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A depressed writer sends a letter to a popular advice columnist:

I couldn’t seem to go above the Twelfth Street location of my class, not to Central Park or the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the New York Public Library. I had no interest in going below Twelfth Street, either. I definitely couldn’t go to the youthful hub Williamsburg, specifically to the newly opened McCarren Park Pool, at any time of day, for any reason, ever; all the people my age made me feel old. I put on makeup in the morning and washed it off before bed, having never gone outside. The idea of “making it” was everywhere, and I needed to avoid it. I’d moved to the supposed greatest city in the world in order to spend seventy-two hours at a time insulated and solitary, developing an allergy to people and a near-romantic attachment to Netflix. Like a crazy hermit in the cave on the hill—my hill being Brooklyn Heights—I watched movies like The Human Centipede and wrote to a popular online advice columnist about my thoughts of jumping out of a window because I couldn’t do what I’d moved to New York to do. I was full of the vulnerability that drives people toward the Internet.
Writing a letter to ‘Dear Sugar,’ the advice column of TheRumpus.net, was a last resort: it felt just short of running into the street, dropping to my knees, and begging no one, desperately, for help.

"The Human Centipede; Or, How to Move to New York." — Elissa Bassist, The Paris Review
More from the Paris Review

A depressed writer sends a letter to a popular advice columnist:

I couldn’t seem to go above the Twelfth Street location of my class, not to Central Park or the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the New York Public Library. I had no interest in going below Twelfth Street, either. I definitely couldn’t go to the youthful hub Williamsburg, specifically to the newly opened McCarren Park Pool, at any time of day, for any reason, ever; all the people my age made me feel old. I put on makeup in the morning and washed it off before bed, having never gone outside. The idea of “making it” was everywhere, and I needed to avoid it. I’d moved to the supposed greatest city in the world in order to spend seventy-two hours at a time insulated and solitary, developing an allergy to people and a near-romantic attachment to Netflix. Like a crazy hermit in the cave on the hill—my hill being Brooklyn Heights—I watched movies like The Human Centipede and wrote to a popular online advice columnist about my thoughts of jumping out of a window because I couldn’t do what I’d moved to New York to do. I was full of the vulnerability that drives people toward the Internet.

Writing a letter to ‘Dear Sugar,’ the advice column of TheRumpus.net, was a last resort: it felt just short of running into the street, dropping to my knees, and begging no one, desperately, for help.

"The Human Centipede; Or, How to Move to New York." — Elissa Bassist, The Paris Review

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55 notes
  1. excessivetalk reblogged this from longreads
  2. awez-im-gohst reblogged this from hissingbooth and added:
    Oh god, this is me in LA right now. Except I’m watching 90s sitcoms instead of horror films.
  3. lifeincoffeespoons reblogged this from longreads and added:
    "The idea of ‘making it’ was everywhere, and I needed to avoid it."
  4. mickeymousehasgrownupaclown reblogged this from longreads
  5. hissingbooth reblogged this from velocipedestrienne
  6. fostby reblogged this from velocipedestrienne
  7. ladyfabulous reblogged this from velocipedestrienne and added:
    After not having seen Laura for about 3 years after she moved up to 100 Mile I saw her last night at Angel’s partay and,...
  8. mrenzulli reblogged this from longreads
  9. coldasaslab reblogged this from velocipedestrienne and added:
    oh my god. I would read this right now but it would make me cry, and I’m already too emotional today.
  10. cleofuckingpatra reblogged this from longreads
  11. velocipedestrienne reblogged this from lizlemming and added:
    This is really good. Read it.
  12. fragmentedfictions reblogged this from longreads and added:
    …working is not what kills us. It’s what keeps us alive.
  13. cressdelahanty reblogged this from longreads
  14. lizlemming reblogged this from longreads and added:
    There was a kid in one of my classes last year who liked to say that almost every reading really “resonated” with him,...