The New York Times wants you to know, first and foremost, that The New York Times is sorry. Okay? It’s sorry. God, it’s sorry. You can’t begin to imagine just how sorry The New York Times is. The New York Times woke up this morning tasting regret. Please—just listen. The Times wants to apologize and put this behind us.
The Times regrets everything. All of it. The whole goddamn night, from start to finish. The Times is so sorry. The Times can’t quite put into words just how sorry The Times is. The Times wants to apologize. To you, to everyone.
The Times had been drinking, though The Times knows that of course that’s no excuse. Yes, a lot. Okay. Okay! It was a lot. It was a lot. It was too much, even. It was a party. People drink at a party. That’s what makes it a party. Everyone was drinking.
Right. Right. No one else drank that much, and no one else said…that. You’re right. You’re right. No, The Times doesn’t know why The Times felt like it had to drink twice as much as everyone else. The Times didn’t realize.
The Times… The Times had no idea that any of that would happen. Really. It’s a thin excuse, The Times knows, but it’s the truth.
None of this is making The Times happy, you realize. The Times isn’t exactly having a great time over here, tracking everyone down and rehashing the whole thing. The Times didn’t plan any of this; The Times is just as upset about this as you are. The Times is sure as hell paying for it now, isn’t it? You think The Times is enjoying this? The Times feels like human garbage. Half The Times’ friends won’t even speak to The Times. And now, The Times has to crawl to everyone in town, apologizing and listening to a hell of a lot of sanctimony and trying to make amends when The Times doesn’t even remember what everyone’s so upset about—
Of course you have the right to be upset. That’s not what The Times is saying at all. You’re willfully misunderstanding The Times.
No, no, of course not, The Times didn’t mean that. The Times is sorry for saying that, of course. And The Times realizes that it wasn’t good. It was one of those nights where everything just got out of hand. The Times doesn’t know when, exactly.
Surely there was someone else there who was worse. It can’t just have been The Times. Not the whole night, anyway. What about the curly-haired guy? The one with the loud voice and the collared shirt? When did he leave? The Times couldn’t have been worse than him. There’s no way The Times was as bad as him.
It’s a matter of perspective. You’ve had nights like that. Everyone’s had nights like that. The curly-haired guy’s had nights like that, even if it wasn’t that night. Everybody has nights like that, and it doesn’t mean anything, for Christ’s sake, it doesn’t mean anything about the state of your relationships or what kind of a person you are, or anything about your character. Why does this have anything to do with The Times’ character? You know The Times loves all of you. The Times respects you.
Of course The Times cares about how you all feel. How can you ask that?
That was a joke. A joke! The Times hadn’t even been drinking when it said that. You want a retraction? You want an official correction? Fine. The Times regrets the error. The Times regrets ever opening its mouth or trying to make a goddamn joke. If The Times had known any of this was going to happen, The Times would have stayed home and never said a word to anybody.
No, The Times isn’t trying to say it wasn’t that bad. The Times isn’t trying to downplay anything. The Times told you, it regrets the error. The errors. The Times doesn’t know. All of the errors. All of them. It regrets everything. It does. It does. You wouldn’t believe how The Times felt when it woke up this morning. It was awful. Everything came rushing back in tiptoe order, each newly recovered memory waited for the last to sink in, then knocked and entered carefully and reminded The Times anew of what a monster The Times was.
Can The Times just have a sip of that water? Please? Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Okay, thank you.
No, The Times doesn’t think that it’s becoming a habit. What is that even supposed to mean?
That was almost a year ago. Jesus.
What do you mean, The Times tried to drive last night? The Times would never. Look. The Times is perfectly willing to admit that The Times has pulled some pretty harrowing shit in the past. In the past, though! Look—
No. No. Are you serious? You’re not—you’re not joking? Because that would be really fucked up.
Ah, um, well, then The Times regrets that too. Wow. The Times is so sorry that it said that. Did that.
You know that’s not what The Times is usually like. You should know that. The Times has offered to run a correction, and then things can just go back to normal. We can all go back to normal. To the way things were. Are. Are, are. Not were. Things are not like this, normally.
It’s… Christ, it’s been a long day. It’s been a hell of a long day, and The Times is so tired. You look tired, too. Maybe that’s what we both need, is just a rest. Can we rest, please? Can we just rest?
You’re right. You’re right. The Times knows that, it does. The Times doesn’t know why it said that. To you, to anybody there.
You don’t mean that. You don’t mean that, The Times knows you don’t mean that.
You should go, then. The Times will just have to regret that too.