Everyone you meet is afraid of something….

loves something and has lost something. ~ H. Brown

A story of 2 lost souls who may yet reunite.

He wrote this Craiglist message and posted it, hoping she might read it.


“In the winter of 1989 I transferred to NYU from the University of Southern Maine, intent upon studying poetry, nursing youthful fantasies of literary success.

I was terribly nervous about making friends — in addition to submerging myself in a completely unfamiliar, and overwhelming urban environment, I was terribly shy, often displaying a reluctant timidity towards strangers.

You lived in the same dorm building as me — a mishmash of dimly lit and shabbily painted converted office space on West 10th street.

You, and a small handful of high school friends, had come to college together from Chicago. You had red hair, your favorite band was The Replacements, you were studying French, and we were introduced by my new roommate.

You and your Chicago friends were nice enough to take me out on the town several times in those first few weeks and in the process we struck up a casual romance — although the youthful pressure to keep things “casual” often yanked at the oversensitive ventricles of my heart.

It was on a Sunday evening, when a small group of friends watching Brewster’s Millions, that one of our friends proposed the bet: the first person in the room to get married would be awarded $30 — the cost of a New York State marriage license.

The next morning, inspired as much by the novelty of the bet as my affection for you, I asked if you wanted to go to City Hall and get married — you said yes.

The Justice of the Peace looked like Hank Williams Jr. and reeked of whiskey. We signed the marriage license, and on our walk back uptown to Washington Square, we ducked into bar after bar, brandishing our new union as a means of getting free drinks.

Half-drunk, and half-in love, we returned to the dorm room, where our roommates, laughing through their disbelief, pooled together thirty dollars.

Fearing our family’s reactions — three days later we had the marriage annulled, and again, this time with paperwork indicating our “separation,” managed to get some free drinks out of the deal. For the rest of the semester I slept in your bed, jokingly referring to you as my ex-wife.

Two weeks before the end of the semester, I received word that my estranged father — an ex-pat living in rural Japan, was dying of cancer of the esophagus.

I left immediately to go to his bedside, watching him teeter on life and death for the next six months. As this was pre-internet, and my father’s village lacked even telephone lines, we lost touch.

That brings me to today. This morning, the L train was typically hectic — car after car was so packed to the brim with people, that I was waiting patiently for a less crowded train to board.

At one moment, looking up from my newspaper, we made eye contact — you were packed in like a sardine among the other morning commuters. I saw the flash of recognition in your eyes, our jaws dropping in disbelief.

I stayed in Japan for another eight years, before returning to the United States where I built a decent career writing, not poems, but teleplays. I have lived all over the country, but only recently moved back to New York. I am once divorced, and have two daughters.

When I saw you, I felt all those years folding in on themselves, and have now spent the entire morning wondering what your life is like. It is perhaps an absurd suggestion, but would you maybe like to get a cup of coffee and catch up on a quarter century of life?”


About jeb610

Taking one day at a time, and enjoying life in the heart of Dixie. People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it – walk. There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
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10 Responses to Everyone you meet is afraid of something….

  1. niirmala says:

    Oohh beautiful. Go ahead.. give that cup of coffee. 🙂

  2. Awww! wonderful… I agree with niirmala… get that cup of coffee.

  3. Annette says:

    This is one of the loveliest things I have seen in quite some time. Thank you.

  4. Barneysday says:

    I’m wondering if anything ever comes from these posts? I’ve read quite a few over the years, and have thought a time or two of trying it to reunite and “catch up” with someone from my past. But I’ve never heard of any outcomes. What a story that would make…

  5. kat54 says:

    I hope they get to have that cup of coffee….Or maybe even meet for lunch. You never know what the outcome may be. Love this story. 🙂

  6. kerbey says:

    Amazing. More so if she is single.

  7. andshelaughs says:

    Reblogged this on andshelaughs and commented:
    In honour of the impending February 14th.
    By now we all have been scarred and marked forever by love, and loss. Romance is something for the ages, no matter how young, how old, or how tossed around in the sea of emotion we have been, I like to think that there’s still love out there just waiting to be had….

  8. "Occam Blade" says:

    Incomparable…timeless…serendipitous and wishful that it would happen to me…

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