Dear New York,
Thanks for helping me escape the monotony of my urban monogamy. I’m married to Los Angeles, but you make a fine mistress.

Dear Long Distance,
Thank you for allowing me to really see someone, the way holding a restaurant menu at arm’s length helps old people read it.

Dear Virgin America In-Flight Music Library,
Thank you for having Nirvana’s song “Rape Me.” Out of Nirvana’s sizeable catalog of nineties hits, you chose to include this, my most favorite, despite its potentially offensive title. That takes balls.

Dear Printed Reading Material,
Thanks for having an end. The internet doesn’t have one, so I never know when to stop.

Dear Sneezes,
Thank you for being like orgasms I can have in public.

Dear Margin Notes,
Thanks for allowing me to look back, years later, and see what a different me thought was important.

Dear Bras,
Thanks for being the one undergarment that can be worn multiple times without washing, although I suppose I should be thanking breasts for not stinking.

Dear Woman Whose Last Name I Do Not Know And Therefore Cannot Google,
Thanks for convincing him that v-neck t-shirts look good on him and that his chest hair is sexy. He wouldn’t believe me, but I’m glad he believed you.

Dear Restraint,
Thank you for allowing me to refrain from asking questions I don’t want to know the answers to like “do you love her?”

Dear Dirty Words and Curse Words,
Thanks for feeling better than any other words when you come out of my mouth.

Dear Jet Stream,
Thanks for taking me to him faster and for taking me away from him more slowly.

Dear Time I Went on Vacation and Forgot to Arrange for Someone to Feed My Dog and She Starved to Death,
Thank you for only being a dream.

Dear Ocean,
Thank you for being so overwhelming that I can’t worry anything other than not drowning when I’m in you.

Dear Odd-Shaped Bruise on My Thigh,
Thank you for likely being the result of sleeping on the hard ground while camping on the beach. You make a better story than having bumped into the corner of a table or something.

Dear Body Hair,
Thanks for reminding me I’m an animal. I can embrace my wildness better when I accept you.

Dear She,
Thank you for containing the word “he” and showing me how easy it is for the masculine to reside in the feminine.

Dear Items of Your Clothing that I Wear,
Thanks for letting me be me and you at the same time. I’m not sure if it cultivates a kind of empathy, but maybe. Either way, it feels soft and smells good, which is nice.

Dear Empty Apartment,
Thanks for being a space I can swim around in. I’m a bit underwater right now, but I can still breathe in you.

Dear Three Different Trash Trucks that Go Down my Alley Every Tuesday Morning,
Thanks for making no sense. You inspire me to stop trying to understand everything.

Dear Movies,
Thanks for making me cry. Sometimes it’s easier to let myself go in the darkness of the theater than at my kitchen table or in my bed. It’s easier to cry at someone else’s story than my own.

Dear Melancholy,
Thanks for producing the best art of any of the emotions. Sometimes your visits are short and other times long, but either way, you’re a better houseguest than sadness because you leave gifts.

Dear Opposites,
Thanks for providing eternal reassurance. When I’m sad, you remind me that there is happiness. When it is dark, that there is light. Thank you also for attracting, and inspiring Paula Abdul to make a music video with an animated cat dancing on the stairs.

Dear Tricycles,
Thanks for defying the old “three’s a crowd” adage. You are stable and defiant.

Dear Walks,
Thanks for being the activity during which I come up with my best ideas. It used to be showers, but no longer. Guess I’ll be very creative and very fit, but not so clean. Oh, well.

Dear Tree Roots that Buckle the Sidewalk,
Thanks for being a simple reminder of how much stronger nature is than us. Even if I trip over you, I’m impressed.

Dear Stone Fruits,
Thank you for requiring my touch to determine your readiness. It’s nice to use my hands to make decisions instead of my brain.

Dear Uncertainty,
Thanks for also essentially being possibility. I’m a lot more into you when I think of you that way.

Dear Vulnerability,
Thanks for being something I hadn’t really tried on before. Turns out, you fit. And you make a fine addition to the emotional closet.

Dear Anything I’ve Lost and Then Found,
Thanks for reminding me that after I’ve stopped looking you can magically materialize, usually in the pocket of a winter coat buried deep in a closet. You give me faith that I too might get found, in some pocket, in some other season.

Dear Tall Truck that Touched the Trees,
Thank you for being in front of me. You showered me with jacaranda petals like confetti, like a surprise party, like I won something on a game show, over and over and over.

— Leah