Message in a Bottle

“I miss you. I love you. My hands are cold.”

This was a text I received in February when the winter seemed like it would never end.

The number was unfamiliar, and I couldn’t think of anyone who would write such poetry. Was it my past lover? Only he would write such simple words packed with such longing. After letting my mind slip into a land of scenarios and alternate realities, I texted back with a question mark.

“I found your message in a bottle.”

Then I remembered a day back in November when I took my two friends to Dead Horse Bay in South Brooklyn. The bay has been through a series of changes but got its name from the horse-rendering plants that would dump animal carcasses there in the 1850’s. In the 1920’s after the plants were gone, a landfill cap burst, and now the beach is littered with hundred-year-old treasures, vintage bottles, make-up containers, and old pantyhose.

Photo by Rachel Rector

Photo by Rachel Rector

It's the most dirty, most magical place I've seen in this city. It feels totally isolated, but you can’t help but feel a dense history and presence through the objects surrounding you.

Photo by Rachel Rector

Photo by Rachel Rector

Photo by Rachel Rector

Photo by Rachel Rector

On that day in November I was feeling especially nostalgic... so I wrote a letter, I stuck it in a tall green bottle, and littered it on the beach with the hundreds of other glass containers. Impulse.

I wrote: “I miss you. I love you. My hands are cold.”

A letter to a lover, who now only lives in art and poetry.

I had put my phone number at the bottom, curious to see if it would ever find the hand of a human.

He said his name was Lucas. We texted back and forth that day, and with some hesitation, I asked him to have a cup of coffee with me. My mind wondered if I would be meeting my soul mate; if this would be our story.

We met at an old diner in Clinton Hill. I ordered a cup of coffee - black.

And we shared a plate of nachos.


P.S. Check out this song that our dear Julia McGuire (featured in the gallery) wrote after I told her this story.