Missed Connections

“You had a guitar. I had a blue hat. We exchanged glances and smiles on the subway platform. I pretended to read my New Yorker, but I couldn’t concentrate. You got on the Q and I stayed to wait for the B. You were lovely.”

I love reading the missed connections on craigslist and other sites, thinking about how people really do sometimes believe in the fleeting eye contact they shared with a stranger, or believe that they understand something about someone simply through their clothes and body language. And I like that missed connections exist for the sole purpose of, well, connecting to another person. They are never malicious.

This blog, where illustrator Sophie Blackall creates illustrations to match missed connections she reads, is so charming.

It inspires many trains of thought for me…

As in the one at the top, I love the little bits of honesty like “but I couldn’t concentrate,” that result from someone putting something anonymously out into the world. Or as in the one below, the tenderness that would never be expressed face-to-face with a stranger. I like knowing that people think such tender things as they walk around in the world.

“Phoenix w/ crutches: I would like to carry you around piggy back until you can walk again.”

I like that Sophie creates art using material that is already out there in the world waiting to be given a visual form. I mean I suppose that process is actually intrinsic to art, but I like that it is emotions and thoughts coming from someone else originally, and she interprets them. It’s interesting that it’s not an introspective or self-centered art. As she says of the missed connections, “Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly, I’m trying to pin a few of them down.”

It’s also entertaining how people describe themselves. Sometimes the missed connections start off sweet and then the person says something like, “and I was that toned, attractive brunette guy,” and you’re like, “who would read that arrogant statement and want to reestablish the connection?”

…and also thinking about how the way the one person experienced the interaction could be so totally different from the way the other person perceived it. The writer may have thought it was love, and the sought-after may have just been looking off into space and accidentally made eye contact! Who was it that said that no two people will ever experience anything the same way?

“Remember? Uptown A train. Sunday around 9pm. I was the black dude reading Bukowski’s Post Office. You were reading the Arts and Leisure section. You passed wind rather loudly and started chuckling. I’d like to see you again. The flatulance wasn’t a turn-off.”

Or, as in the case of the one above, maybe one way you know you’re meant to be with someone is that you DO experience things similarly. Maybe this guy was the only other person on the train that thought it was funny that this girl passed gas and then chuckled at it, and he knew they were soul mates!

One Response to “Missed Connections”
  1. Nichalovesyou says:

    Well Hello!
    I came across your blog through Sophie Blackall's Missed Connections NYC ( I adore her).
    I noticed that you said you didn't have many readers, so I dropped by. And, for the record, I love it. Sophie Calle rocks as well. Keep it up!

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