Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, March 3

Gapers Block

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Sometimes you just have to say something out loud for your burden to be lifted. And usually that something is so dark that you don't even want your friends to know, lest their idea of who you are be permanently altered. That's why a lot of people have journals or blogs. And that's why some people post anonymous message ads to Missed Connections.

A "message ad" is just that: an ad featuring a none-too-cryptic note for someone the poster clearly knows. These differ from the typical "I Saw You" type ads and at first blush, it doesn't make much sense to post a message ad as a missed connection. But when you're heart is too full to remain silent another minute, something is missing -- even if it's not a connection.

You are forbidden - 25
you're married and that stinks because you constantly flirt with me and send me cute emails and text messages. You shouldn't do that because it makes a girl giddy and for no good reason because YOU ARE MARRIED and nothing will come of it. Damn you married people.

He read the ad and bit his lip. Joe knew he had been guilty of this very thing. It had been a couple of years ago, but he knew what he had been doing with Tamara. He could see how his attentions caused her to slowly turn toward him, like a plant to the sun. But nothing ever happened. And slowly Tamara pulled away from him completely. Joe missed watching a woman's face color so deeply from a wink, and not from anger.

why did it have to be so good? - w4m - 23
We had a fling, more like a one-night-stand, more than six months ago. But I can't stop thinking about you. The sex good. You were...too perfect for me. Tell me the truth, why did you run from me? Why do you still somewhat pursue contact with me? Why can't we just be lovers? We don't have to be friends! We don't even live in the same state!

When Jack left Tandy's house for the last time, he accidentally slammed his own hand in his car door. And he blamed her for it. In the months that followed, he realized his simmering was stupid, but got carried away in life's relentless current anyway. Jack surfaced in Michigan, working at a bank in Ann Arbor. They exchanged a few clumsy texts and Jack felt more and more idiotic for leaving her. But then right as he pushed send on the last text, asking her to come visit, Jack misjudged the first step of the escalator. Mid-tumble, he wrote Tandy off completely.

stop pretending - w4m - 18
I know you're lying when you say you don't miss me. You haven't called in a few days, but I know I've been on your mind.... swallow your pride and come back to me.

Thalia hated it when Jeff would leave. She'd stay up late listening to the sound of her own anger and after he came back, they'd be paying off the Holiday Inn bill for months. Thalia wished that Jeff would just get over himself and realize that she was just far, far better at bridge than he would ever be.

missed opportunity on the office couch - m4w - 34
perhaps we can have some nice, forbidden makeout fun today.

He knew she read the classifieds Web site and hoped that she would connect his ad to what he said during their flirty-cute trip for coffee the other day. And in fact, Tosca did see John's ad. On Monday, they will stand side by side in line waiting for sandwiches when Tosca will suggest drinks that evening. She'll wink, their lunches will go uneaten, and in two weeks everyone will start to catch on.

You know those dopey responses were not mine. I don't know exactly what is going on, but I understand that you have commitments and shouldn't do anything until and unless it's right for you.

The other night, Joel IMed Therese. She'd left her AIM open while her dickhead roommate Matthias used her computer to check his email really quick. And while Joel figured it out pretty quick that he was not talking with Therese, the miscommunication made him wary. That somehow she wasn't being discreet enough with this whole thing. And then Joel thought that maybe there wasn't anything to their harmless little flirtation and maybe he had made the whole thing up in his head. He had not.

Columnist's Note: Thank you for making it this far! You, special reader, are in for a treat. The 10th person to email me gets a copy of Dirty Found, courtesy of the fine folks at Found magazine.

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