Saturday, September 5, 2009

in progress: for radio essay

This morning I talked to a stranger 500 miles away. He asked me to be his girlfriend. He was very polite; he even said “please.” I also answered a personal ad from someone looking to perform ritualistic sex in order to bring about the rise of Lucifer. The phrases sacrifice altar and satanic slit come up. I’m pretty sure it’s a joke. I’m hoping he’ll write me back.

My name is Angela, and, like everyone else, I’m looking for love.

Okay, well, I’m looking for what calls a short term relationship. calls it dating, and my friends call it “kind-of-sort-of seeing-someone-I-think.” It falls somewhere in between u-hauls and one night stands. I’m looking for non-committal answers. I’m hoping to keep “love” out of the equation.

I started browsing personal ads on craigslist a couple months ago, just for fun. I made sure to read even the ads that weren’t directed at me, because I didn’t want to be someone reading craigslist ads for a date. This was strictly for entertainment purposes only.

Sexy Italian, 23, loves football, baseball, and his little dog, Ruffles.

Hot chocolate for experienced cougar, 34, likes movies and traveling.

Nice college man, 19, has a girlfriend. He’s looking for friends with benefits.

Then I started answering personal ads. Just the ads that were looking for friends, people stuck in town for the summer with not a lot of company and not many responsibilities.

One guy wrote back to me and said he couldn’t call because he didn’t have any long distance. He couldn’t meet me at most of the places I suggested because he didn’t have a working car. Those were warning signs. I ignored them. I wanted to give him a chance, and so I ended up spending an evening watching TV in a trailer that smelled like cat pee. And even though this guy was a stranger that I never intended to see or talk to again, I still felt obliged to stay a few hours and pretend that everything was fine. I sat on the edge of the couch and tried to get as much distance as I could between my nose and the furniture. I leaned in towards the television, as if it were the most fascinating thing I’d ever seen.

The next day, he asked when I wanted to come by again. I never wrote him back. I did, however, keep answering ads.


Stephen said...

Don't know what to say about this post other than it made me laugh, rightly or wrongly. Hope things go better in future.

Angela said...

I'm so glad you said that. This is part of a rough draft for a writing class that terrifies me. If I've made someone laugh, perhaps I can make my classmates laugh, and perhaps I will stop feeling like a fraud for getting in a graduate writing seminar on account of being able to take pretty photos.