Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear London,

London, London, what can I say? It’s been almost two months since I left you, and your sour taste still lingers on my tongue. A drunken memory emits a chuckle, another garners a cringe. Memories with new friends make me miss you, memories of asshole coworkers make me wish I was further away.

The Thames, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the London Aquarium, the Tate Modern, the British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, that beautiful phallus stabbing through the clouds emitting its emerald glow through your perpetually foggy skies. Fish and chips, Kate Moss, Lebanese kebabs at 4AM, Marks & Spencer, Harrod’s, Tatler, Oxford Circus, Top Shop, Charles and Camilla, Hoxton Square, Arsenal…some aspects of your personality were intriguing, fun, even beautiful.

It took me a while to learn your ways. I tried to make nice, strike up conversation with people in bars, before I realized that you don’t like to talk. You like to brood. You like to complain. I tried not to hate you. I bit my tongue, paid your outrageous taxes, ate your overpriced, horrible food. I drank pints of full, heavy beer, and despite the hunger that constantly gnawed at me, the waistline miraculously grew, the wallet continued to shrink. I turned a blind eye to the crooked, yellowed teeth, hit on your unattractive men, felt the sting when they stuck up their noses, shot me down. I tried and I tried and you laughed, you kicked me while I was down. I did something I’d never let myself do. I let you win. I watched my cornucopia of self-esteem dwindle, smolder, fade. I burrowed myself in self-loathing for the first time since I was in high school.

A month and a half back home in New York, was all it took to undo you. A month and a half of more new friends than I found from you in six months, a month and a half of men tripping over themselves to procure my number, a month and a half of New York City’s warm, welcoming embrace, and I forgave myself. My confidence refueled. You became a distant memory, a passed thought. But your telltale residue still clings to me like dandruff on a black sweater.

And now I point the blame at you.

I tried. I really tried to love you. I convinced myself that you were good for me, that you were stubborn, but loveable. Demanding but equally giving. But I gave it all to you and you took and you took and you beat the shit out of me to boot.

So fuck you London. You gold-diggin’, ego swallowing, up-your-own-ass, high maintenance bitch...until our paths cross again, this is my final love letter to you.



Blogger Rachel said...

Sorry to hear that you got knocked back when you hit on men in bars. It does seem to have really depressed you. But cheer up! Maybe the temp job got you down and then you found it hard to pull.
I don't know. See, you find the London that is in your head. It's such a big city that you can find anything in it, you can make the London you want up in your head, and you tend to get the London you deserve.

You can drink wine, not beer, you can eat well in restaurants which serve good food from all over the world, or you can eat crap from McDonalds and bad cafes, you can hang out in tourist bars, or you can buy Time Out magazine and see where Londoners are going this week, you can make cliched remarks about bad teeth, ( most people I work with have dentists, and cosmetic dentistry if they need it, just like Americans do)...like I say, you find the London you expect to find, and it tends to reflect your own image back at you.

I'm soprry that you didn't like what you saw. Better luck next time.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks for popping over to North London blog and leaving your comments,

I enjoyed your blog and s[rung to the defence of my city, but it is expensive and tough and snotty too, and I recognise that.
Low paid jobs and London are hard work: London on little money is a frustrating experience

I hope that youi come back one day and I will be interetsed to hear the good things as well as the venting of the disappointing things as well!

Best wishes

Rachel from North London

PS I recommend Diamond Geeezers London blog - for when you miss Lomndon and before you travel back here again http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/

3:16 AM  

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