Hello there! First, I just want to say right off the bat: Please try not to be too intimidated when I talk about my travels in Prague. Even though it’s vital that you are, so I can sleep at night.

I get it, women are a little thrown by me because I’m the first man they’ve met who uses his vague interest in craft beer in lieu of a personality. Even though it’s 2018 and microbreweries have been mainstream for decades, this is a fresh, unique interest that only I have. I know, it takes some getting used to how edgy I am. Seriously though, if you know more about beer than I do I will lock myself in the host’s bathroom and refuse to come out for the rest of the night. Other than that, I’m just a regular joe, so treat me exactly how you’d treat any other literary genius.

“What do I write,” you didn’t ask? The poetry of places and songs of cities. It’s adorable that you call it “travel writing”; I think of it more as a professional excuse to be an asshole on tour buses. Not that I’d ever take a tour bus! That’s right, I hate organized tourism. And if you don’t tell me I’m a rebellious firebrand for taking that stance, I will spiral into a bottomless depression and it will be completely your fault.

No, whenever I travel to a new place, I usually just walk the foreign streets with no GPS and let the siren call of the city guide me. Sure, you could say that’s how I got mugged four times, and why I once woke up in an ice bath with a sharp pain and 95 stitches in my abdomen. But I bet the tour bus didn’t go to a bunch of seedy, “underground” jazz bars that literally no one cares about, so it was totally worth it. Now, when someone asks me about my time in Romania, I just pat my surgical scar and say, “Romania? Why I knew her intimately."

Yes, that’s another radical thing I do, where I use gendered pronouns for every place I visit. See, to you cities are just “places,” but to me all the cities are people and all the people are cities. How else would I know that Chicago is a middle-aged man who works in manufacturing, or that Portland is a gender-fluid street performer, or that you’re a small fishing town that is famous for its saltwater taffy? I get that this might be confusing, but for me, the voice of a generation, every city I visit, is a new lover I take. Seriously, I will fuck a bridge if they’ll let me. When you’d say something boring and predictable like “Good to be back in New York,” I’d say something exceptional and fresh like, “Ah, Lady New York. How I’ve missed her concrete and steel embrace.”

No one has ever said anything like that before. I’m the first one.

I can see you’re trying to leave, but being able to tell the difference between girl cities and boy cities is all I’ve got. So if you don’t think that’s ground-breaking, know that you’ve single-handedly strangled and buried my dreams tonight.