Monday, December 13, 2010

SHILL Moment

It's so kind that people have been asking me to post again. I'm sorry to disappoint. I'm blocked. This blog feels dead. The gimmick has worn off and my stories are interesting only to me. It all feels very trite and contrived.

So, in place of a post, a shill for this blog:

Follow. ponder the official killing of this blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Filler, Filler, Filler, Wank, Filler, Filler, Filler

I've been writing so much for other reasons I've run out of words for my playground.

Or have I outgrown the monkeybars? 

It's like a sad little bagpipe here, all deflated and soundless, slung over a drunk Scots' arm. 

I started trying to put New Orleans into words. I got two down on the page: "It was." After that I checked Twitter, brewed french-press coffee, went out to buy milk, returned, realized I needed to pee. In the bathroom I counted the the number of mini-shampoo bottles representing hotels: 12. I filed my nails, which didn't need filing, adjusted the way the toilet paper hung on the roll and cleaned out both bath and sink drains. 

Since then I've adjusted my student loan repayment schedule, looked into series I-Bonds, applied for food stamps, read 17 pages of Colum McCann's Let The Great World Spin, obsessively checked Facebook status updates, cleaned every inch of another person's apartment, perfected a new way of evenly cooking bacon, transferred favorite texts from my phone's log onto a piece of paper.

Writing New Orleans. I don't know what I was thinking--some of the best in the world have been unable to do so.

Then I found this little passage and felt marginally better:

From Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize Winner:
"Every writer I know suffers periodically from, if not actual writer's block, spells during which the inspiration seems to evaporate. 
When I was younger, I became obsessed with trying to chart my good days and my bad. Was it related to sleep, diet, sex? I tried all kinds of variations, with the grim purpose of youth. Celibacy the day before a writing day? I'll give it a try. What about sugar, caffeine, alcohol? More, or less, of each, and in what quantities? Many trials were conducted. Needless to say, those experiments led me nowhere. It is, it seems, purely and simply a mystery, the coming and going of one's gift.
So I show up every day, and do the best I can. I've been known to write ten pages or more on a good day. On the bad days, I still force myself to write SOMETHING, even if it's one limp, sad little line that will surely be deleted tomorrow.
Here's the funny thing — a month or so later, I can't tell what I wrote on the ecstatic days from what I wrote on the wrenching ones. The lines that seemed so good when I wrote them turn out, later on, to be neither better nor worse than the ones I squeezed out with my fingers pinching my nose against the stink of mediocrity.
All I can think, then, is this: Wherever inspiration comes from, it comes constantly, and what varies from day to day and week to week is our access to it. So I go on. I fasten my seat belt. I do my best to have faith."

Two words about New Orleans: "It was."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Unnumbered List Item: Losing Your Goodbyes, Kidnapping Hellos

My mom called to yell at me yesterday about the stagnation of this blog.
I told her I’d been in mourning and to cut me some eff-ing slack. She told me to grow up and cut the eff-ing crap. (God, what is she, my mother or something?)

I hemmed and hawed and said something about needing to create a account to find work.
Then the mother-sucker punch: “Rosie would be pissed if she knew that you weren’t writing.”
A sigh from my end. She certainly got me there.

Two days before my grandmother’s stroke, which I wrote about here, I left my dream job. It was that gig that other people pray for, the one that validated everything I was trying to do in life when I signed the contract in 2008. I worked at it so hard it ate my life and I was happy to be consumed. I worked so hard the skills I learned permeated my own ligature, influencing tiny movements, changing the way I communicate with everyone from baristas to lovers.

And then, not too long ago, sometime back in June, I sat up in bed and saw I had been devoured. I spent weeks figuring out how to staunch the bleeding...and realized the only way to save the patient was pull the plug entirely. I talked to every mentor I have and each one in turn agreed: To stay was to have my bones licked clean, to become a middling skeleton resting in the same position at my desk, fragile knuckles curled over a mediocre portfolio. So I resigned. I logged two final weeks, packed up my things, cried in the handicap stall of the downstairs office bathroom, and then left, hoping enough freelance work would start flowing that I could stop regretting every step away. 

