Dear Frank Black (or is it Black Francis again?), Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering:

I love you. Or rather, I did love you. Or, I mean ... Aw shucks guys, this is difficult and confusing! Okay, I still love you, in that "fond remembrance" kinda way. That's what I'm trying to say.

Sometimes I think about you and all the fun we had all those years ago. All that amazing music and cool videos and weird lyrics. Sure, sometimes I didn't know what you were going on about. You sure could be baffling and strange with your punk rock edge and way-out-there philosophies on space aliens and monkeys and superheroes named Tony. You were crazy! But it didn't matter because whatever you did screamed with excitement and newness and just that radiant kind of beauty that struck me like nothing had before. It was special ... You were special!

I will never ever forget that show at that little club in New Jersey. What was that place called again? I can't remember ... I was a little drunk and a little stoned and filled with nervous excitement, and I know you were too! I didn't know what to expect from our first date together. I just wanted to have a good time, but you completely blew my mind and I knew I wanted to see you again and again. And later on when I'd see you at stadiums playing with gigantic bands like the Cure and U2, you were still just as incredible. It's unreal how magical and wonderful it all was. Everyone was jealous, everyone wanted to be with you or just be you -- Kurt, Bob, Tanya, Evan ... Even now, it sounds like Jack and Meg are trying to pull off what you were doing back then.

Sometimes, when I'm in the mood, I'll dust off your albums and give them a spin. It always brings a smile to my face. I try to put aside how it all ended with so much hatred and clashing egos and attempts to go in different directions and be alone and see other people in other bands. I didn't want it to be over, I really didn't. Argh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to go there. Really I just want to remember the good times.

But now you're back. It's been ten years, you know, and you turn up at my doorstep talking about getting back together? Sure it's a tantalizing idea ... After all, it was really intense at one point, wasn't it? You were my first real true love. Before you it was all disposable pop and classic rock and regrettable forays into hair metal. Then when I met you everything seemed so fresh and exciting. Don't think I've forgotten about that! Yeah, we had our ups and downs, especially toward the end there when I wasn't all that nuts about some of the stuff you were doing. All in all, though, it lasted awhile ... What, six, seven years?

But let's not kid ourselves -- that was a long time ago and things are a lot different now. You're older, I'm older, we're just not the same people anymore. Sure we could try to re-create the passion and the magic, but what's the point? We would try to fool ourselves into thinking it was just as good, and there would be a moment or two when it seemed like it really was, but all in all you know and I know it would be kinda hollow and unsatisfying.

I just don't see how we could rekindle what we had. That kind of thing never works out -- look at what's happened to the Sex Pistols and Jane's Addiction and even the Stooges. They're pathetic now! And don't even get me started on Duran Duran and Tears for Fears. You don't want it to turn out that way, do you? I hope you're not simply coming around only because your lives have been crappy the past few years, or you're trying to use me or sell me something -- that would be fucking despicable and ruin every decent memory I have of you!

Nah, I know you. I trust your intentions. I'm sure they're genuine. You're good people. But don't you think we're better off just leaving it in the past, treasuring our memories together instead of trashing them with another go-around that would probably end up being awkward and unfulfilling?

Look, this is really hard, and I'm not saying I'm not tempted. But I've moved on, not out of choice but out of necessity, and I really think it's best we never see each other again. I hope you'll see it my way and accept the reality of the situation. But you know I'll always have a place in my heart for you. That's good enough, right?

Yours truly,

Michael Alan Goldberg

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Michael Alan Goldberg