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Matchmaking on car 5021 heading west on the Bloor line.

It was near rush hour and the subway car was pretty close to full. Standing near to me were a man and a woman. They were so close together that their faces were just inches apart, their bodies merely one breath from touching.

They were about the same age and had a host of similarities, none more striking than that they were both deeply engrossed in a book. Held up in their palms right before their faces, their other hand clutching a railing, the books seemed like silver trays from which they could just blow a puff of words into the other’s face.  It was kind of comical, actually, to be so intimate, so open  in posture, to be in the midst of so much ready potential, yet to be willfully oblivious and inward in the face of it.

Buffeted about by this train, I will stand and try to read snatches from my book instead of making eye contact with you.

I found them magnetic. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. They were made for one another! Why couldn’t they see that? Why did they deny it? They were practically in the same sleeping bag!

I could contain myself no longer and said to them, “You two have a lot in common.”

The woman ignored me and the man looked at me the way you’d imagine a man would look at a stranger saying something weird and inappropriate on a subway.

“I just mean the books,” I continued, “you’re both reading so intently, so close together, it looks like you’re sharing the same book. Really, you may as well just hook-up.”

The man looked nervous, shaking his head in the face of a crazy, but the woman seemed amused.

“Thank you, Dr. Phil,” she said.

I shrugged, “ I just call ‘em as I see ‘em.”

The man looked up from his book and at me, “Maybe you should just mind your own business.”

And then from three seats over a guy piped up. “Dudes right, man. It’s like you two are married, just lying back in bed before going to sleep, reading your stories. Shit, you should be together, you won’t find anything better on no eHarmony.”

It was a slightly awkward, if validating situation, and I wasn’t sure what to do so I introduced myself to everyone.

I then asked the man what it was he looked for in a partner. He sighed through his nose.

“I like intelligence and an open-mind. I need loyalty.”

I then asked the woman.

“Oh,” she said, “ I hate those qualities in a person. All I want is somebody who’s a Scorpio!” And then she smiled the smile that would bring the man out of his shell.

“Well that’s funny,” he said, “because I’m a Scorpio!”

The guy from three seats over then said, “Yeah, yeah, and you both listen to CBC radio and like animals. Just go on and fall in love,” and then he motioned to me to come and sit with him and leave them alone, and so I did, and when I got off the subway a few minutes later, they were still talking.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Karen O #

    You are THE best matchmaker! If this is not a true story, it should be.

    By the way, do you ever want to go on EHarmony and see if it will match you up with Rachelle? I keep trying to get D to do that weekends like this one, when it is free.

    May 20, 2012
  2. Michael Murray #


    As far as being a good matchmaker goes, I’m probably just obnoxious.

    If Rachelle and I went on eHarmony– just to see if we got matched up with one another– I have no doubt it would be a humiliating. Rachelle would be paired with an astronaut or a globe-trotting humanitarian and I’d be matched with somebody who worked in box factory and was just coming off a difficult or “complicated” relationship.

    May 20, 2012
  3. I just found you via Jezebel’s reprinting of your story about meeting Ryan Gosling on your bike. And, I just had to tell you that I think you are fabulous! Your wit is sharp as a tack and your storytelling is so funny & engaging.

    Much like the Gosling piece, which had me hysterical, slapping my desk and not wanting it to end, this piece had me smiling and laughing out loud and to myself, ending a long day spent in front of the computer on THE perfect note!

    I’m hooked and will be coming back often!

    Thanks for the giggles!

    May 22, 2012
  4. Michael Murray #


    You are as kind as a gingerbread cookie.

    Thank you most sincerely!

    May 22, 2012
  5. Gaby #

    Laughing out loud on my lunch break, sitting at my desk – catching up on much needed reading material – and once again proving to my co-workers that I find the ‘oddest’ things funny….they just don’t get me….. Thanks for a having a wonderful sense of humour AND can share the funnies(real or not) in print!

    May 23, 2012
  6. Michael Murray #

    Thanks, Gaby!

    May 24, 2012
  7. Nicolae #

    I loved this story. Thank you for sharing it.

    May 26, 2012

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