Article Title
Article Title

A Separation

by Mike Anton

Dear Katie,

I write this letter to regretfully inform you that I'll be leaving the apartment for an extended period of time. It is against my wishes. Unfortunately, I was offered a job on a film shoot in Vermont and, against my better judgment, have decided to take the opportunity. Everything in my body is telling me that I should stay in New York and keep reading books on the couch for inspiration in writing my first (and best) novel, but I feel like I should take a chance with actual employment.

Don't worry about me, though. I know this is completely out of character, but this isn't a cry for help or anything. Maybe it's just time that I start making money in order to pay you rent. It just seems like the right time to do actually look for a job where I, in turn, receive payment for doing that job. Definitely not the most popular thing to do nowadays, but, I dunno, I guess I've always been against the grain. Why not keep running with it, y'know?

This will probably lead to a difficult time in both of our lives, but it will only be for a short while. It is something that we'll both just have to find a way to work through. I know how much you hate having the run of your entire studio apartment all to yourself. I know you try to hide it by saying it under your breath, but I hear you when you say, "there's just waaaaay too much space here for two people," how could I not take it to heart? And it really hurts me to think about how lonely you will get, sleeping all alone on the couch, knowing that there isn't anyone just a stone's throw away, sleeping in the bed. If you want, I told my friend Bill he could stop by and fill my role. Just let me know - he's only a text message away.

You do know that I'll be back, right? I wouldn't just leave you -- leave us. That's something you should have picked up by now, as you've pretty much asked me every day for the last few months , "are you moving out?" and I always answer with a smile and an affirmative, "Where else would I go?" God I'll miss your humor, just as I'm sure you'll miss mine. That's why I farted in a jar for you to open, cause I know how much you love it when I fart in your face when you're sleeping. The fun, though, is I'm not going to tell you which jar it is. Here's a guess, though: it's in the fridge!

I still haven't told you the best part: I'm going to get paid for this job and will turn all of that check over to you. It just seems like the right thing to do. Remember in April when I said I was definitely going to pay you rent when I moved in? Well it's finally coming true. So after I pay off the credit card for putting gas in the car cause I had to drive it up and back to set and that new bumper cause I kind of scratched it on the way up, the rest of the $200 I'm making is going directly into your pocket. Right after I give Doug some cash for that eighth I bought off of him like a month ago. He's being a real dick about it. You know how he gets.

But I'm sure you understand. That's your best feature, really: letting people in to your life and supporting them when they're down. Like that time I broke my iPad and get so pissed that I took your Mr. Coffee and threw it through your TV. You totally got me through that, y'know? Shit like that. You're just the best.

And I'm definitely going to pull my weight around more. That's gonna happen. You saw that I started washing most of my clothes, right? And all my towels! At this rate, I'll definitely get to the rest of the pile by the end of the month, no doubt. Unless, of course, you really do enjoy doing it, then I won't stop you. It's pretty senseless for me to take away something that makes you so happy. I wouldn't feel right about that.

Oh, and don't you dare touch the dishes. I promised you I'd clean them and I'm definitely going to. And yes, that includes the giant pot and pan for cooking spaghetti. I don't think I'm gonna be hungry when I get back so that's all yours. But seriously - don't wash the pan full of Prego. I left it on the stove top on purpose to remind me to clean it as soon as I get home in three weeks. Seriously, I'll be pissed if you do it. I'm going to keep my promise of washing that out.

I just want you to be proud of me. And if that means following through with all the things that I promised, well, get ready to welcome me back with the car, some money, and a newfound sense of responsibility. I want to make this work, cuz. I just hope you let me.

All the best,

PS - I borrowed your car. Hope you don't mind.

Mike Anton is the Editor-In-Chief at The Inclusive. Mike writes movie reviews and interview pieces for The Film Stage as well as screenplays, sketches, and the like. He lives in New York City and though he's an avid beard and flannel enthusiast, he does not consider himself a hipster. Contact him at mike.anton[at] or @mpants