An Open Letter To “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Dear “Somebody That I Used To Know,”
I know I’ve been weird lately: changing the station when you come on, never playing you in my room anymore. After what happened last week — when I was singing with The xx in that coffee shop down the street when you came on — I thought I owed you an explanation in earnest.
I was trying to remember when we first ran into each other, and the weird thing is I don’t even think I officially met you until after I’d heard someone else singing your lyrics first. When I found you, though, when I finally heard you singing for yourself, I smiled into my pillow and texted your title to my best friend. It’s like you knew me, knew exactly what I was feeling and weren’t afraid to say it. I had you on my iPhone within a week.
I remember thinking that we might be going too fast, spending too much time together too soon, but — just like I do every time — I told myself that was impossible. When my friends got nervous — had that telltale <3 2 <3 with me about not forgetting them and learning to split my time better — all I had to say was, “But, you guys, that glock line. Like butter,” and they backed off.
I got so nervous when I started to feel differently, when the hair on my arms didn’t shoot toward the sky every time I heard your voice. I was driving the coast, on my way up to LA when I noticed it for the first time: You were on the radio. Which, we talked about, I know: about how it’d probably happen, how you were too good not to blow up, how you’d probably be busy on weekends once the gigs started rolling in, but it still caught me off guard when I heard it because that sunken ship in my stomach gave everything away.
The remixes; those were the hardest. Hearing you sing with other people, hearing those foreign beats drive you forward. It’s like I didn’t even know you anymore. A couple months later you were on SNL — laughing with Andy and Taran — and I knew. The press; the prestige; the dressing rooms. We’re in different places, you and me, and I think it’s time we stopped pretending.
I know I’ll still hear you around; you’re kind of unavoidable at this point, but for my own sanity and well-being I need to be done. I really hope you find happiness someday. Really, really. It sounds like you’re already on your way there.
Take care of yourself,
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