Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is there anybody out there?

Where are you, friends?  Are you finding the cards?  Are you finding this page?

Never fear, dear readers.  At its heart, this is an experiment.  I am already planning a "Phase 2", if you will, to see if it invites more responses.  This project will always be changing, developing, and growing.  If my first round of cards don't get a response, maybe the second round will.

Connect, friends.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Subject: fear, happiness, and beauty!
Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011 at 11:06pm

Found your card on the yellow line on Sunday. I almost didn’t pick it up, but I’m glad I did!

Since it’s on my mind, I’ll tell you what I’m most afraid of, at least right now: I’m afraid I’ll never be happy because I seem to always find something wrong with whatever situation I’m in. I’m afraid I’ll never realize my greatest potential or the power held within the body and mind I’ve been given.

But since I don’t want this all to be sad, I’ll also tell you what makes me happy: seeing an elderly couple holding hands as they amble down the sidewalk, homemade meals with good company, thoughtful conversations with people I’ve just met, feeling - really feeling - what someone else is going through and being able to help, learning something new that changes the way you see the world.

And lastly, here’s a piece of beauty (attached).

Thanks for doing what you’re doing and please don’t give up!

- A No-Longer-Estranged Stranger


The song was actually sent to me as an mp3, but I haven't figured out how to upload mp3s to Blogger.  Hmm, I'll have to look into that.  Other than that, THANK YOU.  This person gets it.  Let's keep this going. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


If you have found this page through a card, you can be a part of the journey!  Send me something.  Anything.  Your hopes and wishes, dreams and nightmares.  Send me your art.  Send me your love and your fear.

I can post your message anonymously if that's what you'd prefer.  Any names I receive will be listed under first name only.

I know people are finding the cards and finding this page.  Send me something!  Help this grow!  Be a part of the project!

Monday, January 31, 2011


Subject: Hi
Monday, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:12pm

Found your card on the metro.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Allies in Isolation

All sufficient materials have arrived to begin the official launch of The Estranged Stranger project.

But, you don't know what that means yet.

As of today, I have lived in the Washington DC Metro Area for approximately 16 months.  One and one-third years.  Moving here was my first time starting a life somewhere totally alone - no family to come home to, no guarantee of finding friends in college courses, no roommates to keep me sane.  Just me and my work.  And, throughout that first year, my mind constantly returned to one word: isolation.  I had never felt more isolated and alone in my life.

This is to be expected, of course.  New job, new city, new blah blah whine whine bitch bitch.  However, the place it struck me as being the most strange was whenever I used the DC Metro system.  Despite being crammed into a moving metal box with a crowd of strangers, I was still alone.  I could have my face in some guy's armpit (as often happens, being barely sixty-four inches tall), but our lack of personal space did not connect us.  Day in and day out, we all keep our noses in our books, our newspapers, our various cellular devices and newfangled music apparatuses.  Have we lost the ability to find human connection?

Now, don't get me wrong, I am no stranger to public transportation.  Having grown up just outside of New York, I am well aware that this is the standard operating procedure for scenarios like this.  A bunch of strangers shove into a high-speed metal box with the hopes of getting from Point A to Point B, and as long as you stay out of my fucking face we don't have a fucking problem.  Maybe it started seeming strange to me when I got to DC because I was traveling alone more than I ever had before.

When did we all start ignoring each other?  There are so many fascinating people out there.  What are we missing by blocking each other out like this?

This is where these little guys come in:

Business cards, in red and orange and yellow and green and blue.  A message on the back, an email address and web address on the front.  The web address leads to this blog.  The email address is an account specifically created for this project.  I will leave them at various metro stops and on various trains.  In theory, people will find them and email me something - anything at all! - and I will post what I receive to this page.

This isn't about my loneliness or social skills.  This is about what we've become as human beings.  If you are out there and you are reading this, I am interested in YOU.  There are thousands upon thousands of unique, beautiful individuals using the metro system daily.  They each have their own unique, beautiful hopes, dreams, fears, creative outlets, stories, memories, and I want to know about them.  Send me SOMETHING.

So, did you find a card?  Send me something at that email address.  I may reply back or I may not, who knows.  I haven't decided yet.  But what you send will be posted here for others to read when they find a card of their own, or happen to stumble across this page.  And, in our own strange and backwards way, we will be connecting with each other.