Wanted: near misses and a little hope for love

I’m writing to you from the green line, one of the many trains that cuts Boston into manageable pieces for a small-town girl like me. I’ve recently discovered what a great place trains are for thinking: so loud that the noise merges into a kind of static quiet, so busy that peace wins out. It’s the public made private. Sort of.

I Saw You I first read the comic anthology I Saw You. . . before my life in Boston was anything more than a story I told myself. I had recently discovered the simple voyeuristic pleasure of reading Missed Connections on Craigslist. At that time, I was mostly faithful to the ads in Chicago, preferring to read about those lovelorn souls in my nearest metropolis. I read about true love that lasted for five stops and then haunted a commuter for days. I read about a soulmate realized as change was placed in the palm of a coffee junkie by a cute barista with a pierced nose.

City postings are better not just because they’re more abundant, but also because more happens here. The exposure to life and strangers is incessant. It’s rare for me travel from home to work without brushing hands with a stranger as we reach for the same handle on the T. Or to not exchange a cautious awkward glance with the lady across from me as a man with knee-length gray hair shoves his way on to the packed train, seats himself in the middle of the crowd, and begins his meditation chant—now that is a moment.

The city is a place where you can fall in love 100 times a day if you’re so inclined. If you leave your heart open in a place this busy the whole world can get in.

shopping cart I Saw You. . . was created and edited by Julia Wertz, a Brooklyn-based artist. Wertz posted a blog calling for submissions based on Missed Connections ads after becoming hooked on them while looking for a job. She says of her fascination, “I became intrigued with the concept of a subculture of people who feel they missed something great because they didn’t have the courage to speak up. I found it even more peculiar that there were many people who think that strangers they spotted in a passing car, or on the other side of the bus must surely be the loves of their loves.” Missed Connections can dull our jaded edges; they can remind us of the power of hope in the hopeless. After selling a mini-comic of a few of the submissions at an Alternative Press Expo, Julia got a call from New York (she lived in San Francisco at the time) and the next thing she knew she was in NYC eating lunch and signing on with a publisher for her anthology.

The book contains comics inspired by real-life missed connections from Craigslist and local papers by talented artists in all stages of fame and recognition. I Saw You. . . is divided into six parts that cover the whole range of sudden love: the almosts, the painfully awkward, the borderline stalker, and the not even close. The range of contributors makes for such a wide spectrum of artistic styles and levels of creepiness that there’s a heartache in there for everyone.

Part 1: Just One More Chance. . .
Part 2: Love on the Road
Part 3: Coffee-Shop Crushes
Part 4: More (or Less) than a Missed Connection
Part 5: Unhappily Ever After
Part 6: Love in Unexpected Places

coffee It’s my belief that love or happiness isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime chance. Love isn’t a comet that only comes around every 300 years. It’s not something you miss out on because you don’t look up in time. It’s more like a train. Sure sometimes you run for it and miss it all the same. You reach it just as the doors are closing, and your perfectly scheduled day crumbles. But take it from some one who misses a lot of trains: if you wait long enough another one will come along and there’s a good chance there will be an open seat or two.

In true nature of unchecked internet posting these comics are variously uplifting and depressing, hopeful and crushing. But they’re all worth reading on your lunch break as you pretend to be reading Kafka or The New York Times.

As for me, I’ve just arrived at the end of my line and now I must decide if I should introduce myself to the person who go on at Park Street and spent the last twenty minutes watching me write this or if I should flip the page and start crafting my Missed Connections ad.

Me: writing in my notebook on the green line, pretending not to notice you watching me.
You: green hoodie, black jeans, high-tops. Impossible not to notice.

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Comments
3 Responses to “Wanted: near misses and a little hope for love”
  1. rosemaryvandeuren says:

    Nice! This is a really fun anthology. A couple of my friends got to be a part of it. Great idea for an indie collection.

    • Kate says:

      A friend of mine commented on facebook that one of his friends contributed, too. All of my friends have such cool friends :)

  2. B says:

    How’d you get so smart.

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