Pull up a cushy lawn chair, bring some peanut-butter pretzels, put on those 3-D glasses, and settle in for an entertaining adventure, because your neighbors are breaking up on a rooftop in Brooklyn.
Do you not live under a rooftop in Brooklyn? Well, me neither, but comedian and writer Kyle Ayers does. He recently found himself in close proximity to neighbors mid-breakup on his roof, and he live-tweeted the whole thing. So now his neighbors might as well be your neighbors too.
The neighbors’ argument is simultaneously funny and sad. Ayers has a strong sense for dialogue and an impressive lack of shame about sitting through an entire fight held between complete strangers. The conversation he captured would probably be a solid submission in a playwriting workshop:
“I’m not looking for marriage, just what’s right below marriage” — girl #roofbreakup
“Ok so those were the only times I lied to you. Right? We can agree on that?” — guy #roofbreak
“I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t realize how awesome you are.” — girl
“Say something else about my fucking wardrobe.” — guy
“Look I’m not a guy who’s into labels, Rachel. You knew that getting in.” — guy
“I can’t think in terms of like, time and shit, Rachel.” — guy #roofbreakup
Neighbor fights: They’re reality television, but with the magical immediacy of live theater. We are the front-row stoop sitters of the Internet, ready to give wide-eyed attention to couples publicly breaking up across the land.
But what of the fighting couple? What benefit does rooftop feuding bring to them? Airing grievances in a third-party space (not one of your homes) is in some ways sensible; both partners are given equal opportunity to storm out. But it also opens up your fight to public display. It transforms your fight into performance.
Maybe, in addition to prizing the fairness of fighting in a neutral space, some people like to be overheard. Perhaps they are interested in having their fights go viral. And a breakup fight, more than a regular squabble, is particularly suited for posterity: It is the final legacy of your relationship.
Besides, if you’re going to wage an all-out, relationship-destroying war on another person, maybe it’s inspiring to know that other people will hear your side of things. Shout those shouts from the rooftops, make sure you’re angled fairly close to a comedy writer, and let the world experience your breakup.