Dear Ms. Leading,

I regret to inform you I've fallen out of lust.
It must be so hard to understand.
Did you really think me a fool enough to play along?
And make believing everything you said was true
Push your pouting lips on other unsuspecting lovers

The Dear Hunter


March 13, 2016 at 9pm EST

Social media notification that you still like dogs. 
She likes your likes, you like her likes, she emoji's a wink. 
This of course translates to ending my world, symbols crumpling the note you wrote me, your named signed with "Love Ya." 
Now you're liking her reposts. 
Nose to nose with her, as she's hanging her arms around you, clasping her hands behind your neck. 
Her finger tips stroking the fragments of your taped-together ego, 
jig-sawed and jumbled since you left.


Breakup with the Hudson Valley

I'm not sure how one letter can sufficiently describe, explain and thank you the way you deserve. But I will try.

On lonely drives home from a 16 hour work day, your mountains reassured me that something better for me is planned- that I'm not just some piece floating in a bigger picture, rather, all of what I do and say matters because I'm not just the punchline of some emotionally unavailable man's blog entries. I'm not a secondary character in my own story. Your grandness, your unwavering silhouette the backdrop to my growth as a woman, as a spirit, as a light that will never be put out.

On a clear day, I could see forever stretched out into the horizon. Yet I could understand there is more that is not visible in the physical sense, more of a knowing feeling that is weighted heavier than seeing, touching tangibles. Nothing made sense like the vision of something better and bigger than I could handle most days. But you were there to cradle all of that without the expectation of anyone ever sharing that load. It was yours alone, we could all live within the shadows cast into this valley. With our lights as our way of showing you we are still here.

It wasn't until I looked up into the darkness near Thruway exit 16 that I finally saw the lamps lit, the stoves burning and the life you offer. The chance to be who I was all along, the bravery to not hide it and the fear I need to keep moving and keep changing and adjusting. You saw my biggest heartaches, losses, illnesses and stoically stood as my friends drove me home from the psych ward through the dimly lit back roads of Ulster County when I was just 21 years old. I have had to move on from many people, but never this place. I didn't have to fight to feel at home, to make it so I belonged or felt comforted. It just was.

The towns I lived in reflect off of the river you overlook. The waters that so many authors and poets wrote about- a romance with currents and clay deposits. The crew teams I could see practicing when I would pass over the bridges, the lighthouses for the barges and mermaids. The skunks that musked the wooded trails, the bears that found their way to neighborhood trash bins and the Bald Eagles' nest in the old oaks near the tiny creeks that break from the river.The reservoir and the waterfalls, the flooded marshes and morning fog that settled over roads surrounded by fields and meadows. The families of deer that curled up on the city lawns of Poughkeepsie and Kingston, and the hawks that shrieked and swooped down over the Shawangunks.

The love of craft beer and farmer's markets, and eating my own homecooked meals. The lesson that cooking for one is not at all depressing and seeing a movie alone is liberating. The love of love and all things beautiful and moving and emotional and passionate. The local music and art on display in dive bars. The brunch I waited in line for at bistros, the county lines seamlessly flowing through you and your mountainous shadows. The clouds kissing mountain peaks and rolling above the Metro North tracks. Without you, I would not have had to cry alone and solve my own apartment utility malfunctions. I would not have had to wait by myself for tow trucks or in doctors offices. I would not have found the best way to carry all of my groceries in from the car in one trip. Would not have learned all of the words to the songs on the car radio or listened to many audiobooks on 40 minute commutes to work. I would not have picked up a paintbrush or golf club and never would have roller skated on a derby team.

I would not have been "Amy" or learned how to love, live with, then leave a long term boyfriend. I would not have survived what seemed like insurmountable heartbreak. From your heights, I looked down into the protected valley. I climbed up to Overlook Mountain and found the temple, guiding me with prayer flags to my hardest, most important decision to leave you and the people that have embraced my imperfect intensities. This life would not have been this fulfilled if it wasn't for your shelter. That's why I can never thank you enough. I can only ask that you remain as inspiring, forgiving and peaceful. I have many friends I love that I am leaving. Please continue to give them opportunities and allow them to dream.

I will turn my back on you now, because our time together is over. We will meet again, me even better because you let me go.

Be. Here. Now.

All is love,


Application Implecation

Pieces of you line up in tiny profile photos, matched in an algorithm so precise, it took only a few clicks to create. He doesn't look like you, but he wears the same blue of your chosen profession, your passion, your at times obsession, the look on your face when a call is sent for "Fire." The next has a dog, a golden retriever, the best dog according to your humble opinion after owning a beautiful specimen of the breed, your address on his tags as if he has the permission I did not to belong in your heart. I swipe left to these men, over and over again and my thumb is growing stiff in the bent, carpal tunnel, text position, hovering over your name in my message history, as I could not and will not erase every part of an abridged relationship, the TL;DR that induced our friendship's coma. I swipe past the bassist, past the pop punk fan, past the PoliSci grad, past the man who resembled you enough for me to stop and stare... to fill the you-shaped hole you left when you ran towards the distance a la Wile E. Coyote, never looking back, but perhaps raising a "Yipes" sign as it lead you to a cliff.


