The Observer, the storied old eavesdropper of Maple Street, is an incorrigible cruiser of the "Missed Connections" section of Little Rock Craigslist, that great wrecking yard of relationships both real and imagined, full of folks casting their paper airplanes into the dark in the near-impossible hope they'll poke just the right person in the eye. You see all kinds of stuff on there, from the pathetic to the heartrending to the perverted enough to make you consider to alerting the proper authorities. It's the great human carnival of lust, lewdness and loss, in all its whirl and gaudy splash.

Though there are some rather obscure categories of Missed Connections — w4ww, mm4m, t4w ("w" being "woman," "t" being "transgender," and so forth), and good luck and Godspeed to all those — The Observer's regular haunt is w4m, and not because we're hoping to find some lass on there pining for Yours Truly from afar. Women, in general, are much better at putting their feelings on paper. Often what winds up posted there are anonymous letters that will never be sent, cast into the digital sea like virtual notes in an electric bottle, in the dreaming hope the words there might fall under the gaze of The One, or — in many cases — The Used to Be The One. This note titled "Almost a Year Without You," for instance, recently caught our eye. We present a found object this week, then, so full of sad, lovely, near-poetic longing that its cup doth runneth over. An excerpt appears below.

What's that old saw about being kind, because everybody is fighting a hard fight? Case in point:

"I'm not in your arms at night and where I should be, and I can only wonder if you know that feeling.

"Do you remember how I would wake up in a panic at times because I was afraid you were not there? I know I woke you once doing it, but I did it more than that and you never knew. I dream about being in your arms and making love to you. But it should be more than a dream that I wake to in pain... .

"I don't expect you to see this, read this or contact me. But it does not hurt to try, because I feel like I have no other way to contact you considering how life has gone for us. I do really love you, and if that does not speak volumes after all this time I have had to heal, then I do not know what will. It is proof positive my love was not pretend or a lie ... . You thought I would want to trade up from you or find someone else in time. But that was never the case with me.

"I don't fear being alone, I live how I do, but I do not fear loneliness. I embrace times I can be alone and I'm happy with me. I don't just want someone I do not have a deep connection with or to be with someone just for their looks or what they could offer me otherwise. Because they are not you. I will continue to live the life I have now because I have to, and I have learned so much in all this time. I love who I am. I love what I do, and I have grown as a person. I know everything I want in life, but I take it day by day. I do not live in a dream. Even though I think of you, I still live my life.

"If I never hear from you again, just know I will probably always love you. But I will move on and try to be happy, because I would think if you truly loved me, you would wish this. I will live the life I have always led, but for the better. And it has been better lately. But I can't help I truly love you and what I want.

"If we can't be together and I do not hear a word from you, I will be faithful, loving and always there for just one person in my life. They would deserve it and that is truly how I am. I just wish it was with you."



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