A "Dear John" letter to The (Suspicious) Bad Plus

Mark Sabbatini By

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Dear Ethan, Reid and David:

I love you, but we can't have a relationship if there's no trust.

That nickname "The Bad Plus" is a winner and I always considered you an artistic genius when many others saw you as phony, or maybe just a little deranged. Sure that made you popular, but I still felt we connected in a basic down-to-Earth way - until now.

Maybe the words Suspicious Activity, the first from you during an encounter this week, should have tipped me off. But the little words, as is often the case, were what really hurt.

"Content/Copy-Protected CD."

Sorry, but I'm not a stay-at-home kind of person and I thought you were the forward- thinking type understanding of that. My past is littered with jewel boxes from those courting me and it's too much baggage to carry around. The present and future belongs to those wanting to share my adventures, from hanging in the local coffee shop to exploring the world with no more than fits in my pack. I don't want a home with silver coasters, fancy stereos and decorative shelves for all those jewels. Snooty as it might sound, I'm running with the iPod crowd these days.

I hate to say I find you overweight and unattractive after accepting you as such for so long, but there it is.

I understand others have cheated on you. And I know more and more people think they have to protect themselves from being hurt by such leeches. But I'm not one of them and I don't think most people attracted by more than what you might mean for their wallet are either. Maybe you feel there's enough fish in the sea that the price of losing someone like me is no big deal. But I didn't think that's what you were about and that's why it hurts to say I can't support you, even if you think life will be richer without the likes of me.

Still, I'm interested in hearing what you're up to. In fact, I stopped by a mutual friend's house the other day to borrow your latest notes, and I'll write again and let you know what I think after I've had a few days to reflect on them. I'll return them to our friend (sorry, no names - hate for you to be irate at them), since that seems important to you. It's not like I'd want copies of something that personal taking up space among my things anyhow.

Maybe it's just a cliche, but I really do still find you attractive and this breakup doesn't have to be permanent. Hopefully this is just a stage and you'll discover an existence based on trust is rewarding. I know this goes against the current flow - but then again that's what you seemed to be about when I first met you. Hope your latest musings don't prove me wrong.


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