The Internet has brought us many things over the years. The chance to catch up with old friends on Facebook. The ability to find like-minded people from stressful and often isolating life events. And the opportunity to put yourself out there years after the fact in order to find a Missed Connection.
Craigslist, which boasts many of the latter postings, has caught our eyes thanks to a heartfelt posting from a man in Boston with a story that could have been ripped from a movie (or, for you suspicious types, could very well be PR for a movie; a movie we will rush right out to see!). A Ryan Gosling movie, to be exact. The poster talks of a time during the Vietnam war, after he had been told to drop bombs over Hanoi.
“I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972, the same day I resolved to kill myself,” he begins the passionate posting, which he claims he only put up after much nudging from his friend.
“You’d taken shelter under the balcony of the Old State House. You were wearing a teal ball gown, which appeared to me both regal and ridiculous. Your brown hair was matted to the right side of your face, and a galaxy of freckles dusted your shoulders. I’d never seen anything so beautiful.”
The man goes on to tell the story of approaching this tearful woman, who was having second thoughts about marrying a man she didn’t love. He asked her to coffee, where for the first time he felt as though he could open up in a meaningful and non-judgemental way. Sadly, when he went to the washroom and contemplating their future, he returned to an empty seat.
“As strangely as our union had begun, so too had it ended. I was devastated,” he wrote. “I went back to Neisner’s every day for a year, but I never saw you again. Ironically, the torture of your abandonment seemed to swallow my self-loathing, and the prospect of suicide was suddenly less appealing than the prospect of discovering what had happened in that restaurant. The truth is I never really stopped wondering.”
Eventually the man moved on to marry another woman and had a son with her. Sadly, both of those family members are now dead, but the man has managed to carry on thanks to that one day in the rain.
“You see, in these intervening forty-two years I’ve lived a good life…” he says in one passage. “I’ve forgiven myself. And you were the source of all of it. You breathed your spirit into my lungs one rainy afternoon, and you can’t possibly imagine my gratitude.”
If this were a Ryan Gosling movie, we believe there would be a happier ending in store.
“I have hard days, too. My wife passed four years ago. My son, the year after. I cry a lot. Sometimes from the loneliness, sometimes I don’t know why,” the posting continues. “Sometimes I can still smell the smoke over Hanoi. And then, a few dozen times a year, I’ll receive a gift. The sky will glower, and the clouds will hide the sun, and the rain will begin to fall. And I’ll remember.”
Excuse us while we go dry our eyes… and work on a potential script.