Mary-Louise Parker’s new book, Dear Mr. You, was released this week. It’s a compilation of letters to important men in her life, and for most of us, this means there is really only one letter we’re interested in reading: Billy F*cking Crudup.
I don’t think Parker has ever spoken publicly about that time Crudup left her while pregnant to be with Claire Danes. Danes only recently spoke about it, and her feelings can pretty much be summed up as “I was 24.” I don’t recall Crudup ever speaking about it either. But there’s no shame in harboring a curiosity for what it could possibly have felt like to be a part of something like this, all happening in the public eye. According to Parker’s book (as excerpted by Jezebel), it felt really shitty. (Shocker, I know.) Now, the letter on this subject actually isn’t to Crudup. Instead, it’s to a cab driver Parker lost her shit on sometime after Crudup split. She was screaming and swearing at the driver, who finally pulled over and told her “I don’t want you anymore.”
No one does
My voice was shot and I barely got out
Look at me
You turned at looked, I think for the first time…
My life is worse than yours in this moment.
I am alone. Look, see? I am pregnant and alone. It hurts to even breathe.
Your hand slowly went to your mouth
I’m trying to get through it but I’m by myself every night and every morning and no one, nothing helps. I’m sorry I yelled. I can’t get my shoes on anymore. Please, I know I am awful, it’s been made clear but look at me please
Look at me
She has, though, spent the time since regretting that choice.
I don’t know what you thought, if you had a daughter or a wife or if my little drama was a hangnail compared to your life. What I wish I could tell you is that I know it may have been. I don’t know what happened to you that morning, or that year, or when you were six. I didn’t know your tragedy or hardship and it was grossly unfair of me to compare my life to yours. I am aware of my good fortune. What I don’t have to struggle for that makes my life easier than most. I have thought of you and know you wouldn’t remember me but I am sorry.
I realize now that whatever I was walking through was part of my life, one piece of a bigger story that is mostly beautiful.