June 4th, 2010. It was the day after I moved to New York and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself–all alone with nothing to do. My librarian friend was away at some conference in Chicago discussing the Dewey Decimal System and late fees and whatnot, and I was alone at his apartment, wishing I had a friend or a phone or anything to distract myself from the fact that I’d just moved halfway around the world with no plans other than to “sort my life out kind of”, and attempt to sleep with a guy I didn’t know from the internet named Hami1ton Morris.
Back in London, my home before NYC, my roommate Hannah and I used to pass the time by posting ‘casual encounters’ and/or dating ads on Gumtree.com. We never followed them through; we just liked seeing what kind of people would respond to our largely unappealing ads. One example:
I’m Laura, 38 y/o. I have black hair and you will usually see me in glasses (though I have been known to take them off sometimes, before I go to bed, etc). Petite/casual woman looking for a man with culture, substance and that little extra something that a man might have if he travels or is strong. No big deal over here, just hanging out. Suffering from some mild whiplash but nothing that will keep me from making it down to Elaine’s on Saturday night. PM me! Life is short honey!
So, on this Wednesday evening, 48 hours after moving to NYC, lonely and despondent in a new world, I decided to post a casual encounters ad on Gumtree’s American equivalent, Craigslist. My ad read as follows:
24 y/o blonde female, high school educated, looking to make friends. Slight speech impediment but have large breasts. Looking for a man who is non-judgmental, with a wide worldview to show me a thing or 2 about life and I will do the same.
Four hours, 1.5 bottles of wine and some leftover plane Valium later I was taking my fake ad far more seriously than intended. Most responses were either from older, terrorist types or muscular 30-somethings with chin strap beards. Unfortunate. Then, at around 6:30am, I got this:
Hello. I am 32, tall, slender, clean. Can come by now if you don’t mind that I’m Hasidic?
If I was ever going to go through with it, this was clearly the guy. A more perfect response could not have been fabricated. So I told him yeah, he should come over.
Forty-five minutes later I was answering the door in a red mini skirt and sheer crop top, feeling totally insane dizzy drunk drowsy jet-lagged nauseous nervous out of my fucking mind. He was tall with reddish hair, a large beard and two beady eyes stuck in the middle of a wide, colorless face. Complete w/ long curls, hat, and all the other fancy stuff they normally wear. I don’t remember exactly what I said but I remember thinking that “slender” was a poor choice of word on his part. He appeared to be a bit thick around the middle, which gave me a queasy feeling in my stomach. Flesh, in general, really disgusts me.
I walked him up the stairs and led him to the bathroom. No one else was home but for some reason I felt like the bathroom was the most appropriate place to do whatever it was we were going to do. Like, was I actually going to fuck this guy? He was quite repulsive, although let’s be honest, I had done worse. His smile, at least, seemed genuine. Whatever, I thought, it’s best not to think about it.
The next bit gets blurry. I remember saying, “no kissing,” as I pulled off my clothes, the white tiles of the floor and walls twirling in the muted kaleidoscope playing out before my eyes. There were momentary glimmers of consciousness: at some point I was lying naked on the floor, masturbating. Who’s bathroom is this?, I wondered. Oh yeah, my librarian friend’s… how could I have forgotten that? Then suddenly I was standing up, bent over the sink, brushing my hair saying into the mirror something like “I’m really glad we met I feel like this really means something… that this is really significant, don’t you think?”
We fucked for like five seconds, with a condom, but I think he thought I must have had some crazy disease because even with the condom he freaked out and said he only wanted to do it in my mouth. I didn’t care because it meant I got to kneel down on the floor, which was good because I was starting to feel dizzy and like I could potentially puke. I sucked him off for about 45 seconds while he vibrated and made weird wheezing sounds with his mouth. When he came I spit it into the bathtub—the first time in my life I didn’t swallow. Literally.
After it was all over, AKA ten minutes after he arrived, he quickly dressed and asked, “How much?”
“How much what?”
“How much money?”
Fuck, I hadn’t even thought of that. Obviously he thought I was a prostitute, although that wasn’t really my intention. I didn’t want money, I was just lonely or bored or… wait, why had I done this again?
“Fifty dollars,” I said in a panic. Immediately after I said it I realized I should have asked for way more but I was too weirded out and confused to continue the conversation. He handed me the cash and left. I spent the next 30 minutes lying on the bathroom floor laughing crazily, feeling oddly please–like I’d just done something really “radical” or “life changing” or whatever. Really, I just knew it would make a good story.
We are driven by obscure motives and sometimes our lives only make sense after the fact (and sometimes not at all). It’s best not to question it.