February 10th, 2009

A Love Letter from Ben Danger.

Dear Rachel,

So this is your "love letter". I am not sure what you were expecting but I doubt this was it. Rachel, I do love you. But we are not on the same page. We never dated and we most likely never will. I have told you this as many times as you have tried to convince me otherwise. We are (were) best friends and have been for long enough to know not to fuck with the risk and drama of changing our status. I knew this before you even came back and when Ethan came into the picture, it seemed ideal. I knew it would take the heat off of us dating out of obligation. Did you ever wonder why every time Ethan came up in conversation I fully backed him, and his pursuit, without a hint of jealousy? When I said go for it, I meant it. As soon as I saw Ethan heaping the attention that you crave like a drug I knew that as much as you bitched to me about it I knew you were loving every second of it. And I was fucking relieved. He was the absolute perfect candidate to do a job that I had no interest in even applying for, and had grown tired of bullshitting my way through all of your recruitment speeches. I thought it was funny how you always went on about this book, your bible, "He's not that into you". Maybe you should read it. Maybe that way, you would have gotten the hint and realized that I wasn't leading you on in any way. And maybe instead of bitterly flicking me aside like any random cigarette as soon as you met someone who actually warranted and recuperated the kind of attention you gave me, you would have thought about our friendship, like I had since the day you got back home. Instead you were obsessed with us being destined to be together and having a perfect relationship and thinking and freaking out over me being hard to get. As far as I was concerned we had the perfect relationship. I don't need another girlfriend or even another random late night fuck option. I need a friend. I was stoked when you met Ethan because it was obvious that the dude was A. as unique and free thinking and all around awesome as you are and B. Completely, obsessively and brutally in love with you. I saw this in his war tactics, mainly mass bombings of attention and creativity directed towards you like a point blank shotgun blast to your brain. His every move was a masterstroke, and I was impressed with how short he had known you but had already found out your ultimate weakness. Your constant manic longing for self validation through the approval and attention of others. I could not have picked anyone better for you if I tried. For a while, I don't know if you were somehow oblivious to your fate or still attempting to hold out for any type of commitment from me but you played it like he was another faceless victim of the makeout/fuck bandit of Burlington. I knew he could offer you the emotional output and expression of love and obsessive and constant acts of attention that I could never provide and I was stoked because you fully deserve it. He is what you wanted me to be and I was only too happy to sub him in.

You are quite possibly the most awesome girl I have ever met and I never wanted to do anything to compromise it or do anything that would change your title as whatever it is that you have been since we met. Whatever you were you were definitely the only one. Regardless, apparently I didn't have to. The saying "bros before hoes" comes to mind, and despite the implications of swapping a gender in context, I consider it relevant to the situation. I am (was) your "bro" and Ethan, despite his charms and 8 inch penis is technically the "ho". The interesting part is that despite my obvious approval of your inevitable decision, you for some reason decided that either you had something to prove, or wanted to make it very clear where I stood. I now realize that for the first time there is enough room in the rachelsphere for only one and as one man enters, the other is mocked and discarded. And so it goes and our "history" ends up the way all history ends up, written down in old books, chapters and chapters of irrelevant scraps of memories waiting to be forgotten and replaced by newer editions. And I add another item to the ever growing book of things I hate about Burlington and friends who no longer matter. Although the fate of you being a part of shred city lies in the balance, I am not kicking you out. You can decide your own level of involvement but whatever you decide make sure you mean it. I suppose also that I can only ride the backhoes for so long until a freak accident comes out of nowhere and I get thrown under the tracks.

Also Ethan, in case you didn't know, I am officially waving a white flag and have been since before the war began. My oasis of Paradise that Rachel fought so strongly for turned out to be a mirage when you and only you could provide a massive overabundance of the natural resources that she so desperately requires in order to thrive. But god damn man, hold a door for the lady once in a while.

In closure, Rachel I apologize for how much time and how many words were wasted on me, and I am glad that you finally essentially figured out what I could never find the words to say. I wish you and Dr. Romance the best that the dirty streets of Burlington has to offer. I am not sure this letter sets the tone for your new book so don't feel obligated to use it. Use this instead-

Rachel, my love for you burns hotter then the cold sore/zit thing on my lip that I developed about a week or two after fucking you.
Shit, another bad start, let me try again,

I love you Rachel. Period. I don't really give a shit who you fuck and what you do and never have as long as you are stoked. And as long as we are friends. You are more important to me than almost anyone I know. I don't need anything more than what we have to know it. This letter sucks too. Fuck this, you write one for me. Write the one you wanted to hear. You should know this is the most I have written since I was at Lyndon so lucky you. Enjoy the grammar.

PS you suck shit at design

Love
Bobby pin.

So you finally wrote me that love letter. I honestly didn't expect you ever would go so far out of your element to do that for me, and even though I had asked you to, I knew you better than to truly assume that you would actually go out of your way. I wanted to start my book with it, as I planned on devoting my next black book, with a spine that hasn't been cracked and a new book smell, to the newly explored territory of love letters, as they have apparently become the theme of the new year. Now that I've read your letter, my friend, I have some things to say to you in response.

