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West St. Paul Craigslist missed connection: 'I almost hit you with my van'

Picture one of these bearing down on you on an icy night in the suburbs. Falling in love yet?

Picture one of these bearing down on you on an icy night in the suburbs. Falling in love yet? Associated Press

In the 1994 action blockbuster Speed, Sandra Bullock's character is warned "relationships based on intense experiences never work."

In the 1995 romantic comedy hit While You Were Sleeping, Sandra Bullock's character falls for a stranger who falls into a coma... then fakes knowing him while actually falling for his brother while everyone waits for coma guy to wake back up.

In the 2019 Craigslist post "I almost hit you with my van (West St. Paul)," two would-be lovers share an intense experience, and one almost causes serious, perhaps coma-inducing, bodily harm to the other. And if these two don't wind up together, we hereby reluctantly grant you permission to stop believing in true love and the plots of Sandra Bullock movies.

Our crisis of faith begins inauspiciously, at the Walmart in this plucky suburb, where our original poster was making for the exit of the parking lot in a "piece of shit dark blue" Dodge Grand Caravan—hardly the sexiest make and model out there, but one that will come in handy when they find love and start a family.

Or nearly kill someone, which is, in fact, what happened here. As the post says:

"You were walking, wearing a black jacket with the hood up. Did you have headphones in? I noticed you for some reason, and then when I crossed the intersection, I saw you were crossing on foot.
I am a shitty driver and went too fast around the turn and started to skid, you had to run to avoid me."

If there's a greater exhibition of one's zest for life than scampering to safety while two tons of van hurtles your way, we know it not.

If there is a more rigorous challenge to one's depth of compassion than forgiving someone for almost killing you after stopping off at a suburban Walmart, we dare any of you to offer it.

And if, reader, if in this mysterious experience we call life there exists "some reason" to notice a person more poignant than the sudden realization they are in the immediate path of an oversized automobile whose route you no longer control, we tremble at its very thought.

The driver-turned-writer soon realized they and this pedestrian they'd come close to demolishing were headed to the same place: the Planet Fitness parking lot.

"We definitely met eyes," the Craigslist-er writes. "You definitely saw me. What were you doing?"

Contemplating a life of emotional support, familial bliss, and sexual gratification? Staring down the person whose shitty van and shittier driving almost killed them? We may never know.

That's because our lovelorn Dodge owner exercised a modicum of discretion, pulling to a nearby Holiday gas station so the pedestrian didn't think they were being followed... possibly by a hitman who'd been hired to "make it look like an accident," had sloppily missed them the first time, and was coming to finish the job. 

Alas: "When I came back, you were gone, I didn't see you in the gym."

Let's do pros and cons for this romantic poster.

Pros:

  • Owns a vehicle that could also be used as a murder weapon
  • Frugal (Walmart)
  • Takes care of themself (gym membership)
  • Courteous (Holiday gas interlude)
  • Writes in complete sentences

Cons: 

  • Can't drive on ice
  • Not bold enough to make their move and introduce themselves to the love of their life or
  • Aware enough to apologize to a perfect stranger they almost made dead
  • May or may not suffer from an exceedingly rare condition called "headphone blindness"

Please let City Pages and/or Sandra Bullock's agent know when the screenplay is finished.