In the midst of many boxes and harried panic Rosie’s stroke came hard, followed soon thereafter by the phone call she had passed. I didn’t need the call. Rosie did come and see me, as I begged in that last blog post. She slipped into the middle of a dreamless sleep a friend couldn’t shake me out of. It started 10 minutes before her official time of death and ended 15 after the family was notified she died--we know because I missed exactly one 25-minute episode of the TV show we'd been watching. My friend said he’d never seen me sleep like that, sprawled out on the couch without a single nocturnal muscle twitch or puppyish attempt to cuddle. All I knew was blackness, warmth, and a feeling of being no where but being there with someone. No one said goodbye. I didn't see cerulean, which I always do in dreams. Just darkness and a presense. Then my friend’s hand on my arm sometime after 3:50am, his hands pulling me to my feet before placing me in bed. 

In three days I was on the train home for a funeral. 

In the reception line, people I haven’t seen in years kept telling me how beautiful I’ve become. Which still seems an odd thing to do--to offer validation that someone's pretty while their family matriarch is painted thick with make-up in a coffin by their side. It wouldn’t be the first thing I’d say in the same situation. 

I think we are forgetting how to be human around grief. 

The day after the funeral, I keyed into Rosie’s empty house and went into her bedroom, pulling open jewelry boxes and fingering her keepsakes, looking for  any cheap souvenir from grandma to keep on my person. I finally found an old costume jewelry pendent, black oval face laced with  filigree flowers and strung on a cheap gold chain. I put it in the back pocket of my favorite pair of jeans, the ones that get saggy at the knees and loose in the waist after you wear them a week straight, then sat down on her bed.

Death and loss are two of those things that I hate as devices. Everyone writes about them. We want you to feel our pain. We put voodoo pins in the hearts of readers and then string them to our prose, making sure every reader gets the heavy-handed point. PLEASE FEEL MY CATHARSIS OR I’LL STAB YOU WITH THIS METAPHOR.

But I’d never lost anyone, so it was easy to be judgmental. 

On her bed that day I tried to put pen to paper, and all that flowed out were the same cathartic cliches that have made me abandon authors in the past. Right there on my page: strings, cut and ready, voodoo pins already poked in place. I capped up my disgraced pen and solemnly retreated.

Now, like she (and Rosie) did when I was a kindergartner, my mother’s over my shoulder, making me do my homework, forcing me to write through all this so I can write again.  

I’m threading the cliche even as I prep this paragraph, but here we go regardless: I needed Rosie to die to put things in perspective. Her passing has been the unnumbered item on this Hitch List, a milestone on a life list, that important thing on the syllabus I must have missed when stumbling late to class. 

Loss, grief, missing someone, misplacing goodbyes--all reveal new angles in the hands of death. 

I'm talking about Natural Death, ordered and without tragedy, that inventible thing that comes and then detaches all its aches from your ego. The only heartache I have ever known is the kind that comes from break-ups, the selfish kind that paints people as victims, villains, martyrs. Those have messy scripts and even messier definitives: “You hurt me.” “I hurt you.” “You deserve to hurt.” “I’ve earned what this is.” Sometimes, "Hey, fuck you." All of it is me’s and him’s and she’s and they’s and you's and lots of ego. 

Natural Death, or loss, has transcended adolescent griefs. It's detached my child's ego and rebooted how to approach pain. Please: I am still a flawed, confused, maddening human being. I've not been enlightened. But I see things I did not now. And I cannot imagine being a true empathetic, forgiving partner to anyone without having met this new understanding of losing things through Rosie’s swift departure. It was one thing on a list I did not know that I should do.

But enough waxing poetic:

Having never been to the Sierra Nevada, shown a great desire to travel or demonstrated anything but a fanatic attachment to Catholic protocol, it came as some surprise that Rosie's last wish was to be cremeated, and to have my uncle spread her remains over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. We were told about this shortly before the wake, momentarily kidnapping our grief and replacing it with a surprise new snapshot of a woman everyone claimed to know. I rolled the news around in my head as I sat on Rosie’s bed that afternoon, surrounded by all the trimmings of an utterly suburban and un-worldly life in one small New Jersey town. 

Upon the occasion of goodbyes, Rosie prepared for hellos.

One week later, no money in the bank and no paycheck on the horizon, I pulled Rosie’s chain down my neck and got on a plane to New Orleans, a city I’d never been to, a place I didn’t know, clutching the little black pendant and its tiny, tinny flowers in my right hand as we flew. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Prayers During Purgatory

I prayed for the first time in months today. I pushed back hair and pressed my forehead to steepled fingers, stretching myself diagonally across the landscape of a bed, elbows out like wings. I prayed to my grandmother, whose stroke was no surprise, whose stroke separated everything we'll remember of her from a memorable frame. Her body is still here, someplace in New Jersey, sunk into starched hospital sheets and stiff pastel blankets, but Rosie herself is elsewhere. They use the word "unresponsive." There's minute peace in knowing it was coming.

