Dear Velcro Robot Cast,
I’ve been thinking. (I know that’s not a good way to start a letter, because clearly any time you’re in a relationship with anyone and they start out a conversation with, “I’ve been thinking,” you know they’re probably not going to follow it up with, “let’s have Chinese food tonight.” Well, this is one of those conversations where I won’t be talking about Chinese food next.) I want to talk about us.
I’ve been thinking about our relationship. We’ve been together now for a solid two weeks. And, most of it has been really good. It’s been comfortable. And I’m not going to lie when I tell you I’ve been surprised by how comfortable it’s been with you. I normally can’t get settled in with a fellow that quickly…but with you? It was different.
As I reflect on our time together, I think of how you used to hold my leg during the day, how sweetly soft you felt around my calf, how you let me move my toes around freely. You kept me safe, and I felt safe when I was with you. That time at Paraty when I had to walk over all those round cobble stones–you were amazing. You never complained, you let me walk at a normal pace. I didn’t lag behind the others in town. And at school, you helped me walk up all those hundreds of steps everyday. I will never forget your kindness.
But, Robot Cast, I don’t know. I think I’m ready to move on. I want to spend some time alone. And lately, (and I don’t mean to be picky or ungrateful) you’ve become kind of a drag. Putting you on first thing in the morning, dragging you all over campus and all over the city. At times it’s even been an embarrassment having you around–like at restaurants. I mean, people stare at us. Maybe this is the therapist in me speaking, but our relationship was getting to be a little co-dependent. (I needed you around to feel safe, you needed me around to feel fulfilled. Or at least, filled.)
Listen, I came down here to Brazil to be on my own, to learn to get around in another country by myself, you know? I really wanted to figure things out for myself. And then I met you and you were so good and safe. But things started to go bad this week. We both felt it. I’d wear you to school, but then take you off to put on my flip-flop. And when I’d come home from school, I couldn’t wait to tear you off and leave you waiting by the door. And then I realized, a couple of days ago, that what I really needed was space. You were always around, always up in my business, always hanging around. You always needed me to wear you and I mean, you were so present all the time. After a while, you stopped making me feel safe and started making me feel suffocated. Your omnipresence began to weigh on me. And so, you freakish velcro metal monstrosity, I’m sorry. I don’t think I can see you anymore.
But really, and I mean this when I say it: It’s not you…it’s me. I’m better now. I can get around without you. I know, I know…you’re thinking, “It’s too soon! We’ve only just gotten to know each other!” But that’s just the co-dependence talking. I know you. You know me. We’ve been there and done that now. I think we can both say it wasn’t working and maturely and amicably walk away from each other. I will harbor no hard feelings toward your awkward sense of fashion and your staggeringly conservative ideas of “freedom,” and you can probably overlook all the times I sweat beneath your oppressive grip on my foot and calf. (Which at first I liked, since it was so different from what I’ve experienced in the past, which was absolute foot liberation.)
I think we both want different things. You want to take care of someone, and I don’t want to be cared for, you know? It’s okay. We’re on different paths. And, you know, I think it’s best if we say goodbye now and not drag it out until we’re both so involved that the break-up becomes a messy situation. There’s lots of people out there for you and, I mean, you already know I’m going away in a couple of weeks. I think the time away will do us good and you can move on and I can, too.
It’s been really good, for the most part, but all good things come to an end and so…our end has come. Thank you for your love and care for my right foot. I won’t forget your kindness.