Craigslist missed connection section may have a few gems. After all, in life, we come across many people with whom we connect in an instance. But then, these people somehow get lost. We search for them, but there is nothing to reach out except the bittersweet memory of the person. And with tightly-held tears, we give a hard smile to our own reflection. Another day to live – we say to ourselves. Your memory remains with me – even if you are not here to share it.
Alone and riddled with the guilt of the Vietnam war, this anonymous person was almost at the edge. He could never keep those explosions, those deaths of innocents, the smell of burning skin out of his mind. When he came back home, he was honored with a distinction – but that was something the country wanted him to feel proud of. For him, there was only emptiness inside.
On a New Year’s Eve – the last day of 1972, he was all alone in a studio apartment on Beacon and Hereford. He was on his fifth glass of whisky and the darkness was spreading through his very soul. As he emptied the bottle, he thought of something. “I would retrieve the Smith & Wesson Model 15 from the closet and give myself the discharge I deserved.”
He roamed on the streets for hours. From Trinity Church to Hanover Street, his legs took him everywhere. Suddenly, the thin drizzle gained power and became a shower. People left the streets and ran under the awnings. But he walked on in the rain towards his apartment.
But then, he saw someone.
With a teal ball gown, this girl was under the Old State House balcony. Her freckled chin with her silky brown hair touching them enchanted him. She was the most beautiful person he had ever seen. Her green eyes were moist but she said she was okay. He asked if they could get a coffee and she agreed. And before he could say thanks, she caught his hand and made him dash down Downtown Crossing into Neisner.
They sat at a counter like old friends and chattered on. They laughed at each other’s happiness and lamented the times when life struck them as unrelenting. Sometimes, he wondered if he should reveal his war background. But he didn’t have to. She knew. She could see the war inside his eyes. And: “Still, your eyes offered no pity, and I loved you for it.”
Maybe an hour or two had passed by and he excused himself. He went to the toilet and maybe for the first time after the war, he looked into the mirror to see whether his hair was okay. There was a feeling of life in his eyes. He had to impress her – that became a new purpose. Should he steal a kiss maybe? Or maybe he would tell her all about the wars in Hanoi? Or maybe he should mention how a week earlier, he had a Smith & Wesson Model 15 waiting to send him to the heavens?
With the thumping heart, he returned only to find that there was no one there. The girl had left. “No phone number. No note. Nothing.”
The abandonment did not please him but then, it still gave him a new life. He went to Neisner’s a couple of time, maybe to find her there all of a sudden. But she was not there. However, she had breathed life into him. Now, he was no longer thinking of suicide. He was thinking of what might have happened when he went to the restroom.
Over 5000 people have downloaded our free ebook “Growth Hacking Tips And Rituals For Optimal Living” CLICK HERE to get your free copy now
Now, he’s an old man and social media has made it easier to search for others. But then, he only knows her first name. And what if he did find her there? Time had changed both their appearances from that one day – the last day of 1972. None would recognize one another. But still our lover wrote this piece on Craigslist. A place where he was sure no one would read it. A place where it will be preserved as a testament to the last day of 1972.
It has been over 42 years. He has loved another, has raised a son and has forgiven himself. He has seen the good in the world and the good in himself. And it was all because of her.
His wife passed away 4 years ago. He cries too. Sometimes, he feels lonely too.
And sometimes, it rains.
And when it rains, he does not think of the Smith & Wesson Model 15.
He thinks of the beauty in the teal ball gown. His life. His love.
And like the last day of 1972, the rain brings them back together again.
“So wherever you’ve been, wherever you are, and wherever you’re going, know this: you’re with me still.”
IMAGE CREDIT: ocusfocus