Craigslist Missed Connections romanticize what would happen if only you’d gotten a chance to speak to that attractive stranger you eye-fucked on your morning commute. Posts like “You wear an orange knit cap” or “Red lips and nose ring on the Q train” beg the question “do you remember me too?” and “please write back.” I’m here to say no. Do not write back. Do not even think of writing back, unless of course, you want to end up like me.
He had dark features, hazel eyes, and a grey beanie. The guy looked like a hot, young, Lou Diamond Phillips à la Stand and Deliver (minus the pony tail) and needless to say, I was into it.
We started talking on the 6 train after a little boy dressed as a lion boarded the train and the guy, we’ll call him “Lou”, started singing “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King to him. After the first “heema haw na heem a nim a haway” I was sold.
I got off the train at 23rd street and Lou walked out with me. He had just been picnicking in Central Park and was now heading to a capoeira class. As it was 1pm on a Tuesday, this should have been a red flag but I was too busy comparing that moment to the movie Serendipity to notice. Instead I offered, “Ooh. Workin’ on your fitness, I respect that,” and we then parted ways planning to hang sometime.
I’d recently become more discerning when giving my number out to strange men since I had a bad experience with a middle-aged Nigerian cabdriver two years ago. After the subway exchange, I texted my friend who replied, “Aww, that’s so romantic. Just make sure your first date is in a well-lit, public area.” “Ha!” I thought, “That’s silly.” It wasn’t.
Lou texted me twenty minutes later asking to hang that night. “Wow, homeboy is not playing around, ” I thought. “Can’t today, but maybe next week?” I responded. He followed me on Instagram that night and I received eight notifications of him liking my pictures from up to a year ago. “Okay, maybe he’s just a little eager,” I thought.
The next day I woke up to a text, “Hey beautifull [sic], what are you up 2? SO glad we met yesterday. I feel like some things are just meant 2 be :-)” It was at this point that I realized that shit was about to get weird, and not in a sexual way, more like a he’s-going-to-come-to-my-tenement-house-in-Bushwick-and-light-me-on-fire kind of way.
After I ignored him, the texts became increasingly frantic and emotional, “I’m not giving up on U!” and a few days later, “Were U just in the grocery store on Morgan? We must b neighbors :-P” And I was. I was there. I was really freaking there and it was petrifying.
A few months passed and I didn’t hear from Lou. Maybe even stalkers take the holiday off. Then yesterday on the subway I looked up and there he was, sitting across from me squinting down at a book, which I can only assume was Strangling People With Rope: For Dummies.
I quickly got up and switched cars and when I got out of the subway I was greeted with this text:
Well, my days are officially numbered. To my dogs, Taco and Nacho, Mommy loves you. And to everyone else, if you see a Lou look-alike it is probably going be less like his 2009 made-for-TV-movie Love Takes Wing, and more like Law & Order: SVU-Are-About-To-Get-Killed. And that’s why “missed connections” are missed for a reason.