I’m From Philadelphia, PA.

by Howard Nields

Satellite overhead image of Pennsylvania from Google Earth 2022

Where to begin….Having just turned 40 last week, it makes one look back at the years and reminisce about things. Was it really 10 years ago that I turned 30 and got dumped? Where does the time go? Of course there is a tad more to the story than that.

Picture it – NYC 2000, a chilly winter day. My current boyfriend’s mother passes away the day before I am to have the big “three-oh” celebration (I swear that woman never liked me to begin with – stealing my thunder). Well that kind of puts the whole kink in my birthday plans. I mean they were Muslim, so they had less than 48 hours to have the funeral and burial, which as you guessed it meant my birthday was no longer a high priority. But I survived, not wanting to be a completely selfish and heartless bastard, I mean his mother had passed after all.

Skip ahead two weeks, I’m sitting at the office and I get a phone call. It’s the boyfriend telling me it’s over after 4 years; not that I guess in retrospect I didn’t see it coming. Seems he has been seeing someone else since November and they want to spend Valentine’s Day together so I have to finally get the old boot, 3 days before the holiday. So now I am single, 30 and alone for the first time in 4 years on Valentine’s Day. And they said the whole Y2K thing was a hoax.

Anyhow, fast-forward to April and I get another call from the now ex. Seems the current beau has given him the boot since he caught my ex cheating on him. I try but cannot feign any sympathy. I mean let’s face it, the guy had no problem sleeping with my boyfriend but finds it appalling that when he finally steals him from me, he goes and cheats on him. Hasn’t anyone heard of karma?

So here I am 10 years later. Still single but now 40. I can’t remember having a real date since Clinton was in office and no prospects on the horizon. I try to keep a light-hearted attitude about it, but with each passing year the outlook seems bleaker and bleaker. I’m about to just order the rocking chair and 5 cats and call it a day. But yet I persist. With that glimmer of hope that just one of these days my prince will come riding in again and rescue me from the tower. Life is after all, for me any way, a “fairy” tale.


I’m From Heyburn, ID. “When I think of winter, I think of you and the lies I was fed. You swore the illicit Internet relations you kept were nothing more than entertainment and nothing physical. We exhaustingly worked to mend our relationship, but I was broken. I still can’t rid myself of the gut-wrenching, eviscerating agony after learning of your three-some and subsequent hookups the same night I ended our relationship, and you went home with a boy in your a capella group.”

I’m From Tallahassee, FL. “Opening the saved chat transcripts my heart began to race. I could feel the tears swelling in my eyes as I read, “I had a dream last night that I was having sex with you on the kitchen counter like we did last week.” I quickly shut my computer and began crying. My worst fear had been confirmed. The first boy I opened my heart to had been cheating on me with his ex.”

I’m From Glasgow, KY. “I’m staring into the laundry basket wishing there were more clothes to fold. You’re in the living room with your feet on the ottoman, watching a documentary. You don’t know about the plane ticket to Kentucky or that my friends are on stand-by to help me if I need it. You don’t know that when I’m done folding this laundry I’ll come in there to tell you we shouldn’t be together anymore.”

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