mission #6: message in a comically tiny bottle.

I’m not quite sure when it happened but somewhere along the way, I starting collection other people’s notes.

Not notes to me or for me but notes left and found by two total strangers.

Some of them were left deliberately for a person to find – like the Marilyn Monroe quote tapped to the coffee shop window or the scrap of note paper tucked into a brick wall that read: “Out in the streets of Gastown. Settling for you. I am in love with your sister.” But most are notes that were never intended to be discovered – left under coffee cups, tucked into used books or simply dropped from pockets.

My collection includes a half written poem about a Guiness drinking dwarf, a doodle of a penguin fighting a T-Rex, a napkin with “You Breathe Fire“, a grocery list with the item “the Guilty chicken” and my personal favourite – a Japanese to English translation of “Are you Ninja?“.

I am absolutely fascinated by them. Not just for their general obscurity, but because the people who scribbled them down are complete strangers. I may never meet them or know them and yet, I still hold a 5 second moment of complete honesty – a honesty that would take years to build  and nurture in an actual relationship. Each snippet is a moment where they didn’t act based on what other people would think of it or for someone else’s eyes – these are notes to themselves and therefore, stark, unfiltered facts about that second in their lives.

It has become quite the absurd little treasure hunt. And so, in the spirit of discovery, this week’s mission is an ode to one of my more eccentric past times.

I took 20 of my all time favourite quotes – ranging from Gonzo The Great’s “If you were a chicken, you’d be impeccable!” and choice Calvin and Hobbes gems to more serious fare. Printed them out and tucked them into 20 glass vials. I’ll be leaving them throughout the city for the rest of the week. They may not be a true moment of MY honesty and they are very much for someone else’s eyes – but in the very least, perhaps i’ll pass on a brief surge of the treasure hunting bug.

Total Cost: Zip. 

Scene of the Crime: At random throughout the week.

Spontaneous Stranger Smiles Gained: I can’t exactly call this one… but I feel like it’s a slightly eccentric twist on a fortune cookie and everyone likes those right?

Bonus Points:  I finally found a use for the some of the 2oz bottles I had left over from a failed NYE gimmick.

Until next week – Happy Hunting.

– The Optimist

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