Dear [Helen’s former boyfriend],
Belated happy birthday! Helen came home last weekend (well, she came to Lansing to see friends and go to a worship thing, but she also slept at my house and allowed me to do her laundry and go to church with her—so I’m counting it as “coming home”) and reminded me it was your birthday. 20? Turning 20 in NYC while going to college and meeting new people and experiencing new things sounds like… well, it sounds like a fucking drag, to be honest, I mean, come on, who are we trying to kid? But I hope something made you chuckle on your day; in NYC, there’s always some “person” standing on a corner dressed in skimpy clothing and a cowboy hat, playing a guitar with an open case and hoping you’ll throw in a dollar but who also won’t let you take his/her picture to document that you really had cause to chuckle. Because by “person” I mean a scrawny, old, wig-wearing, painted-face, optional-gendered human who, by his/her very existence, just dares you to imagine that you won’t ever make something of yourself. “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere,” he/she seems to be conveying. That’s the kind of chuckle I’m going for here.
And if your birthday was just another shitty day, well, welcome to life, son.
(I should probably let you call me Lis by now, I mean, come on, you’re a 20-year-old New Yorker, you barely have reason to acknowledge me, I should at least make it simple.)
P.S. I will never be hired to write birthday cards.