The End Of The Summer Breakup Letter

 My Dearest Metrocenter Levee Greenway,


 We need to talk. And I think you know why.

 Look, I’m not going to beat around the bush. We’ve been growing apart for weeks now, and I think it’s time we both acknowledged that we might be coming to the end of our run…sorry, bad pun. I think we need to go our separate ways.

We had a great ride – sheesh, sorry again.

 The puns are kinda unavoidable. 

 Let me start over.

 We spent some great times together these past few months, and you made a potentially unbearable summer not only bearable, but brighter by being there for me when I needed you. I know that’s probably little consolation now, but hey – the fact is, I think the writing was on the wall when the Nashville B-Cycle folks moved the bike kiosk away from the Greenway entrance. It was almost as if they were trying to come between us, and as much as I hate to admit it – I think they pulled it off.

 At the beginning of the summer, when I needed a safe place, you gave it to me…and you grew with me when my needs changed and i took to biking instead of the evening walks we used to share. You were there when I got the worst sunburn of my life…you were there for my first 10+ mile bike ride…you were there when I needed a friend. I’ll always remember that.

 But when the bikes went away, it was hard to go back to just walking with you…it felt like we were going backward.

 And…well, the BUGS. There were always the bugs. Every night, the damn bugs. 

I know, I know…they were there before you were, and there was nothing you could do about them…but that didn’t change anything. They came between us from day one – those tiny little swarming bastards were constantly trying to create friction between us, and it worked.

 But even so, it’s not just that.

 The summer’s over, and we both know it…and soon, the weather is going to get colder, and the days will get shorter, and – well, I just don’t think we were meant to be anything but a summer affair. We’re just not built for the whole year ’round, under the circumstances.

And…I don’t want to hurt you, but I’m going to be completely honest, here.

There’s someone else. Actually, there are a couple of “someone elses”.

When the bikes went away, I started seeing Shelby Park.

 Yeah, that Shelby Park. The one that everybody else loves, the one that you’re probably a little jealous of in the first place…but you have to understand – this was a practical decision. It was never about you, not as much as it was about the bikes and the greenway trails and the lack of the beating sun and…well, look – Shelby just made sense for me. She’s closer to where I live, where you’re in the backyard of my job…and Shelby has the bikes.

Yeah, at the end of the day, it comes down to the bikes. I really am that superficial.

 Maybe that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. For me.

 Hey, listen – you’re wonderful without bikes. Really, you are.

Well, except for the bugs. 

I’m sorry, I know I promised I wouldn’t keep bringing up the bugs, but it’s a big deal to me. I wish it were different, but that’s just who I am.

But you know, your hands aren’t clean here, either. I mean, there were other people biking and running on your asphalt almost EVERY time we spent time together…so it’s not as if I was the only unfaithful one. But what really hurt was seeing other people walking on you at sunset. I mean, that was OUR THING! The running and the biking, OK…but you had to share OUR thing, too?

That was hard to watch.

If it makes you feel better, I’ll share this with you…I’m probably going to be breaking up with Shelby Park soon, too.

I haven’t told her yet, so I’m not sure why I’m telling you…but I thought you should know.

The fact that Shelby Park has the bikes now doesn’t change the fact that winter is coming, nor the fact that it’s soon going to be dark for a big chunk of the day. You two have that in common.

So I decided to join a gym.

Don’t get angry, please. Hear me out. I’m trying to explain myself.

 I joined the Planet Fitness in Madison.

 We both know that I’ve been growing in this direction for a while, and I need to be with someone who’s going to grow with me, and I feel good about my relationship with Planet Fitness. I know, a lot of you hate her, you think she’s cheap and vanilla and boring – and I guess I can understand why you’d see her that way…you’re not alone.

But I have needs. And Planet Fitness doesn’t have the obstacles that you have in meeting my needs. 

 She’s just plain better for me, and I have to honor that.

I realize that there’s nothing I can say to lessen the pain of this…and frankly, it cuts both ways. When we first got together, I couldn’t see a time in the future when it wouldn’t be you and me, at sunset on the Cumberland River, watching the barges crawl along the waterline and listening to the traffic humming over the interstate.

But love is blind that way. When you first connect, all you see are possibilities – but when you settle into getting to know one another, the pitfalls of a relationship always end up showing themselves sooner or later.

I’m sure there’ll come a time at some point in the future when I’ll outgrow Planet Fitness, too…but right now, she’s what I need.

I’m sorry we’ve come to this. I’d really like to remain friends, if that’s not too painful or awkward. I think we’d still be able to enjoy the occasional get-together, once the cellophane wears thin and we’re able to hang out like normal people. You don’t have to answer that right now…it’s just something I’d like you to think about.

Good luck, OK? and thanks for everything. You earned a pretty important place in my life by being in it when you were…but I have to move on now.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.