The family's reports come in over cell speakers along with texts that state--assure?--I don't need to come home. I bounce between online train schedules and old Google maps of Monmouth County, the place where Rosie raised four generations of my family.   

They say she opened her eyes once but everything is glass; we look through, not into, her now. My aunt believes the liquid gaze means Rosie is still here, but my mother--the nurse, who works with death, whose life is acting both as its assistant and its adversary--has seen that look before, knows what it all means, understands how even heartbeats can be purgatory. She speaks the language of departing and is acting as our translator. The Rosetta Stone to Rose says that she is gone. 

If she had died I could pass a message up to God, ask the universe to tell her that I love her and regret not coming home more, make some unseen force sing my goodbyes like a telegraph, but her body is still breathing and I don't know where a mind goes so I pray to her directly, palming an invisible microphone, broadcasting to an audience of one.

Tonight's program skips the weather, throws out the traffic, leaves out time and temp, starts with affirmations and then rambles into "sorry," evolving into a monologue that pleads for her to hear me. Unrelated thoughts interrupt like static: "Grandma Rose it's me and I don't know if you hear me (**ksssshkthe iron: on or off?ksssshk**). I don't know where you are but I want you to come visit. I want to say goodbye even though I know we did, the day with the Earl Grey and the tin of shortbread cookies, the day you tried (**ksssshkhe should have texted backksssshk**) to give me more money for shoes before cutting out that article about Madonna's H&M (**ksssshkwhere's the dog?kssssshk**) discount fashion. I never pray anymore (**kssssshkwhat's this lump?kssssshk**) and know that you would hate that, but my faith's misplaced and we need to talk so Rosie please come find me." The reception on this station is some humming kind of mess.

I keep snapping rubber bands inside in selfish flagellation, as if punishment for not dialing more is something that's productive. I wrote to her last month, two letters in two weeks; it took so little effort there should have been two dozen. They say she read them out loud to everyone who visited, a little fact that pulls two strings into a knot, tying ego and shame into one dangling loose end.

In the last letter I told her she's the reason I'm a writer, joked about the money I'd have saved if I'd studied it in college, lamented how much better I'd be if I'd studied it at all...or just done things the way she told me I should over lunch when I was 12. They say she read that part specifically over and over: "The moral is, Rosie, you should listen to your grandma." 

I never wrote how my next big piece is in a New York weekly, one she could hold between her hands and tell friends to buy at newsstands. She never really understood the whole news on the Internet thing--she would have been so proud to see something in old school print.

I'm so tired this is blurry. The figures curl together. But tonight I do not sleep. I keep praying direct to Rosie, thinking she'll tune in for some part of my broadcast, check-one-twoing the mic with one hand while tracing maps of Monmouth County with the other.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different: A Poetic Prose Versus Hoes Offshoot

This blog is having an identity crisis. It can't make up its mind about whether it wants to be a narrative of adventures linked to a gimmick, a place for general musings, a public posting place for notes scrawled on napkins or a phlebotomist. Some days, it attempts to be all four. 

Tonight (read: this morning), inspired by the previous post's guest blog and Prose vs. Hoes/longform vs. poetry exhibition between the soon-to-be famous writer Hannah Miet and myself, I'm abandoning my general distain for my own poetry and tossing some up here. Because self-abuse is kind of sexy come 3:20AM. 

So here, for no apparent reason and with no relation to this blog other than the fact it was written to someone I've posted about in this space, is a poem I pulled from the vaults. 


I'm sorry I don't save words for you. I try to,
each morning, plug up and reserve something.
Mostly by day's end the best drain out.
The first of the day are barely worth speaking.
I croak them to baristas and doormen,
to women whose purses take up entire train seats;
sometimes, I practice on bosses.
Then "love" goes to my father, and "why" flies to my mother,
and expletives dart to tourists who halt mid-step
on the sidewalk. Loosed by noon,
phrases marked yours slide by. That joke.
That compliment. That piece of honesty.
They slip into the ears of others and I don't stop them.
Sometimes I pull a few to the side,
apples at the weigh station, perfect pearls for stringing,
but God, they age so quickly.
I wish they weren't so limp when handed over.
And of course the best ones--
the things I mean, things you need, the way I mean to say them--
struggle to survive in open air.
Written down on paper they seem trite. Which is best,
since I'd feather you in Post-It notes otherwise.
So read them in my face. Study the way I slip a finger in your palm
and trace avenues there.
Listen how I ask for nothing.
Let an egg, broken in a pan and poached in oil for you, speak.

