round and round...

Monday, July 11, 2005

Missed Connections... all the time

I was coming home on the F train last night and a man sat next to me. He smiled and offered some pleasantry when he sat, like "thanks" or "excuse me" and I said "sure thing" or something of the like. He was an attractive guy, late twenties/early thirties, dressed pretty hipster-like but not trying too hard, easy going manner. Seemed like someone I might be friends with. I was staring off into space straight ahead but I could feel him glancing in my direction, not in a creepy way, more like he just wanted to say hello. For some reason I resisted that interaction. I didn't look his way. I kept looking ahead and avoiding him. Why did I do that? We, as New Yorkers especially, tend to go out of our way to avoid interaction, connection with people. It's a wonder anyone meets anyone else in this city. We go about our day, not making eye contact, trying not to get in other peoples' way (well, that's me, seems like most everyone else just wants me to get out of theirs judging from the number of times I have to step to the side to allow someone else to pass on the sidewalk compared to the number of times that people move for me).

This guy and I had some obvious connection, not in any way deeper than 2 people on a train who should have greeted one another, but it was something nonetheless. And I sat there denying any kind of conversation. It was strange. I'm not one to shy away from people for the most part, but for some reason I didn't interact with this man. He got up to leave several stops later and I almost got up and leaned out to say to him, "I'm sorry, I should have said hello." I didn't, though. Maybe I avoided it because I didn't want him to think I was hitting on him or something. I don't really have a good explanation. All I know is that this man seemed to have a kind soul and I missed my chance to just say hi. Weird.

Craigslist has a "missed connections" section that serves as an "I saw you" sort of thing. Funny how the missed connections I think of are the ones of an innocent, friendly nature. The ones on a human level, person to person. The ones we all miss whether we know it or not.

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