Intermixed with all the scientific research, "Are you a chronic masturbator? Make $1500 while assisting important research..." and barely disguised escort services were these little quick hits... feelers, if you will. Stuff like, "D train, Monday morning, you with blonde hair, me in denim jacket, we locked eyes, smiled, and then looked away. Let's talk."
I was always fasicinated with these ads. I suppose a part of me wondered if my anonymous self could make such an impact on a passing stranger. I would read them and often get hopeful that I would see someone trying to find me. "You were cute, blue eyes buried in The Voice, hair brown and curly. I was dangling my shoe, trying to get your attention. Please call, I need to know your name."
But then I realized, despite my young lust-addled brain working against me, that the chances of finding someone through such a medium had to be next to impossible. I mean, to place a gamble on that person actually being a reader of The Village Voice, and moreso they would read it that VERY week, and even moreso read that specific page. The odds against it must be astronomical!
Yet, wandering the web in a nice 2-minute blast of procrastination and mindlessness, I find such a forum once again here, on Craigslist.com. There are the same ads we used to see in the Voice... and yet, also stranger anonymous postings. Venting about exes, wishful thinking, acklowledgement of birthdays and anniversaries.
And once again, I found myself scanning the postings for hints of myself. Is it my inflamed ego? My hopeless romantic? Or perhaps just natural curiousity.
If I were truly OCD, I would read it every day, checking to see if there was a chance that I inspired some stranger on the city streets to reach out for me. But, really... what are the odds of that.