08 Mar

Beth was from Craigslist.

Among other things, Craigslist lays claim to the highest per capita population of local hookers on the Internet. Also there are people looking for casual sex, for a third for their threesome or a fifth for their fivesome. “Serious photographers” troll for models with the potential to undress and be photographed. Genuinely serious photographers post naively, looking for the same thing. It is impossible to tell the difference between the two.

Apart from these colorful denizens of the list, there are also actual people looking for dates. Dates of the real, traditional type, where potential transactors barter sex for meals and conversation rather than crassly purchase it for impersonal cash. There is a gamble: that after betting dinner for two and an irreplaceable weekend evening on the possibility you and someone else will like each other well enough to try to talk each other out of your clothes, you’ll be left with only an indistinct sense of embarrassment and another number in your phone you’ll never call again. The gamble enhances the thrill, and losing encourages you to go double or nothing. Craigslist enhances the experience by blindfolding you. There’s no way to tell whose ad you’re responding to, and there’s no way to tell what they want. Some of them want you to take your pants off. Some of them just want to pants you.

Beth had given me her Myspace page, so I decided she was legitimate. I don’t know why I decided that. Probably it was her photos. They depicted a tall, blond woman with clear skin and slender limbs. She laughed in her photos. A caption to one of them helpfully informed me that she and her friend (unnamed in the caption) were laughing at a gentleman (off screen) who she had met at a club and to whom she had given a false phone number. Somehow, this seemed entirely justified to me. After all, she was so interesting.

At this point I remained unwilling to admit to myself that by “interesting,” I meant she had a hot ass.

We’d talked a few times over the phone. Her voice was an alto of the sort that knows it’s sexy. She worked in construction, an occupation that appealed to my bohemian pretenses. She talked about what it was like to be the only woman on a construction crew. She talked about harassment perpetrated by her coworkers. She talked about drywall and paint. I listened, rapt, imagining what it would be like to be in the presence of the lips that issued this voice. I imagined it in great and holistic detail.

After our third or fourth conversation I suggested we meet.

“Sure,” she said. “How about Skully’s tomorrow night?”

Skully’s was a retro nightclub in the Short North. 1950’s diner aesthetic with mirrors, a dance floor and a patio. Upstairs was a pool table and DJ booth. Tomorrow night was ladies-80’s, and a high school friend spun sets there under the name Dave Espionage. This was a detail I casually mentioned. If you do nothing actually cool yourself, having friends who do is nearly as good. It seemed like an ideal opportunity. My only mistake was believing it was a date.


Leave a Reply


  1. addy

    March 22, 2010 at 1:12 am

    More details!