.

It became too much, and you kept calling. We were always FaceTiming: in the car, in the shower, in the mall, in the street, needing to see my face, needing me there. But I wasn't, and it was shit.

My friends even started knowing you as FaceTime Girl. It was a whole thing.

At some point during the FaceTime days, however, I decided I was done.

Still, I'll always remember the moment I fell in love with you. It was our third day together in Florida. We were on the floor mattress with the door open. Your blue Shih Tzu stomped on in, her tiny eyes sharp with spoiled focus.

She hopped on the mattress, sniffed your legs, your chest, your ears, your eyes, your nose, ignored me completely and then curled up between your knees.

Then, your shepherd-doberman mix sprang in like a wildebeest late for a stampede. She hopped onto the mattress, onto the Shih Tzu, onto your knees and onto my balls, causing commotion.

You kind of scream-laughed, got up and found one of my bigger t-shirts (gray Nirvana with the yellow smiley face). It went down past your knees. You giggled, shrugged and picked up both dogs.

“Come on,” you said, and I followed you outside.

You got your longboard, placed it on the street and kicked. Pantless, you pumped up and down the block. You'd kick enough times to pick up speed, then balance both legs on the board and swerve, carving figure eights under the palm trees.

The dogs clamored at your heels. Your skinny little ass peeked out from beneath Nirvana's poison tongue when you kicked and disappeared again when you balanced on the board.

You glided and swerved as the sun set. Hello, goodbye. Hello, goodbye. It was serene.

I've never seen anyone move like that. I wanted to stay right there and keep watching. But you were picking up speed, rolling down the block. You kept getting smaller. I didn't know if I should follow you, but I knew I wanted to wherever else you went.

Instead, I just waved. The space between us grew. In a way, it never stopped.

Give the dogs a hug for me.

Unfaithfully yours,