Happy Sunday morning. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hannah Miet Guest Blogs, or, Hoes Before Prose

It's a Hitch List first: A GUEST BLOG. (**Ooohs and Ahhhhs.**) Hannah Miet, of My Soul is a Butterfly, is below. I am on Hannah's blog, slinging prose.

Explanation: I am a literary nymphomaniac, untreatable and unashamed. My toes curl in paper shops. My bookshelves are promiscuity on display. I shirk social responsibilities to sequester in and read. Sometimes a passage goes by that plunges two fingers into my brain, making me squirm with jealous delight while releasing audible moans of approval. I will read almost anything. (Except artistic statements which use the word "dystopian" in the opening...sorry, just can't.)  

Poetry is no exception. In fact it's more inception, some seed planted in my subconscious years ago which has since grown into a verbose piece of virulent foliage, one that needs to be watered regularly or it will whither and turn grey. Not just any verse will do...I need a powerful image. Word combinations which speak monologues. Narratives that lead me to a gingerbread house where the edible doorknob's laced with dopamine and cyanide. Shit that isn't ABAB rhyme scheme.

I've been lucky enough to meet with some poets and writers whose work is so good it simultaneously thrills me and makes me feel I should return to that Hooters in New Jersey and give up this attempt at writing altogether. Hannah Miet, of My Soul Is a Butterfly, is one of those people. Hannah creates vibrant verbal mandalas with the crumbing sand of memories, then does us the solid of preserving them on the internet rather than destroying them as monks do. She's also a fucking badass. 

So a recent exchange about guest blogging for one another put us at a crossroads. The Hitch List is mostly prose, an archive of occasionally vapid and debauched experiences punctuated with general relationship musings and the occasional nervous breakdown. Hannah's blog shanks you in the ribs with a screwdriver, then hands you a poem to read during recovery. Guest blogging for one another would mean attempting to work in the other's medium, which terrified...uh, both of us.

So, instead: She's built a narrative poem tailor made for a space more familiar with paragraph-long sentences and strip club jokes. I've passed on a piece of fictional prose to her space in return and hope it doesn't collapse on its self. The piece she wrote it fantastic and I'm happy to have it here.

But, less ramble, more read. Hannah Miet's words:

Whiskey and Waldorf Salad, by Hannah Miet 

My mother met my father through a personal ad
in The Village Voice.
It said, “I like jazz and Indian food.
I would like to start a family.”

They were both in their 40s and my mother says
they instantly became best friends.
My father says that it was love at first sight
without all the bullshit “romance.”

3 months before the wedding they fornicated on an island
off the coast of the former Yugoslavia.
My mother made the announcement of my birth
at the reception in a Chinese Restaurant in the West 70s
that is now a wine bar. She was wearing a blue dress and looked thin
but not skinny, 
mostly, she looked happy.

My mother called me yesterday while I was forking
through a puddle of vegetables in mayonnaise
surrounded by two grapes and two walnuts.
I told her that the Waldorf isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
though it’s good for people watching
and you have to people watch very carefully
when you’re scanning the crowds of suits and tourists
for your date, who never shows, most likely due to work
or marital strife
or something equally

I tell her that if I had a personal
in the Voice, it would only say
“Please use correct grammar in text messages”
because that’s all I knew about wanting
or being wanted
and my mother said that I’ve always been too picky about the wrong things
and not picky enough about the right things and that my problem is that
I’m uninterested
in the calm after the storm.

I wanted to remind her that she ran away to France for six years
and lived on a hippie commune in San Francisco where clothes were forbidden 
and communicated through letters across borders, sealed with kisses and written
in full sentences with correct punctuation, no ebonics or emoticons, or lols
but my mouth was full of Waldorf salad and my date was calling on the other line
with a proper plea for mercy so I held my tongue and washed it down with the burn
that never hurts.

