Heartbreak is pretty universal. But to a certain type of person known as a hipster, a breakup is a unique experience that grants him not only a right, but a duty, to blab to the world about a lost love that can only be partially replaced by wearing skinny jeans, putting on black rimmed glasses, listening to bands you’ve never heard of, and finding that Super Mario Bros. t-shirt that totally doesn’t make him look like a dork because he’s going to wear it ironically. Christopher Solomon, a freelance writer (the dream job for every hipster), followed a red haired girl to New York City two years ago. She dumped him. Now he’s moving. And on October 13, 2010, he wrote the most self-absorbed essay to ever appear in the New York Times, titled “Goodbye, New York. Thanks for Breaking My Heart.”
I don’t know if Solomon was looking for pity or a Pulitzer, but it’s safe to assume he’s getting neither. He begins:
Dear New York, I left you today. I know you didn’t even pause long to notice…I cast a last backward glance at you from the doors of Grand Central on the way to catch my train, and you returned it with the F-sharp blat of a taxi’s horn, and you kept moving.
Cute. He’s anthropomorphizing a city. A city he used to love.
Two years ago this week, another taxicab picked me up from LaGuardia Airport and dropped me in the West Village to begin my life as one of yours: a New Yorker…Everything about you was new then, New York, even your intrusions, and I was exhilarated and exhausted by you—just as I was by the red-haired girl I had chased East.
He followed a girl to New York City, so he’s turning New York City into a metaphor for that girl. Quite profound. I wonder what’s going to happen next.
Within a year, the red-haired girl had said ‘I’m sorry’ and left with another man.
And you, fickle New York, where did you go after our nights lying awake together? Oh, I pursued you. We went to the opera, to plays, to gritty little restaurants.
Dude, your girlfriend left you, not the city. Oh, wait, you’re in metaphor mode. My bad. Go on.
New York, I won’t miss your fierce morning halitosis exhaled from your subway grates along Third Avenue…I won’t miss how you stood too late outside the bars and smoked until there was a blue nimbus around your head like some strange halo.
Look at me! I’ve only been here two years, and I can already describe this place with big words.
Most of all, I won’t miss how you daily reminded me of this: that once a red-haired girl has said ‘I’m sorry’ and left with another man, there’s no more lonesome place on earth than your East Village on a warm summer’s night.
Heartbreak carries extra weight when it happens to a self-absorbed hipster who should totally never get dumped because look how soulful and creative and big-worded he is. But let’s see if he’s ready to move on with life.
I miss seeing you slapping down dominoes with the Puertoriqueños on the card table you’d set up in the street on steamy August nights in Alphabet City (not gentrified yet!)…I miss you standing listlessly with the homosexuals in their tube tops outside dark-windowed clubs as they waited for rescue from their boredom…I miss the grunting, sweaty democracy of your subway cars, and your fragrant arboretums at breakfast.
What the fuck is he talking about?
But, Oh, New York! You are that red-haired girl who welcomed me here and then did not want me. (In case we didn’t get the metaphor already.) And, like her, I still love you, and even now I miss you.
Ah, he’s talking about the pain of a broken heart, which is apparently more meaningful when it happens to a college-educated liberal white guy. Yet I’m gonna take a guess and say that the red-haired girl, like New York, does not miss him back. The red-haired girl, like New York, is glad that self-absorbed ass is not inside her anymore.