I’ve been sitting here in the dark for what seems like hours, listening to Elliott Smith and trying to find a way to start this letter. I wanted to start by admitting that it’s been a hard year for both of us, but seeing as you exist as a singularity, those words felt too meaningless to express what I’ve been feeling. We both entered into this relationship knowing the exact day you’d disappear forever, but closure hasn’t been as easy for me as I thought.
I don’t want to turn this letter into an emotional dick-swinging contest, so let’s just say our relationship has been strained for the past few months. So here I am, trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
I spent more time communicating with you than any year in my relatively short life, but every conversation has felt more vapid and empty than the last. You used to call me on my cell phone, late at night, when you needed my love – it’s been months now since you’ve opened any of my Snaps, and last night when I sent a text saying we needed to talk, you replied “New phone, who dis? Send nudes”. You knew that I couldn’t resist; I’ve had my dick out for Harambe all year. But that’s not really the point here, is it?
I can’t help but wonder … was it me? We used to have so much in common. I used to brag to my friends that you made me feel like the worst was behind me – like I was finally living in the bold new generation of respect, freedom and equality that my ancestors had dreamed about. We stayed up at night, ruining our livers planning how to finally purge the world of archaic constructs like gender and race, and stared at our phone screens without ever questioning who was staring back. How could I have been so blind?
I know now that I can’t have been the only one losing sleep at night and cursing your name. The longer we spent together, the more my friends began to resent you. They hated your addiction to selfies, and the way you’d shout “that’s lit, fam!” every thirty seconds. They hated how little you had in common with their golden years. But above all, and I know this might come as a surprise, but people can be incredibly petty: they hated how many of their favourite celebrities you drafted for your Cosmic Fantasy Death Pool.
Of course, you told me I was crazy – that death was a fact of life, and that nobody could control when it was their time to go – but it was so painfully obvious that you were trying to build a dream team. I mean, Prince? David Bowie? Leonard Cohen? Sharon Jones? That doesn’t feel random – in fact, it felt like you were purposely trying to break my spirit, reminding me that fearless originality and creativity were the bastions of a generation you could shuffle off the mortal coil at will.
My heart broke as your addiction to division grew stronger. You began to surround yourself with people willing to sing your praises at the top of their lungs. You sat back and watched as a boiling pot of homophobia, privilege and religious dogma hit its tipping point and spilled across the continent. You refused to trade your grandfather’s tattered old Confederate Flag robe for a sensible cotton-poly blend that might actually have kept you covered. You shot viral videos of politicians taking money from the pockets of poor people, and shuddered as you made it rain on billionaires like some bizarre Robin Hood in reverse. You laughed as half of us panicked, knowing that whoever came after you would likely be infinitely worse. I feel sick that I loved and supported you for as long as I did, but today, I draw the line.
After months of soul-searching, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my rage and frustration meant nothing to you. After all, none of this was your fault. You’re not a sentient human being – you’re nothing but a small speck in an incalculable existential construct. You didn’t vote a literal human dumpster fire into office; you didn’t fill up comment threads and public spaces with hate and violence. You’ve never pulled a trigger, dropped a bomb or signed an executive order. You were simply in the wrong place at the right time.
Yet, just because I can forgive you doesn’t mean it will be easy to forget you. You’ve torn a hole in my heart that will take years to mend. So, before you go, I have one small request that would make this whole ordeal a lot easier.
Take a look to your right. I know that the spatial dimension is hard for you to grasp, but just look for a flashing red button that says ‘Press In Case Of Emergency’. Silence the voices in your head, and smash that button with all of your might. Yes, it will trigger a powerful magnetic field that will send every available asteroid within a thousand light years hurtling towards the Earth simultaneously, but think about it: do you really want to be just another footnote on the decline of humanity? Or do you want to be the year that killed us off with efficient, poetic dignity, like the dinosaurs before us, before we slowly do it to ourselves?
Press that button, 2016, and never forget that summer at the lake.
Just kidding – go choke on an entire bag of dicks. Love, Andrew