I won't say what I love about this piece because people should chew things uninfluenced, but yeah, she is very good. So good, in fact, she's got a book coming out. Miet's met the Kickstarter base goal needed to get one of her debut projects off the ground and into book form, and I encourage all to pass even a $1 to the cause. The book may be funded already...but just a few extra dollars could be the difference between something nice and something so fucking epic you have to hike it across Middle Earth and drop it in the fires of Mordor just to destroy it, that's how badass it is. THE FIRES OF FUCKING MORDOR PEOPLE.

Book burning was taken particularly seriously at Mordor State University.

See? That's SERIOUS. So please. Support Hannah by going to her blog and reading EVERYTHING, then click here:

Many thanks to Hannah for sharing her world in this humble blog. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just F-ING READ THIS #2: How To Ruin Your Ex's Wedding Day AND Opinion of You Without Leaving Your Laptop

Is anyone else entertained by the bleeding entrails of another human being's emotional dignity? 

I am.

Well. I mean, my own bleeding entrails aren't funny. To me. But they should be to, like, other people.  Otherwise what would the point be? When I make a stiletto-ed, snot-dripping gazelle run down 7th Avenue at 3am, wailing like a menstrual raptor during hormone therapy while being chased by a lover driven to such madness by my estrogenic meltdown he can't figure out whether to offer consolation or knock me unconscious/jam me in a cab/pay the driver to drop my body somewhere in the Palisades, it isn't funny to me. At least at that moment. But I draw comfort once the dust settles that someone who bore witness to my public breakdown might have been able to turn to their drunk friend with a chuckle and say, "Did you just see that shit?"

ASIDE: I believe that no one does visual representations of "bleeding entrails of another human being's emotional dignity" better than Kiki Smith. Just look at how belligerent her art is.

I mean OH MY GOD buy a journal already.

Seriously. Kiki Smith. Google her. ANYWAY.

Point is, Politics Daily "Legal Analyst" Andrew Cohen may have allowed his own break-up pathos to become one of the most entertaining pieces of Loss of Emotional Dignity Pornography the interwebs have had in...well, say days, with a piece that went up a few days ago.

BACKSTORY: On the eve of his former love's nuptials to another man, Cohen "gifted" his ex with the traditional wedding present of a Batshit Backhanded Compliment Meltdown Column, appropriately published in a political web magazine. (Also, someone paid him to do this. Which means my diary must be worth at least $0.50 a word, or around $7000 dollars.) 

Here's Cohen's original post:
The great love of my life marries today and I am not the groom. I had my chance, a few years ago, but did not realize until too late how fleeting my moment with her was meant to be. Whether it was my fault or hers, and, let's face it, it was probably mine, I will wonder always about the life I might have had with the most loving and loveable woman I have ever known. Sometimes, I finally now understand, love, even crazy love, is not enough. Sometimes, as the romance novelists know, timing is everything.

But today is not a day for remorse. It is not a day for lost causes. Today is a day for celebration. The woman I once promised to keep happy 
is happy. She tells me she is marrying a wonderful man, with a good heart, whom she believes I would have liked had we met in different circumstances. She lives where she wants to live. She has selected her life's path. All that is left for me to do is to wish her well and to hope that she has made the right choice; that she continues to find in him what she did not find in me. And I am sure he considers himself today the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

The present I humbly send her today is this column; this public note, this irrevocable display of affection and support and gratitude; this worldly absolution from any guilt or sadness she felt between the time she said no to me and the time she said yes to him. No one ought to have to carry that with them into a marriage. I showered her with as much love as I could muster when we were together. I still love her and always will. So I am only too happy to offer my toast to her now, one more time, before she takes her vows.

I want to thank her, mostly, for rescuing me from hopelessness. When we met, back in the spring of 2005, I was nearly 40 and had been dating off and on for two years following an unexpected divorce. I had lost faith in relationships. I had given up on love. She arrived, unexpectedly, and showed me what was possible. She raised me up from the emotional dead. She drew out of me the 
poison of divorce and betrayal. Eleven years younger but already more mature than me, she was dazzling, brilliant, funny, and sweet; she both gave and taught me patience and devotion and sacrifice. No woman before or since ever made me feel as desired, needed, beloved, appreciated as she did. No one has yet made me want her more. Some men live their whole lives without this kind of love. At least I had it for one brief, shining moment.

