MYSTERY SOLVED: Who Is the Author Behind the Most Beautiful Craigslist Missed Connection of All Time?

MCQT.jpg
derekskey via flickr
Craigslist is menagerie of oddities both gorgeous and grotesque. You can find anything on there: fan fiction about your favorite band, a record store, organs, a baby, certain death, even love.

This posting appeared Tuesday in the New York City Missed Connections section, sandwiched between R Train, bet 5:30-6:00 pm - m4w ("You're beautiful, and deserve better.") and to L.S. - m4w - 23 (go to fucking hell) ("you fucking whore, u lost out on the best thing that has ever happened to you.").

It's the most beautiful Missed Connection ever written.

On Twitter, where the posting has been making rounds, it's invoked comparisons to Kafka and Garcia Marquez--but so far, the author has remained anonymous.

We must know who wrote it--was it you? Email us.

UPDATE: Thursday, August 8, 9:46am MYSTERY SOLVED.

Well, that didn't take long. An anonymous tipster pointed us to a few tweets that suggest the author is one Raphael Bob-Waksberg.



Bob-Waksberg was indeed the first person to tweet a link to the missed connection. We've reached out to him for confirmation.

Here is the post:

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.

Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart

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19 comments
Jack_Foreigner
Jack_Foreigner

Hey, nice!

Just catching up with this item.  I'm curious what responses the author's gotten.

genuinemediaco
genuinemediaco

The train is just the vehicle. It's the platform that carries the relationship in the story. The story reflects how a couple can spend 60 years together and so many things are left unsaid or they really don't know one another - they live parallel lives in the same space. And her getting off the train is her death.

tonscual
tonscual

It is unbelievable how some dumbasses still wonder how they survived with skittles and all the rest 'blind points' or 'missing information'. Dudes, I wonder if you can ever read and comprenhend a whole idea instead of trying to read a letter at a time and not losing the next word.

The essence of this text is beautiful.

DJHeavySoul
DJHeavySoul

Is he pretty much saying the NYC has fxxed off to Brooklyn, and that he should've done something to change it before it all eventually went away?

Richard Woulfe
Richard Woulfe

I found it so boring I couldn't get passed first couple of paragraphs, I think billing as the greatest missed connection maybe just a little hype. I like brevity in my missed connections, this is the "War and Peace" of missed connections.

joeyboots
joeyboots

OK I understand they lived on skittles from the kids selling them on the train but how did they sh*t for 60 years - between the cars? A lot of important information is lacking in this story.

PosterNutbag
PosterNutbag

I don't get it... is it the future or a dream?

lotym
lotym

@tonscual It's a good question though. How did they survive? That is a big hanging curiosity. It may be beautiful, but definitely not realistic. Thus not believable, which cuts down on some of the beauty.

titledivine
titledivine

@Nancy Queenofsheba Endy To you and to everyone commenting on this article: you have missed the point of a missed connection, of writing, and of the human soul.

UuuuBetcha
UuuuBetcha

@Richard Woulfe this coming from someone who has probably listened to a few 35-minute jam-band songs today

titledivine
titledivine

@Richard Woulfe If you think an 1000 word essay is too long to read, I hope to god you never pick up War and Peace or any novel for that matter. Also, if you need to have the point of this missed connection riff explained to you, maybe you need to put a little more value in reading something and thinking about it for more than half a second. Also, *past.

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