This weekend I was shopping for a birthday present and I came across a book of poems. No, not the sonnets from Shakespeare or Pablo Neruda but of a more secret type of love. A book of love poems from people who wrote out their lusts and desires anonymously for the world to see in the deep parts of Craigslist missed connections.
What is Craigslist missed connections? Have you ever walked by a person and made eye contact but didn’t feel comfortable enough professing your love right there and right then? Have you ever made small talk with that guy in your uber pool and really hit it off but instead of giving your number, you got out of the car and walked up to your apartment to go be by yourself instead of in love? Have you ever sat on the library steps, watching the sunset, and saw someone sitting a few steps down, and thought about talking to them? And as you kind of muster up some courage to maybe get up and walk over and say hi, you see someone else walk up to them, meet up for that study date they must have coordinated, and watch both of them disappear into the abyss of books and then seriously thought about what platform to reach them on? Well, put your missed connection on Craigslist, in hopes that the person had the same idea to also check it to connect with you. Alan Feuer collected these poor aching hearts and the truest words that fell out of their fingers and published it as poetry. This book of poems is so genuine and truly speaks to how we all feel lonely and not connected and how many connections we miss everyday. These people felt a connection so deep and so powerful that in a desperate attempt they posted an ad on Craigslist in hopes that the person also felt a connection so deep and so powerful that they also got the idea to check Craigslist. That this person felt enough of a connection to warrant responding to their description while praying that there’s not a murderer on the other side!
As I was reading these poems, I thought about the one time I scanned the Craigslist missed connections for about three weeks too long in hopes that someone that I met had posted on there. About nine months ago my friends and I decided to go to the House of Yes for the House of Love. The night of the event I went on a quick date, left him, and met up with my friends to transform into my blonde wigged alter persona and get freaky. We went into a group of four and when midnight hit my friend and his friend left because she had to wake up at five the next morning. So I was left with my friend to dance and wait in lines for rooms we would never get into. As the night went on it got really crowded but some guy approached me and started talking to me. I was bopping along to the music and we chatted a little bit about work, the scene, him trying to find his friends. I pointed to my friend and said I was with him and he asked me if he was my boyfriend. I told him he wasn’t and we continued talking about traveling and life.
Then it got so crowded and between the crowd, the dance floor, him leaving to get a drink or meet whoever, we were separated. My friend and I danced a little while longer, got a cab home, and he asked me why I didn’t get his number and I asked myself the same thing. We had hit it off, right? We didn’t kiss or anything. Honestly, even the conversation was fairly generic. But he was cute! And I was interested enough that I didn’t fake that my friend was my boyfriend. I got into a deep thought about this and decided that we must have had a connection. Maybe he thought the same thing, knew I wore a blonde wig and so he would never be able to recognize me in real life, and maybe, just maybe, would post a missed connection on Craigslist. I scoured the Brooklyn missed connections in hopes to see something. Something like, ‘you were wearing a blonde wig and fur vest. I thought we had a connection. Tell me where I most recently was on vacation so I know it’s you.’ Or ‘Your blonde hair bounced, as you bopped to the DJ. I was in a suit. You told me that guy wasn’t your boyfriend but maybe you lied. Anyways, respond to this if you want to get to know each other. Just a shot in the dark.’ But nothing. I did see some other lost lovers trying to connect with someone they had met that night at House of Love. I wished them well. I wished them to connect in a way that I didn’t.
Why did I think to go to Craigslist? Looking back, we had a pretty average conversation. There were no sparks and no longing. But yet, I checked. Maybe I was lonely. Maybe I thought he was lonely. Maybe I thought he thought I disappeared into the crowd. And I could have posted something myself, but I didn’t. But yet here we are. He made enough of an impression that, even though I forgot his name, I’m here writing about him. And so, House of Yes man, in hopes that you stumble on this blog and recognize that night and know that some girl out there wrote a blog post about a conversation you guys had at a club, I leave you with this, “I love you as certain dark things should be loved, in secret, between the shadow [of the internet] and the soul [of this blog post]” – Pablo Neruda.