First of all, you mother fucker, you've been holding out on us this whole fucking time. You can fucking write! It's unbelievable! Maybe you've just read so much of my writing that you've picked up on the jive, but kid you've got yourself a style, and you even capitalized every sentence for me. You straight up wrote me under the table and hustled me with words, you sly dog, you. And on top of this, you feel, too! You perceive things that I had no idea you had the ability or enthusiasm to see and acknowledge. We've known each other for a very long time now and I honestly never felt like you really knew me, or cared to know anything about me below the surface. I knew the whole time that I wasn't one of your sluts, but it was my fault to not realize that I was one of your allies, one of your friends, one of your companions, and by being that, you in turn had to go out of your way to make sure that I was qualified. You read me like a book that I wrote about you. I was wrong to think you void of everything when you could, this whole time, come back with something like that, picking up on things that I thought I had successfully hidden from you. I thought you lacked the personality to see life in the deeper way that I did. You proved me wrong with a solid slap to the face, and I think after the initial shock, I looked at you and cracked a smile.

I wish that you could have had the courage or compassion to do this a long time ago. Not to say that I feel that everything I've felt and everything I've written about you has been a waste in any way, but it would have saved me all the effort and confusion of trying so hard to get you for so many years and always coming out with nothing. If you could have just told me from the beginning that you didn't see me that way, that I wasn't Ben Danger's Girlfriend material, I would have acknowledged it early on and accepted our friendship as an amazing one. But you confused me. You lead me on, not by ever telling me that we had a chance, but by sleeping with me and openly accepting all the affection I threw your way. Maybe you just hold every girl that way at night, but I felt something full of life when you slid your arm over my side and held me close to you all night. No one held me that way, so I inevitably felt that even if it took ten years to finally boil over, we were cooking something tasty and I would wait patiently until it was ready to eat. Now that I know, now that you've come flat out and just said it in full confidence, I can finally turn off the stovetop, pour the water down the drain, and relax with a pint of chocolate ice cream that'll taste just as good. I wouldn't have pursued you for so long if I hadn't thought you were reciprocating and waiting for the right time to make something of it. You're right, we are the best of friends and our relationship is perfect; we complement each other like peanut butter complements jelly, but we will never be a sandwich. Now that I know, I am free. I can finally move on from you.

The things I said yesterday were fueled by indifference, frustration, confusion, and hurt. I've been chasing you around in circles for so long and I've gone through so many phases where I want to hug you as close as I can to me, and phases where I want to smash your face in, and you've never showed me either of these extremes in regards to how you've felt about me. While spending time with Ethan, I would say that I was starting to forget about you, but you still hung in the back of my head; a suitcase full of unfinished business that I thought I'd never be able to wrap my head around until I could call myself yours forever. I was frustrated with the fact that I'd known you for so long and still felt like I knew nothing real about you and you knew nothing real about me and didn't even care to. I was hurt that I always felt so pushed aside by you and that you had never given me a chance. I write about you so much, but I do it because if I couldn't get my feelings for you out of my head, it would simply explode from all the pressure, and that's pain, Ben. You've fueled so much positivity in me, but you've also hurt me, ignoring all those times I've unloaded a huge and vulnerable part of myself to you and you still couldn't open up your front door and invite me in for a drink. I'd have even taken my shoes off for you. The things I said were unnecessary, and when it comes to writing, and I've done this to others in the past, sometimes exaggeration helps fuel the feeling behind a piece of work, and by falsifying and undermining the great sex we've had over the years, I produced a killer piece of writing that in turn insulted someone very dear to me. It was immature, but it was the first thing I've ever written about you that you actually reacted and responded to. I felt it was possibly the first time I had ever had an impact on you, or at least the first time you had ever opened up and showed it. You reciprocated when you closed out your letter by waving your middle finger in the air and stooping to my level by broadcasting something you and I both know is not true and is not what you really think. We both know my designs could bend yours over a knee and spank them till they squeal like piggies.

I'm going to call you tonight and we are going to go out for a beer, my treat. When I see you I'm going to give you the biggest hug I am humanly possible of giving and tell you that I love you. I think that you may have thought by my piece that I was over you for good, and that by allowing another man into my life, I in turn had to toss you away, but that's not true. You're too valuable to me to lose, and I'll do anything in my power to make sure that never happens, even though it means never being with you the way that I had preferred. I realized a lot about you that I didn't know before by reading your letter, and I realized that you knew a lot more about me than I gave you credit for. You are a true friend to me and that letter was proof of that; everything I needed to hear to seal the deal on our dream team for the rest of time. You are human. You are a muse, not an entity, and most of all a human, and I hurt you, so I'm sorry for that. I guess we're even now, so lets just say "fuck 'em" and laugh about it over a pitcher of Pabst. I love you, Ben Danger; I always have, I always will.