I don’t know who you are. I probably have never met you. You might never read this. In fact, you might not exist at all. You could just be an obtuse fantasy doing backflips in my brain. I wish I could talk to you right now. I’m here alone, like most nights. I take the subway home, get off at Pershing Square station, exchange fake smiles with passersby, the doorman and my neighbors. I make food I don’t enjoy eating, or I order fast food teeming with synthetic ingredients that inch me closer and closer to the grave.
You’re not here to convince me to smile for real. I don’t have you around to remind me to eat better. I watch cable news anchors scream at each other when I’d prefer to hear you sing. I hope you sing. That always comes in handy on long road trips. I need you to tell me to exercise and clean the bathtub, even though it’s easily the most tedious chore possible.
I’m really bored without you around. It would be great if we could meet sooner rather than later. Maybe you’re in one of the hotel windows across the street, looking out at me. Maybe you’re on the sidewalk, trying to find a quiet place to hope for the future. If so, you don’t have to keep hoping. Feel free to stop by. Just let me know you’re my next girlfriend and I’ll tell the doorman to send you up. We have a lot of catching up to do.
I’d like to make you a mix CD, but I don’t know if you enjoy that kind of thing. If we’re going to be together, I’m guessing you do. I’d put every sad Smiths song I can think of on it and draw you a picture of a unicorn in a sailboat, because that seems like something that would make you laugh.
I hope you like to laugh, but I don’t know that either. There are a lot of things I don’t know about you. I don’t know what you look like, where you work, the size shoe you wear or when I’m going to meet you. I feel like I’ve been in this place for so long. I want someone to look at that’s not my own reflection in the mirror. No matter how much I want, I can’t make you appear out of thin air. I can’t grow you in a garden. I can’t order you from a catalog. The only thing I can do is wait. I’ve been waiting for a long time now.
Maybe I should stop waiting for you. Maybe it’s time to stop making our bed, folding our clothes and paying our bills. That’s my bed, my clothes and my bills. You don’t exist; at least not yet.