The most beautiful & sad Craigslist Missed Connection in the history of Love.

Via on Aug 8, 2013

crowded subway

Moral of the story: Talk to her. Talk to him.

Posted: 2013-08-06, 6:50PM EDT

Missed Connection – m4w

I saw you on the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Q train.I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse. We both wore glasses. I guess we still do.

You got on at DeKalb and sat across from me and we made eye contact, briefly. I fell in love with you a little bit, in that stupid way where you completely make up a fictional version of the person you’re looking at and fall in love with that person. But still I think there was something there.

Several times we looked at each other and then looked away. I tried to think of something to say to you — maybe pretend I didn’t know where I was going and ask you for directions or say something nice about your boot-shaped earrings, or just say, “Hot day.” It all seemed so stupid.

At one point, I caught you staring at me and you immediately averted your eyes. You pulled a book out of your bag and started reading it — a biography of Lyndon Johnson — but I noticed you never once turned a page.

My stop was Union Square, but at Union Square I decided to stay on, rationalizing that I could just as easily transfer to the 7 at 42nd Street, but then I didn’t get off at 42nd Street either. You must have missed your stop as well, because when we got all the way to the end of the line at Ditmars, we both just sat there in the car, waiting.

I cocked my head at you inquisitively. You shrugged and held up your book as if that was the reason.

Still I said nothing.

We took the train all the way back down — down through Astoria, across the East River, weaving through midtown, from Times Square to Herald Square to Union Square, under SoHo and Chinatown, up across the bridge back into Brooklyn, past Barclays and Prospect Park, past Flatbush and Midwood and Sheepshead Bay, all the way to Coney Island. And when we got to Coney Island, I knew I had to say something.

Still I said nothing.

And so we went back up.

Up and down the Q line, over and over. We caught the rush hour crowds and then saw them thin out again. We watched the sun set over Manhattan as we crossed the East River. I gave myself deadlines: I’ll talk to her before Newkirk; I’ll talk to her before Canal. Still I remained silent.

For months we sat on the train saying nothing to each other. We survived on bags of skittles sold to us by kids raising money for their basketball teams. We must have heard a million mariachi bands, had our faces nearly kicked in by a hundred thousand break dancers. I gave money to the beggars until I ran out of singles. When the train went above ground I’d get text messages and voicemails (“Where are you? What happened? Are you okay?”) until my phone ran out of battery.

I’ll talk to her before daybreak; I’ll talk to her before Tuesday. The longer I waited, the harder it got. What could I possibly say to you now, now that we’ve passed this same station for the hundredth time? Maybe if I could go back to the first time the Q switched over to the local R line for the weekend, I could have said, “Well, this is inconvenient,” but I couldn’t very well say it now, could I? I would kick myself for days after every time you sneezed — why hadn’t I said “Bless You”? That tiny gesture could have been enough to pivot us into a conversation, but here in stupid silence still we sat.

There were nights when we were the only two souls in the car, perhaps even on the whole train, and even then I felt self-conscious about bothering you. She’s reading her book, I thought, she doesn’t want to talk to me. Still, there were moments when I felt a connection. Someone would shout something crazy about Jesus and we’d immediately look at each other to register our reactions. A couple of teenagers would exit, holding hands, and we’d both think: Young Love.

For sixty years, we sat in that car, just barely pretending not to notice each other. I got to know you so well, if only peripherally. I memorized the folds of your body, the contours of your face, the patterns of your breath. I saw you cry once after you’d glanced at a neighbor’s newspaper. I wondered if you were crying about something specific, or just the general passage of time, so unnoticeable until suddenly noticeable. I wanted to comfort you, wrap my arms around you, assure you I knew everything would be fine, but it felt too familiar; I stayed glued to my seat.

One day, in the middle of the afternoon, you stood up as the train pulled into Queensboro Plaza. It was difficult for you, this simple task of standing up, you hadn’t done it in sixty years. Holding onto the rails, you managed to get yourself to the door. You hesitated briefly there, perhaps waiting for me to say something, giving me one last chance to stop you, but rather than spit out a lifetime of suppressed almost-conversations I said nothing, and I watched you slip out between the closing sliding doors.

It took me a few more stops before I realized you were really gone. I kept waiting for you to reenter the subway car, sit down next to me, rest your head on my shoulder. Nothing would be said. Nothing would need to be said.

When the train returned to Queensboro Plaza, I craned my neck as we entered the station. Perhaps you were there, on the platform, still waiting. Perhaps I would see you, smiling and bright, your long gray hair waving in the wind from the oncoming train.

But no, you were gone. And I realized most likely I would never see you again. And I thought about how amazing it is that you can know somebody for sixty years and yet still not really know that person at all.

I stayed on the train until it got to Union Square, at which point I got off and transferred to the L.

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Posting ID: 3985247459

Posted: 2013-08-06, 6:50PM EDT

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22 Responses to “The most beautiful & sad Craigslist Missed Connection in the history of Love.”

