I Saw You / You Saw Me

The Islands’ Sounder is launching a new column in 2020: “I Saw You / You Saw Me,” otherwise known as, Missed Connections!

An example of an “I Saw You” submission might be:

“I saw you on the Anacortes-bound Tillikum ferry. I was wearing a blue-striped T-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white turtleneck. We both wore glasses. I guess we still do. You sat in front of me at the bow of the ship and we made eye contact, briefly. Several times we adjusted positions on those seats, getting a better view of the water. When the ship docked on Lopez, you stood up to take a picture of something with your rustic film camera. I tried to think of something to say to you — maybe pretend I didn’t know where I was going and ask you for directions or say something nice about your boot-shaped earrings, or just say, “Cold day.” It all seemed so stupid. At one point, I caught you staring at me and you immediately averted your eyes. You pulled a book out of your bag and started reading it — a biography of Lyndon Johnson — but I noticed you never once turned a page.

“When the WSDOT employee came on the loudspeaker to announce we had arrived at the Anacortes terminal, we both just sat there on the hard, white seats, waiting. I cocked my head at you inquisitively. You shrugged and held up your book as if that was the reason. Still, I said nothing. We took the boat all the way back the way we’d come, waited for the vehicles to load and unload, sailed back to Shaw Island, Lopez Island and Orcas Island. And when we got to Friday Harbor, I knew I had to say something. Still, I said nothing. And so, back east to Anacortes we went.

“For 10 years we sat on that ferry, just barely pretending not to notice each other. I got to know you so well, if only peripherally. I saw you cry once after you’d glanced at a neighbor’s newspaper. I wondered if you were crying about something specific, or just the general passage of time, so unnoticeable until suddenly noticeable. I wanted to comfort you, wrap my arms around you, assure you I knew everything would be fine, but it felt too familiar; I stayed glued to my seat. Coffee or a drink sometime?”

Send us your “I Saw You” or “You Saw Me” submissions for a chance to get yours published in The Sounder. We prefer all “I Saw You’s” to be submitted via our online contact form, by letter or in person. Use the online contact form: http://www.islandssounder.com/contact. Or by letter or in-person to: 217 Main Street, Suite B, Eastsound, WA 98245. Please include your full name, email, phone number and suggested headline.

Your full name, phone number and email will NOT be published and are only used internally to authenticate that you exist. If you want an actual reply from an “I Saw You,” provide an email in the text of your message. The Islands’ Sounder reserves the right to refuse any submissions. We cannot guarantee every submission will run.