I search the “Missed Connections” subsection under “Personals” on Craigslist- not because I’m looking for someone specific, but just because sometimes I like to read the heartfelt confessions that are displayed on there. It is the 21st century version of a message in a bottle in a way; a shot in the dark at someone seeing your post and responding. I’m sipping my coffee even though it is well past midnight and my extreme loneliness does not scare me. On the contrary, I’ve always felt most comfortable being alone, but I long for the passionate relationships that others form. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to feel something for someone one of these days. I have this deep and probing fear that I won’t ever find my soul mate, the one person that I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with.
One specific post catches my eye. A woman is looking for a man. He was the cheese guy at Whole Foods and she found his cheese knowledge to be “super attractive,” because he helped her pick out the perfect cheese. She wished that she had a lot of money to spend on fancy cheese so she could visit him again, but she doesn’t. I think that this is the funniest and also most naïve thing I’ve read in a long time. These are both good things. I hope to God that they end up together so they can tell their kids that story and glance lovingly at each other as they chuckle at the silly circumstance. I find it quite nice to imagine a bunch of someones out there bumping into a bunch of other someones and finding refuge in the shelter that their love provides. Living vicariously through people is all that I really know.
A life of numbing detachment is both unnerving and stress-free and I’m still trying to figure out which side wins out amongst my inner turmoil. Most days I feel as if I am having an out-of-body experience; I am simply an observer of the life of Marisa and have no control over what she does or how she feels. During these desperate times of need, I require signs that I am alive and that I am not a figment of someone else’s imagination-their childhood imaginary friend. These are the fleeting moments in which I text an ex, who, of course I never truly loved, but helped me to escape my unquiet mind nonetheless, or call up my mom to make sure she still loves me. Otherwise, I am pleasantly cold. Above all else, I fear rejection and abandonment so for now, I will hide under my covers, cuddle with my dog, and read a book in which the main character takes a chance.
Or maybe, just maybe…I’ll put one foot in front of the other, look up and see where my unconscious has led me, and ask a stranger an examining question with no hang-ups or selfish intentions, no hidden motives or self-serving purpose. Perhaps he will walk away, but there’s a chance that he might look me in the eyes and bare his soul.
—story by MARISA CRANE