  1. Maria says:

    The worst regret is the might have been

  2. I don't get it. Why didn't he do anything for 60 years?

  3. Carolina Fernandez says:

    I'm sure there is much truth behind this, but I think this is meant to be a metaphor. Lyndon Johnson was President less than 60 years ago.

  4. Jess says:

    This really hits home… There's a guy I've been wanting to talk to for years, however, I can never get out more than a couple of words. We see each other almost every weekday. We live in the same building and also ride the same bus to work. For nearly six years, I've wanted to talk to him, but I just can't do it. He makes me so nervous. I try to think of something to say, but then I wonder if he doesn't want to be bothered or if it's stupid to think he may ever have any interest in me (I'm not nearly as attractive as he is) But then I wonder, why doesn't he ever say anything to me? He has to recognize that we see each other every day and live close by, yet he never says anything either. Is he nervous about talking to me? Is he a jerk? It just makes no sense. Maybe one day I'll find something witty and clever to say, but then again, it almost seems too late. After six years, it seems weird to say something now…

    • @Kokitsuneko says:

      lol you just have to go for it. There's a guy at my work who I fell for and I asked him out after a few months and we went on a date. It was a fine date (until he had to leave). We don't have too much in common and I screwed up, but at least he was really kind and nice to me.

      Just go up to the guy and say, "Hi," and introduce yourself if you haven't already. Then continue, "It's silly but would you like to go out? I would like to get to know you more." If he says "no," then screw him and it's OK if you are rejected. It just means it's not meant to be with you and him. But, instead of hurting more over a "might have been," you have to just DO EET. STOP BEING NERVOUS lol You're going to regret it if you don't make a move!!!

      Even if he says "no," it could actually be a step in your personal growth and especially in courage.

    • BeatFrreak says:

      it's not yet 60yrs so say something. I've come to that crossroad before and I have always held regret for things that could have happened. Made a solemn oath years ago, on a New Year's (if that isn't cliche enough), NO REGRETS!!! Take point, but be prepared for the worst. Pessimist or not, at least you still can sleep knowing you offered yourself to someone you believed in without knowing. Where do you think faith came from? Loved the short story, excellent.

    • Kat says:

      When you die, if you have any regrets, have them for things you HAVE done, not things you haven't. You never know, he might feel the same way . . . . . . .

    • StephieB says:

      My husband and I met at work – I was totally tongue tied when I saw him – I'd almost hold my breath. Eventually we began emailing and having these amazing conversations (I've saved all the emails in print – our love letters)We had lunch eventually (as friends) and I couldn't eat a bite or really talk either…pizza – why did I order that!?! Took a few years – we dated others, timing was never right, he moved to CA…but we found our way to each other. If there is a connection there it will be ok in the end – if not no worries – what have you lost? Might be odd and uncomfortable at first but you never know! Go for it…just jump in – looking silly can also make that guy think of you and smile all day :) If nothing else – it's always good to know your neighbors – comment on something related to your local community/apartment. Best of luck – don't wait – jump in!! :)

  5. nicoleep says:

    This is a beautiful story, but I think it's just the love of an idea. If there was a real connection between these two there would no fear.

  6. My Sociopath says:

    This is not literally a Craigslist ad. It is a metaphor about a long marriage where the words that should have been said were never said. Time is passing and the couple is growing old together. When she gets off the train, she dies and the husband is regretting all the things he never said to her.

  7. randolphr says:

    That was a fine short story ….. I wish I knew who the writer was …..

    …. Hell, I wish it was me.

    …. and why do I slightly ache ?

  8. @nick_gaeta says:

    This is a beautiful piece. Not only for the direct impression of two strangers who may be in love, but also a metaphor about how we go through our lives without truly listening to ourselves and doing what we FEEL is right.

  9. Ian says:

    Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. The grass is not allways greener. Better make the effort before the effort doesn’t matter!

  10. Alicia says:

    This piece was both beautiful, and heartbreaking. Go for it, speak up, communicate, and don’t let love and the security that it may bring, pass you by. Once you have it, don’t take it for granted.

  11. Boon says:

    FYI, this is plagarized from Jonathan Goldstein's CBC radio show, "Wiretap".
    Episode: "Being Invisible", season 10, original air date Sep 20 2013.

  12. Amrita Singh Johal says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I think it makes us all think about how we wished we would have at least said something just to get to know that person so we don’t have to always wonder in our minds: What if…? I read alot of books, so I do know that this is just a story as the writer mentions the part about texts and and the cell phone, how can this go on for 60 years??? -That was the clue! Interesting though. Thanks for a good read and to teach us to take the time to get to know our neighbors and people.

  13. Tom says:

    If you want to talk to a strange woman on the subway in NYC, be sure to wear sufficient body armor. You're likely to get punched in the face. The writer can just as easily have changed this story to 'Every day for sixty years I said hello to you, and each time you frowned, rolled your eyes, and laughed.'

    • Lisa says:

      Spoken just like someone who doesn't know what it's like to fear for your safety in public or navigate countless strangers who feel entitled to your attention.

  14. Lisa says:

    I realize that this is a metaphone, a magical realist story, but — I'm sorry — if a woman pulls out a book on public transit, it's because she doesn't want to be bothered.

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