Ali Neill
2 min readOct 24, 2020


Hi Jane,

How are you? I don’t know what I’m doing but I needed to write. I was sitting in a cafe, trying to write a song. We’re really behind for the next record and it’s stressing me out. 3 coffees in, and still nothing. And I saw this couple. They seemed so unhappy. Not obviously unhappy, but frustrated with one another.

In a way, it’s pretty common to see people on their devices, physically present in a restaurant but mentally absent. But for some reason, this particular couple struck me. She kept looking at her phone but I didn’t get the impression she was waiting for something or needed to leave. In fact, I felt she wanted nothing else but to stay at that table as long as possible. And yet, she kept glancing at that phone of hers. Sure, maybe she was actually waiting for a message from some else, but there was something pleading in her gaze, which made me think it was more of a nervous tick.

The guy, on the other hand, definitely didn’t look interested. He wasn’t looking to communicate with someone else, but he had a nervousness about him. Like someone barely hiding their desire to leave.

It made me reflect. I couldn’t help but think of you. I love you. Do you know I love you? I don’t want you to be that woman and I don’t want to be that guy…

Lately, we’ve had a bit more trouble than usual. It’s hard to actually tell you what I’m feeling but I’m scared. This f****d up world, with so little certainty for the future has made me as worried as you. You lost your job, and I didn’t, but I worry every day that I’ll be let go too. Then what?

You can count on me though. I’m so sorry you lost your job but just know, I’ll be there to support you. I’m not always good with words, and you kind of scared me when you started panicking about the future because I’m scared too. Know that I want us to brace the future together though. Better or worse, I need you.

Yesterday, I was talking to Joe about separation. He and Katy split up about a year ago and he tells me about how great it is to be “free”. Free to go out whenever; free to eat however; free to sleep with whomever. But what he calls freedom, I call loss. The loss of structure and of a partner. And Jane, I don’t want to lose you.