Collateral Damage

When I opened my eyes
I had been ejected
thrown from which I once knew
My back laid out
on top of glass & pavement’s love affair
I could not turn my neck to see
the twisted bones of metal
I could only see you-
what I had done
to you

You stared at me through the swelling
your bloody mouth agape
You did not recognize me
I tried to smile
to reassure you,
“It’s me, I’m still here…”
but the glass & pavement
had too much fun
with my once soft cheek

The last thing I wanted
was to see your body
in this ditch, next to mine
so I’m glad you got up
walked away
and never looked back

I know you’re dancing now

Boomerang Generation Challenge

I read, "I'm not gay, my butt is," off of a crumpled paper chef's hat thrown over one of his mom's knic-knacks in the basement.

His makeshift coffee table was two stacked boxes of Pfaltzgraff dinnerware.

"Why do you got your arms crossed all the time?"

After he made an argument that essentially insulted my education in interpersonal communication, he told me that I was "cute" a number of times- as if that mattered more than a $100,000 thought in my head.

He left the basement to use the bathroom several times, and one of those times, I actually said, "What am I doing here?" out loud to myself.

I laughed until tears started to form in my eyes, then quickly wiped them away as I heard his heavy footsteps bounding back down the stairs.

"I wanted to be a marine, but I wouldn't be allowed with this tattoo I got on my wrist... then I thought about the navy, but I got this job at the warehouse."

This is a scene that I have grown to know well.
On a "date" in the basement with his mom upstairs, no car, dead-end job at a warehouse, "shoulda, woulda, don't really give a shit."

When did my generation get stuck in these concrete cracks of our nation?
When did I start hating every one that doesn't have one ambitious thought in their head?

This "boomerang" generation is... well... overall, we're lazy pieces of shit.
I would blame technology and the overwhelming accessibility to wrong information, but that would be taking the easy way out.

My argument has little to do with people's choice to pursue higher education or not, because plenty of people that go to trade school or get jobs after high school have motivation to succeed and then do so.
My argument is simply based on the fact that somehow, the majority of twenty-three/twenty-four-year-old men I meet aren't the kind of men I see making a difference in this world.
Maybe I'm being too judgmental, but is demonstration of ambition too much to ask of a generation that has close to endless possibilities?

We were born in the United States and we live during a time where we are able to get pretty much anything we want- as long as we are willing to try.

I joke around about how I think I'm here, just "floating" through life all of the time because I haven't necessarily found a career or life path yet, but these guys in the basement smoking weed and just getting by truly bother me.
They have more potential than they'll ever be aware of. But they don't care.

I especially hate when these guys (all the same boring archetype) talk about the possibility of pursuing a career in armed forces. I'm sorry, but that is not the easy way out, nor will it "straighten" you out like you think it will. It's an insult to the friends and family I have that have served if you have nothing but selfish intentions and think you have "no other option." It's called the service for a reason, asswads. You're serving this nation. You know, the one that gives you the right to sit in your parent's basement and not give a shit.

I might be completely wrong about a lot of this, but the people I keep meeting are all the same lazy shell of a human being. They may be more than that, but that's not what they're communicating to the world.

Maybe they'll wake up after their 20s, but do they ever question the impact they're making on others' lives like I do?
What makes me special?
What can I do to educate people and make them think?
What can I be to help make the changes I want to be made possible?

All I ask of our generation is to at least try and make a difference in the world we live in. I don't know how people go through life without wanting to fight for some sort of cause- whether it be education, animal or human rights, the legal system, or sustainable energy. We are all products of a nation that has an accessibility to organizations and causes that no one has ever had before... so why not take advantage of that?

My sixty-three-year-old co-worker told me that he believes in our generation so much that he thinks we can truly change the world.
I just don't see it.
I hope we prove me wrong.


"Content with loneliness, 'cause none of it was ever worth the risk."

Internet dating scares the crap out of me.
Mostly because it amplifies my fears of not knowing and not trusting a person.
I've met people face to face that have presented themselves a certain way and then when it came down to it, they weren't the person I thought.

I'm left to feel that if people can manipulate and fool me in real life, then of course they're trying to pull the wool over my eyes over the internet.

We are who we are because we've learned to be this way... it's conditioning.

And you may ask me, "Emily, how can you just not trust people right away like that? Not everyone is a dickweed. That's not fair."

But my response is, "I'll trust the people that earn it from me."

The way I work is not, "I trust you until you've proven I can't."
It's, "I don't trust you until you prove I can."


The tide is high but I'm holding on...

It's freezing in this Starbuck's. Fuck.

Today is my baby sister's 18th birthday and I feel the old settling into my body, making my joints creaky and my responsibility bone tingle... what?
I'm not sure when I hit this age of in between nothingness, where I owe the state and government thousands of dollars and I still don't have a decent paying job.

Is this the age where facebook just makes you want to beat your head against a window as you scroll through old college friends that pretend you don't exist anymore?
Because that's what it feels like.

Oh man, I'm in a depressing state here in this Starbuck's in Poughkeepsie, NY- miles away from the people that I believe care about me.
I made this choice and I have to deal with it. No more running. No more drowning.