Sat waiting in the empty doctor’s office last night and there was a single magazine in the waiting room. It was a real, honest to goodness magazine with pages that turn, bound with a narrow spine. It was the New York Times Book Review magazine supplement which gets printed and published weekly and inserted into the Times.
Like a glove, I slipped into the act of waiting, sitting in the dedicated space reserved waiting. Magazine racks and tables were barren to prevent microbes from transmitting between readers, yet there was this single magazine, on a chair, calling to me. Turning and scanning pages of something as foreign to me as the latest books reviewed by NYT allowed me to take a brief trip far away from Ukraine, the Proviso schools and Jussie Smollett.
After scanning each page, the classified section on the final page drew me in — ads for wrinkle creams, ghost writers for hire, French-English songwriter for hire and ads for companionship. The mostly sweet-sounding middle-aged romantics in New York or the Bay Area looking for a partner to share wine, theater, poetry and a dance in the living room had me lost in a daydream of other peoples’ lives.
Struck by nostalgia, and an itch for the beauty of humanity, I took a chance to see if missed connections still existed locally. Indeed, Craigslist has a place for those who are desperately seeking interconnectedness. Missed connections, once a regular part of classified ads, are a personal ad that flashes a moment when there might have been a missed relationship, a distinctive moment that someone is stuck reliving and wishing they would have reacted differently and, odds against them, they are seeking to reconnect. In case you haven’t checked, and you recently winked at someone at Menards in Melrose Park or if you were nice to someone at the Blue Line train in Oak Park, head over to the local missed connections on Craigslist, someone is looking for you.
A little bit of hope, a flash of faith, even a nudge of anticipation.
I was recently reminded of Winnie the Pooh’s take on anticipation.
“‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best,’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what that was called.”
The constant reminders of fear, mistrust and what is going wrong both locally, nationally, and globally sure make a jar of honey seem trivial and even suspicious. Watching egos clash globally and locally, and powers destroy the very things they want to protect-both globally and locally, and watching broken systems produce broken results-both globally and locally, sure, can take the wind out of anticipation.
So for at least a moment every day, I am going to indulge in the trivial, the simple jar of honey, a crocus making its way out of the ground or a random act of kindness, just enough to replenish my faith in the interconnected and that magic that I do not want to miss.