Dear Jersey City,
I think it’s time for us to break up. It’s not me, it’s you. I admit, you were there for me at a time when I was desperate and needed someplace, anyplace to live near my new job where I could also keep my drumset. I appreciate the fact that you gave me what I needed when I needed it.
By the same token, our relationship was really started on a lie. You see, that broker who introduced us claimed that you were safe, but it turns out you were most definitely not. The evening you told me those loud bangs were just fireworks? They were gunshots. Four of them. I later found out that someone was shot just at the end of the block. That did not make me feel safe. It has been a long road to recovery to get over this lack of security and I’m still paranoid in ways I never was before I met you.
It also turns out that you are extremely rude. For example, where I come from, when driving to pick up a friend, one generally parks the car, gets out, and goes to knock on the door. Apparently, you think it is perfectly legitimate to instead sit in the middle of the road and honk the horn repeatedly until the person comes out. This plan has several problems. First of all, since everyone does this to get the attention of others, no one thinks the honking is actually for them and so it takes much longer for people to come out, which leads to more honking. Secondly, this leaves the road blocked, meaning people behind you can’t get to where they are going. So what do they do? That’s right, they honk, too. Actually, you seem to like to honk a lot, now that I think about it. What I find particularly amazing is that you sit in the middle of the road, even when there is enough space for three cars on the side of the road only two feet in front of you.
Now this activity during the day wouldn’t be so horrible. I could tolerate it at 2pm or even 5pm or 6pm. But at midnight? No, it is simply unacceptable when I am trying to sleep before a busy day of work the next day. One day, I even tried to complain to you about this behavior. You were out at around 10pm not just honking intermittently, but actually leaning on the horn non-stop for over a minute. Given that I wanted to go to bed, I decided to go out and tell you to pull over to the side of the road and go up to the door and knock. When I tried to tell you this, you simply rolled up your window and continued honking. I then lightly tapped the window of your car with the palm of my hand in frustration and walked away. You proceeded to get out of the car and yell at me, telling me how I was disrespecting you and how I should “never touch a black person’s car.” It was around that time that I realized we just didn’t understand each other and that we likely never would.
Jersey City, you also need to bath more often. Despite the street sweeper coming four times a week, you were still very, very dirty. I’m not sure why the little “yard” in front of my place became a dump. I found food wrappers and bags in there all the time. Once, my landlord cleaned out the trash in the evening around 7 or 8 and by 8 the next morning, there was more trash there than the previous night! I don’t understand why no one taught you about the magic of the trashcan. It is in fact a can meant to hold trash. It works quite well. In fact, some people put trash bags in them, which are then taken away in a large truck to a place that holds only trash. I never understood the need to disrespect my place and dump your litter all over the place.
You also lied to me about how convenient you really were. Originally, your PATH train was to be able to deliver me to Manhattan in about 21 minutes. On a day I would drive to the train station and then take the subway after you, I should have been able to get to work in about 50-55 minutes on an average day. It was that way in the beginning, but it quickly got worse. Eventually, I was lucky if I ever got to work in under and hour. Sometimes, it was closer to an hour and 20 minutes. A lot of times, these delays were due to your PATH train, which would consistently stop in the tunnel for no apparent reason for an extended period of time. Let’s also not forget that the train often smelled, would sometimes have no air conditioning in the summer, and would be packed fully of pretty rude people like yourself.
So with all these things in mind, I think we need to go our separate ways. I have found another who knows how to treat me well. Closer to work, nicer, and pretty. I’d say I’m sorry things have to end this way, but I’m not. People say you are getting better, that you have your positive qualities now and that with a little more time, you could be the things I want. But I can’t wait for that. I of course hope that things do get better and that you are able to work through your problems. I won’t be there to find out, though.