September 1998
s m u g
bumping uglies
by Todd Levin


The Dear John Letter

I'm breaking up with you. There; I said it. (Truthfully, I wrote it, which is just a chickenshit way of saying it. Actually, sending Chinese food with a fortune cookie, inside of which you had the delivery person scribble the words "I'm breaking up with you" with a small sad face drawn next to it would be a really chickenshit way of saying it. But it would also require significant planning and an investment of a number of hours which I am not afforded right now due to a "Benson" marathon on television today -- an event I had no power to control -- which I must watch for social research purposes)

This was a good thing. This was a necessary thing. I am going to keep repeating the message, reordering it like the Goldberg variations or something else you might reorder -- your collection of human teeth, for example. I don't know what I will do on my own -- I have been known as one of those people who nests, moving very slowly and fluidly from one intense, long-term relationship to the next. This is a lifestyle pattern enjoyed exclusively by sentimental types and volatile career criminals. But this time is different. I swear.

I need this for the sake of my own clarity. I have been neglecting -- yes, neglecting -- other untapped passions in my life. Do you even know of my love for the popular board game, "Scattegories"? Or how I was forced to voluntarily withdraw myself from the English-Speaking Inter-Gender Scattegories Division II Touring League, simply because my commitment to you is prohibitive to a genuine LOVE for the kind of competition which often requires long stretches of Trans-Atlantic travel cramped in close quarters with Scottish parcel workers? No, you never did ask, did you? I left that life a long time ago, just as I must now leave this life and establish a New World Order in my head. (sadly, my withdrawal from the ESIGSD2TL was regarded by some of the more jaded officiates as a snubbing and I have subsequently been black-balled from all future "$3 million purse and over" competitions -- but love is about sacrifice, isn't it?)

And I do love you. Nothing will change that (outside of you being horribly scarred in an auto fire or contracting genital warts). Oh, the things we've shared -- inappropriate language, my necessary "alone-time" at the hair salon, the spankings, my fleeting obsession with Slavic subculture, and my recent depression and detachment which threatened to poison this relationship, not unlike the way I threatened to poison the water supply of Nyack, New York when I was informed their McDonald's was no longer offering the McLean Deluxe.

I know what you're saying: You think I'll be back. Give me a couple of months and I'll be asking those questions we've both grown so accustomed to in this relationship -- questions like, "Should I be concerned about the quality of service I am receiving from a sex professional if she charges me sales tax?" and "Why does this strap-on hurt so much when I sit down?" Maybe that's true but you've got to follow your gut even if it is the same gut that made you eat those three dented cans of potted meat.

The 13th century poet, Jacopone Da Todi, wrote, "Just as every cowboy sings a sad, sad song -- every rose has its thorn." I think I know what he meant now. What we've had in these last 21 months has been truly inspiring and if I could, through some sort of highly advanced and illegal medical procedure, laser-cut small sections of my beating heart and wrap them up with this letter in a (non-human) heart-shaped box as if they were sweet little bloody, fibrous chocolates for you to enjoy, and still remain a normal living, fully-functioning organism, I assure you that I would. But I can't do that -- not even in Mexico. I priced it out. So, in lieu of that, I think it's best that we just part amicably. With the love intact. Before I say something that displeases even you and you decide use one of those rosy thorns to dig my eyes out and feed them to your mongoloid dog. I need those eyes to see the beautiful day and read the serving size information on boxes of Fiddle Faddle (with almonds).

I will miss you, Bumping Uglies, but I'm breaking up with you. Let's still be friends, though. Okay?



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