Missed Connections

Features | April 27, 2016

Starbucks Wi-Fi Goddess

You were sitting in Starbucks. I asked you for the Wi-Fi password and you didn’t know it. I don’t understand how that’s possible. Starbucks doesn’t have a Wi-Fi password and I forgot, but realized after I said it. But then you said no and confused me more. It was sensual… I kept asking you other questions and you responded just as cryptically. Soon I was left wondering if you were there for coffee at all, or if I was there for Wi-Fi? We sat closer to each other, you laughed as I fumbled with my keys. We kissed. The employees at Starbucks are paid $7.50 an hour. Minimum wage in Boston is slowly increasing, but mass-scale wage inequity is still a real thing. As one of the largest employers in the United States, a more standardized minimum wage-practice could bring many families out of poverty. I liked your floral blouse. I never got your name.

Spelling Babe

We were standing next to each other in the 6th grade spelling bee. You and your friends were talking about the new Gwen Stefani song, “Hollaback Girl.” You made fun of me when I didn’t know the song, but I didn’t mind. No doubt I thought you were clever when you spelled dialogue the British way. It should have counted. Both of us lost and stupid David Frasier won. Stupid David Frasier who would say scenario “scenahrio”. That shit was bananas. B-A-N-A-NA-S. Bananas.

Red Line Regret

Monday morning, we met with our eyes and on the Red Line toward Ashmont and/or Braintree. You smiled at me so I shot you a playful wink. You smiled. I winked again. You grimaced. The train was too crowded for us to move and so we stayed there, packed together(,) butts against butts until we left each other’s side. I just wanted to stay for a moment more, on a less crowded train or in a less crowded mind, where we could turn and move and dance and gaze into each other’s eyes.

Instead our backs hugged as the train got stuck and unstuck. I told you that I hated 99 percent of people. You whispered that there were 70 million more people out there. That maybe the glass half empty is a giant glass.

With each stop the train made I hoped yours would not be for at least one more.

And as the train doors open and we would fold and unfold, our hearts growing closer as our bodies pulled away, I pictured the slingshot that would form with just enough room that we would turn and grab each other and as we returned and expanded, our names and numbers would remain so we could meet again.

But the next I turned and you were gone. I wondered if we’d meet again, our paths criss-crossing on the reverse commute. Would our residuals intersect, auras of past and future paths? But to leave it to chance is nonsense. Fate is a lie to keep us complacent. There is no God.

On my return trip home, I saw you enter the train and sit several rows away, facing the same way as me. You didn’t see that I was there, and I hadn’t gotten your name so calling out would only disrupt the commutes of others.

I moved over and sat next to you. After a hello, we thought it was funny that sometimes you see people you know and don’t say hi. To see people you know by themselves.
Not funny haha,
Like sad people sitting in convertibles
Like classically-trained beatboxers
Like a real estate emperor with tiny hands

I got off the train at my stop, and left you on your way to ours. The hand rail on the escalator moved slightly faster than the stairs and I tripped. Picking myself up I cursed that I forgot to ask your name, hoping that once again we would stand packed like sardines—grimaces to grimaces, butts to butts.

Park Passings

I’m sorry I saw you sitting in the park and didn’t say hi.