This is Missed, an entry originally posted on December 15, 2003 in the blog In chronological order, before this was The Loft. After this comes Progress. If you're lost, I recommend the about page.

Other destinations:


Lately my obsession has been this place called missed connections. It’s a part of craigslist. Craigslist, if you’re not familiar with it, is a website, started (not surprisingly) by a guy named Craig, for people to find each other, whatever that means. Buyers finding sellers, employers finding employees, givers-away finding pickers-up. Whatever.

But then there is missed connections. In a way it’s the same, but sadder. The typical post is only two or three sentences, but each is a story, in the way that personals and yearbook notes and messages left in dryers are stories:

“Your smile was amazing. I couldn’t stop checking you out while I was in there on Sunday. What a way to brighten my day. Thanks!”

So-called confessional writing has long been popular—writing about this or that illicit encounter, whispering in the reader’s ear. People go for it, it’s exciting. These are like little anti-confessionals, broadcasting that one good thing that happened to you, hoping beyond hope that your message will be heard.

“To the nice blond guy who told me my tire was going flat — thank you!!! I made it to the gas station in time and they filled it up with air for me, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it, just a slow leak of some sort. Thanks for chasing after me to tell me!”

“You are beautiful. I apologise for staring at you but you are very pretty. You smiled at me. Write back if you get this message.”

Can it happen? Will “six degrees of separation” come through for these people?

“The 70 bus to Cambridge around 8:15am - I ride the bus every morning between 8 and 8:30, but have never seen you - I’d certainly have remembered. Somewhere between the river and Central Square you sneezed. I blessed you (haha), but wished I’d have said more. Drop me a line if you happen to read this.”

“June/July 2001—I first saw your intense blue eyes in the bagel shop (w/ the steam coming out the top?) near the Park station. We got on the same car, you got off at Central & we walked to Harvard.”

“You were working in Martha’s Vineyard as a stonemason, had traveled to India teaching English, and planned to go to Marlboro for journalism. You brought your skateboard but I didn’t let you go until you were to have dinner with your dad. You are the most attractive man I have ever met; I learned how my heart could turn somersaults looking into your eyes. I was interning outside of Boston that summer, blonde hair, I got your number, we talked once, but then my phone was stolen.”

This big tangle we call the Web, it may yet be good for something. Let’s hope it can fix some missed connections.

« The Loft | Home | Progress »