A Dear John Letter . . .
It’s with great difficulty that I write this. I’ve decided to call it quits.
Let me start off by saying, it’s not you — it’s me. Alright, who are we kidding here — it’s you.
Things have been different for some time now. We’ve grown older. We’ve grown apart. You’re no longer the tortured saxophone player I fell in love with.
You can’t pull off your trench coats anymore — not in a fashion sense, not without airport security detaining you. And Hot Tub Time Machine should’ve went straight to DVD.
I know Being John Malkovich didn’t earn you the attention you deserved. I know it was great. I know you were brilliant. But let’s face it. Big Momma’s House broke box office records in its opening weekend. That’s just the sad world we live in.
You became withdrawn, spiteful after that. And you took it out on me. And you took it out on America. There was no excuse for your behavior. There was no excuse for Martian Child.
Look, when we met, I was young. I got swept away by your boy-next-door charm. But I didn’t know who I was back then. I was still a kid finding my way. And I looked to you to define me.
You taught me street smarts, how to ride the rails, how to cook beans over an open fire. And you gave Wolfie a father figure. For that, I will always be grateful.
It isn’t easy for me to say goodbye to all we had. You know how much I love your family. They took me in like one of their own. I don’t know what we would’ve done if they hadn’t let us live in their basement, surviving on gift-wrapped TV dinners.
Those were tough times. You out of work. You not wanting to compromise yourself by selling anything bought or processed, buying anything sold or processed, or processing anything sold, bought . . . or processed. You were still trying to pay off your debt to the paperboy and your kickboxing thing failed to prove lucrative.
I must admit, those were special times, too. The four of us, all together.
But things changed. You changed. Jeremy Piven even said so.
My friends say you don’t really love me. Not like I want you to anyway. They say I’m just projecting my love onto you. That I pretend it’s enough. That I pretend it’s real. That the authenticity of these photos cannot be validated.
I can’t believe any of that. And I can’t believe you made Must Love Dogs.
We’ll always have that song. You know? That one. Our song. Even if it’s no longer available on cassette tape. Even though your boombox wasn’t designed for CDs. Even if its lively African drumbeat ending earned it a place on the Top Five Most Awkward Dance Songs Ever.
Please be true to yourself. Remember who you are and where you came from. I know somewhere, buried deep inside, you’re still the boy I love — the one who stuck Q-tips in his nose to amuse me, the one who took second billing to Anthony Michael Hall.
Despite that I must leave you behind, know that I will love you forever. And by “you”, I mean Lloyd Dobler.
And by “forever,” I mean . . . until you star in Con Air II.