Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Missed Connection

Betsy: We met Monday night on the R train to Brooklyn. You had just moved from L.A. and got off at Union Street. I was too shy/dumb/whatever to ask for your contact info. Let's keep the conversation going--I learned a lot in just a few stops.

I posted my first "Missed Connection" notice on craigslist today.

I know, I know. Dream on, you pathetic loser. If you get any response at all in the next seven days it won't be from the cute girl you can't stop thinking about, but some degenerate ex-convict ratcatcher with a speargun for a hand and a rusty water spigot growing out of his forehead.

But what else can I do? I don't know any psychics, I can't read tea leaves and obviously I don't have the brains or the cajones to actually ask a woman for her number.

Betsy was the third strike out in two days. The first one, Angelica--she of the black bikini and pierced navel--I think I can find, as she hangs out in the same spot along Shore Road (in her black bikini, natch). I spoke to her last week for the first time, after lusting after her from afar for most of the summer.

I finally got my chance to speak to her when a group of African-Americans (a rare sight in Bay Ridge) conducted a wedding right there in the park. I felt obliged to move when they came near my spot to take the pictures, as I was sweating in my bathing suit while they were all sweating in gowns and tuxedoes.

I felt even further obliged to use this as an excuse to strike up a conversation with Angelica.

"If I had only known," I said as I walked by her, "I would have worn a tie."

All right, that's no prize winner, but it got us talking. I found out she was originally from Greece and lived a few blocks from here. I asked her if she was going to stick around and try to catch the bouquet, but she laughed and said she didn't need the complications.

I didn't have the nerve to ask for her phone number, but I lamely promised I'd see her around.

Of course now that I plan to go down there again on Sunday to find her, you can bet that in the interim she'll have gotten a sex change operation and joined the Swedish Navy.

The second one was on Monday morning at Food City. This woman was buying a huge bottle of water, so I made some lame joke I can't begin to remember, and we started having a nice friendly chat.

Of course that doesn't mean we're going to run off to the Canary Islands together and have quintuplets, but, hell, the greatest relationships of all time started with two people talking.

But no, I let this one walk out the door while I stopped to make a stupid inquiry about the return of the store's sushi chef--like I really had to know that. Forget the woman, forget the potential companionship, it's raw fish and rice I need. Banzai, nitwit.

Betsy was the last one. I got on the R train at Whitehall Street last night and luckily spotted an empty end seat. The young woman in the middle seat was about to butt-slide to the corner pocket, but I was quicker and hurled my keester downward. I knew I wouldn't get the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Subway Chivarly, but I was beat.

As we went along I got the urge to speak with her. She was cute, had on this nice green blouse; she seemed like good company. When she looked to see what station we were stopping at, I quickly told her it was Lawrence Street and that DeKalb Avenue was next. (You got that, Walter Raleigh?)

And so we talked. I found out Betsy--got her first name anyway--had just moved here from L.A., a mirror image of my fantasy relocation to the Left Coast. She came here for a job, most of her family is in New York, and she's been to the city enough times to have seen the sites and not be put off by the upcoming cold weather.

She was cool. She told me lived along the F line, but was riding my train to go to some food coop at Union Street. And when her stop came up, what did Sir Walter Schmuckhead do? Why, he said take care, Betsy, and watched this fabulous woman walk out of his life. And you wonder why I never got married...

That was it for me. I went to craigslist's "Missed Connections" page, whose authors I once mocked with unrestrained glee, and wrote up a message, pleading with Betsy to give me another chance, to keep the conversation going.

Then I shot my posting into cyberspace, where it landed with all the other should haves, wished I hads and sorry I didn'ts and prayed for a miracle. I guess the whole section proves I'm not the only dope in town, but that's hardly comforting.

I know it's ridiculous to hope for any response. The moment is gone, all that exciting magic has evaporated. I can't believe she'd be interested in contacting me even if by some miracle she does happen to see my ad.

Somebody please pound me with anvil, banish me to a Wisconsin suburb, make me join the Young Republicans. Do something to punish me for this rampant, subhuman streak of stupidity.

Rejection hurts, but not trying is the worst pain of all. So from now on, I vow I'm going to seal the deal. I'm going to ask for the phone number, e-mail address, latitude and longitude, some way of getting in touch with them.

The women have every right to say no, go to hell, get a job, and douse me with pepper spray if they want. I'll just say thanks ever so much and have you got any oregano to go with that? At least I'll have tried, damn it.

Oh, well, there's always Angelica in the black bikini. I'm going to go down to her spot in the park on Sunday, and if she's wearing a beard and a sailor suit I'm going to be one angry son-of-a-bitch.

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