North Carolina,

It’s over. I’m leaving you.

Just so you don’t become insecure (not that you ever would, you fragile narcissist, you), it’s not about your looks. You’re very attractive, and I’m sure you’ll find someone else to love you. Someone else to spend their money on you. Someone else to worship you at your highs and lows, in your endless shades of blues, and your fucking curves that only just recently stopped making me dizzy. But that person isn’t me.

To be honest, it’s more about my friends. They don’t like you. It’d probably be safe to say that, at least right now, they detest your very existence and wish you would just secede from the Union or get absolved into somewhere better, like West Virginia. Yeah. West Virginia. Better. That’s how bad you’ve gotten — maybe you didn’t even realize it. Unfortunately, whether you realize it or not doesn’t matter.

See, you treat everyone pretty fucking terribly, North Carolina. You’re a manipulator. You’re a bitch. I don’t know when it happened — when we first got together, everyone was telling me how great you were. That you were smarter and more liberal and all these great, open-minded, tolerant, highly-evolved things. That you were an oasis in a sea of hillbilly red. That you were different. That you had class. I don’t know if you were just pulling the wool over their eyes, too, but the charade’s over. The veil’s been lifted. I’m out.

And before you go saying that I’m speaking in generalisms and have no idea what I’m talking about, let me just stop you there. You don’t pay your fucking teachers. Some say you’re even waging war on the public school system and keeping kids dumb so they fall in line. You have the worst gerrymandering in the nation. Your people are losing money, becoming terrified, and turning to Trump.

And that’s not even the worst of it — then you had the fucking audacity to pass House Bill 2. Phew, I’m safe in your bathrooms! Thank Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the heathens can be stopped. Fuck, North Carolina. Seriously? And how you passed it? Reprehensible. You can’t afford to be homophobic in 2016, and you definitely can’t afford to look like you were hiding it from the rest of us. Now all these cities and states won’t even come near you with a ten-foot pole, the mom and pop shops are suffering because of your inane intolerance, and you’re just goddamn pleased as punch with yourself. I can barely believe it. How you live with such cognitive dissonance — and, quite frankly, how you sleep at night — is beyond me.

God. I don’t know what you expect, North Carolina. You certainly don’t seem to want me to stick around, so I’m not going to. I’ll take my white, straight (albeit uterine-possessed) money elsewhere. I wanted to ignore my friends for a while, but they’re right. You and I — we want different things. Very, very different things. I want the best for you; too bad you certainly can’t say the same.

So, maybe we’ll run into each other again, and in that case, I’ll say hello. I will. I’ll never forget our hikes down to the bottom of Linville Gorge, or the first time I had Cheerwine, or when that supermarket bag girl used the word “buggy” on me and I had no idea what was going on, remember that? You made me feel like I had mountains to myself, you did. We had good times. We had potential.

That’s why this is such a goddamn shame.

Anyway. I do hope you take care of yourself, and I hope eventually you understand what I’m getting at. There’s a reason your world is falling apart, and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Do us all a favor and get yourself help. If you can do that, you know where to find me.

Thanks for the good times, the biscuits, and Krispy Kreme, I guess.


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