I have this secret guilty habit I perform each day, somewhere between my first cup of coffee and the final knot in my tie. I’ve checked the day’s headlines, drawn up a lengthy “to-do” list, and fretted over the always-empty bank account. And just before I motivate myself to finally get up and get on with the day, I do it. I read the “women for women” craigslist missed connections. Every last one.
Why? I wish I freaking knew. I’m working three jobs, starting a genderqueer organization, playing music shows, maintaining two blogs, and trying to write a novel; I don’t have time for something so… so… ridiculous?
Sometimes I think I am hopeful that I will show up on one, that my dream lady will have noticed my freshly-bleached sneakers and carefully tipped hat and travel to all ends of the internet to find me again. (And she will actually live right down the street from me and work at my favorite coffee shop- you know, she’ll be that token cute girl who works on Saturday mornings, a genius grad student who exhausts herself to pay off tuition and looks best when she looks like a mess and…)
Or maybe I read them because doing so makes me feel like a better person. If you’ve read “missed connections,” you’re aware that most of them are vaguely nostalgic and cruel accounts of past loves. So-an-so regrets that she didn’t commit to “M” because she just wasn’t ready, and now she is ready but “M” has moved on and that means life sucks. Or “C” hopes you are fucking happy with that stupid ugly girl you chose over her. I skim past the trash talk and shake my head. I’d never pull that. What a catch I am. Man, if this poor girl just met perfect little old me…
Perhaps I read them for the reason I tell people I do: I’m curious. Human nature is so darn interesting! This is just me observing, like a child peeking across a courtyard to other apartment windows. Are they doing what I do? What lengths will people go to for lost love? Or risk for “love” that left the train a stop too early?
I think that in some way, I wonder if my kindred spirit is crawling across craigslist pages and stomping through city like I am, someone who understands that “radical” and “romantic” aren’t antonyms. And I will catch her, just this once, in the middle of an embarrassing and honest attempt to win over someone she does not know. And I will feel a little bit warmer for it, knowing that outside of my ever-growing queer Chicago community, there are some radical queers susceptible to the kind of love that makes us turn nerdpants.