I want to thank her for being so delightful with my son, who talks about her still, and to my parents, who couldn't believe their son's good fortune to have landed such a sweetheart. Until almost literally his dying day, my dad would ask me about her. Near the end, almost exactly two years ago, I did not have the heart to tell him that we had broken up. It gives me peace figuring that he died thinking she'd be in my life when he was gone. And in a way I suppose she is. Rarely a day goes by when something in my life -- the law, journalism, horses, celebrity gossip -- doesn't make me think of her or what she'd think.

I want to thank her for-- it's now such a cliché that I'm almost embarrassed to write it -- making me want to be a better man. She really did. It happens. She made me less judgmental and more open to new ideas. She gave me a confidence I had never felt before. She gave me incentive to reach out professionally into areas I had not yet gone. I became more productive and back involved in the world. And, most important, I learned how to respond with love when so much love was offered to me. I learned how to trust but also show it. And in some way, virtually every friend, family member and romance in my life since has benefited from the gifts of grace she gave so willingly to me.

I want to thank her for making me laugh, at her and myself, and for making me swoon whenever she walked into a room. I want to thank her for the advice she gave me, and for the soothing tone of her voice during times of trouble. I want to thank her for completely changing my outlook on life. Before I met her, as a single father, I never would have considered having another child. Although it took more time than it should have, I came to realize through her love and devotion that there would be nothing more I would rather do in the world than have a child with her. How many poor souls go their whole lives without the heart-string pull of such emotions?

I want to thank her for giving my life's dream contours and a calculus. I want to live on a farm one day, a farm filled with horses and wireless connections where I can write. And now, thanks to her, I know exactly what I want and need in a partner who might just want to get there, too. That's just another gift she gave me; the gift of knowing what is possible in a relationship; of refusing to settle for mediocrity where it counts, and of taking the chance when something inside tells you it could be love. I sound like a sap. I know. But it's no less true. No matter what my romantic future holds, I know there will be no retreat from the standards she has set. Like the song says, surely someone will one day dare to stand where she stood. I can't wait.

On her wedding day, I want to thank her for all those times she stuck up for me -- with her friends, with her family, with her work colleagues. It could not have been easy, explaining to all those cooler heads, why she was so devoted to an "old guy" who lived so far away. Yet she did it, even after she had decided that she would not throw down her lot with me. That's the sort of character I'd like to instill in my son. It's the sort that we think is all around us but actually is rare. It is courage and self-confidence and the ability to see right from wrong. She displayed it every day, right down to the end. Ours was a romance without rancor; a love affair that ended in peace, not war.

I want to thank her for being such an inspiration. She did not give in or sell out or become one of those poor women of a certain age in 
New York who have put their careers ahead of their lives. When we met, she was living in New York but was not of New York; transplanted from the West Coast, she had not allowed herself to be seduced entirely by the City's charms. She took from Manhattan, like so many other beautiful women do, but she never gave to it her heart and soul. She was always rooted even among the rootless of her age and time. She knew she would one day leave the City, and she did, on her own terms. I admire her for that. I respect her for that. And I love her for it.

It wasn't too long after we met that I began imagining what our wedding day would be like. My second, her first, I nonetheless pictured her not taking it too seriously, laughing off the little crises that always pop up. I pictured her stunning in her dress and with that smile that would melt me. I pictured her having a vodka and soda to ease her nerves. I pictured us laughing a lot. I pictured myself at the end of the aisle. It was not to be. I've known that for years. But that doesn't make the love any less real.

So at last my wedding toast today is sincere: I wish the deepest and most profound love of my life a 
happy life, a good life, one in which she gives to and gets from the loved ones in her world the hope and the passion and the comfort and the support she always and so magically gave to me.

Wow. Good work Andy. This is pure poetry. I mean it. Like a Nicholas Sparks letter. If that letter had been covered in razor blades and the envelope filled with Anthrax. 

But even more enjoyable than Cohen's original column are the pieces it's inspiring in response, which you should also read. Enjoy. Highlights:

* Amanda Hess's breakdown of the letter and its babbling interior monologue at The Sexist, which you can find here: THE GIFT OF CREEPINESS, ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

* As well as Lizzie Shurnick's  How Not to Congratulate Your Ex on Her Wedding Day

Epic. Anyway. I'm off to go stalk Facebook status updates to make sure none of my exes have done something to send me off the deep end, then disable both my ovaries and Internet to insure nothing like this ever has my byline on it.