Ode to New York: I love you but you kicked my ass

An opportunity to read at the Asian American Writers Workshop

A challenge by Du to write something in an afternoon.   I joked to him – I’d write an ode to New York – “I love you but you kicked my ass”

A draft.

Dear New York.

I love you but sometimes you drive me crazy.

I’ve had this crush for years.  Briefly in years past I have kissed your beauty.

But this April I finally had the guts to chase you. I didn’t want to regret my life.

You looked like the sexiest, smartest, most stimulating person I’d known.

I wanted to be with you, for you to love me back.

I’ve love you but I have hated you too.

I hate you for the days I cried in the park. The days I felt tiny and alone

The days you made me doubt who I was and what I believed.  The days I wished more for myself, you and our combined greatness.

It got too hard, and I choose to give you up for my own sake.  There was too much competition for you to notice me.  You were no longer worth my time, energy or heartache.  I need to be somewhere I could be loved back, and have what I deserve.  That love for now I feel is in another.  His name is Brisbane.

But I loved you truly.  I’ll always be grateful for the time we share

Getting to know you, getting to know myself.

And for all the things you gave and taught me, I will always love you

I love you for giving me the time with Paul to find peace, closure and kindness.

I love you for giving me Ayla when I needed her most

I love you for giving me Mario, the birds, and the peace I found in the East Village

I love you for giving me Tino, Du and the Monthly Design Review networks

I love you for giving me Jaime and Landmark that helped me fight through myself

I love you for giving me Liz, Ally, Kari and the Aussie connections

I love you for giving me Do Tank, Park(ing) Day and groups that inspire me

I love you for giving me extra time in Toronto.

I love you for a lot, I realise.   For the miracles you gave when I needed them, and the challenges to test me.

For all the moments, conversation and experiences with Mark, Phuong, Nico, Keith, Walter, Marios, Terra Farm, Jeanne, kids at Rockaway, Michelle, Tim, Beth, Leah, Paul, Lucy, Rachel, Intersection, Jonathon,  Marc,  Sisley, Jamaica, Raymond, Kim, Cath, Ross, Ben, and moments with strangers and so many more

I love you for the peaceful moments just walking your streets

I love you for expanding my world, my heart and mind

I mostly love you for letting me love myself and chase my dreams

I love you for the hope and possibility you gave me

New York, you kicked my ass.  But I do love you

I probably will always love you in some way

It didn’t turn out as I had hoped.  I just can’t be with you right now.

But maybe one day again we can find new kinds of love.


2 thoughts on “Ode to New York: I love you but you kicked my ass

  1. Ally K says:

    Wow Yen. This is very powerful. It made me tear up. I completely relate. Thanks for sharing. xx

  2. Ross says:

    Nice! I REALLY like this

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