I start getting weird when I spend too much time alone. It’s always been this way. Suddenly I’m posting missed connections on Craigslist for Seattle, Portland, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Denver, and Missoula. I’ve made a few friends this way. If you live in a smaller city like I do, Missoula, for instance, half of the missed connections posted will be some guy writing about a Walmart cashier that you will now easily be able to pick out the next time you’re there. You don’t really want to shop at Walmart, it’s just that their organic sugar is so fucking cheap compared to everywhere else. Those cashier-stalking posts are not mine.
Sometimes I post in casual encounters instead, these tend to be more adventurous, if adventurous is a euphemism for really taboo fantasy that is only popular with certain types of people. You won’t see men the same after you read the replies (with pictures) you will receive from the most random variety of men ever to agree on something. They all want that perversion that’s a little too far.
Another great thing about living in a smaller town, like Missoula, is that you’ll start to recognize these same people from their pictures they sent you.
You’re at Bagels on Broadway, and look over to the table next to you, and there’s a twenty-something-year-old sitting there, who you know has pierced nipples and uncut foreskin. His dick is about the size of a cucumber, hard, and he has the nastiest skat fetish you’ve ever seen pictures of. When you leave, you’ll pass an older man, in a cowboy hat and mustache, whose cock looks like a doorknob. He wants you to call him daddy while he bends you bare-assed over his knee to spank you. You’ve seen all the photographic evidence to prove that some men enjoy meat, warmed melons, dress-up, or their desire to watch you suck off a buffalo. Every taboo is accompanied by a picture.
It feels something godlike, to know these secret desires. I keep a folder in my gmail for each city. I’ve started collecting photos of these people from when I run into them in real life situations. When I complete a set of photographs, I like to print them and put them in this scrapbook I’ve been keeping since I started these postings. I carry it in my bag so I can reference back if I’m having trouble making a match.
I’m cutting and pasting when Bizz walks in the front door. She’s breathing heavy, like she was just running. She locks the door, turns her face towards me as she steps away from it. “Where the fuck were you?”
“Um, in my goddamn house? Where the fuck was I supposed to be?”
“I’ve been trying to call you all morning. Do you still have that ouija board?”
“My phone is off, assface.” I blew on the page I just glued, as if that would help it dry any faster. Then, got up, and headed to the hall closet. My dad gave me this etched glass ouija board last year on my birthday. My 27th. I keep it in the box with my cardboard Parker Brothers one, to protect it. The oracle is also glass, with blue felt padded feet, in order to slide across the board.
Bizz offers me a cigarette, somehow forgetting that I quit a year ago. I watch as she opens my fridge, scanning the emptiness, pulls out a beer, my last, as she says I need to buy more beer. We walk to the Good Foods store, we grab a four-pack of Cold Smoke, and a six pack of Summer Honey. She buys a pack of cigarettes with the beer, assuring me that I’ll be bumming them off of her by the end of the night. As we were checking out we heard a loud noise coming from outside the store–something like lightening and whistling air.
In the parking lot, it became clear what all the commotion was about. There was a junky red van taking up two parking spots. Well, the van looked like it had been red once, but now it was only red in places, rusty in others, silver, brown. When the passengers had stopped the vehicle it made a sort of clunking sound. As they exited, smoke billowed out of each door. This is how I first met the time travelers. Although, I’m still unsure if they actually time travel or not.
One was short, female, young– about eighteen years old. Her hair composed of bright green dreadlocks. The other, a gangly man of forty, with John Lennon glasses and facial hair. They were looking right at us, as they walked towards us. “We have a message for you,” said the young female, close enough now I could see her freckled face and blue eyes. By this time I was wearing my confused face. Bizz told her we’ve already heard the good news.
“This isn’t some Jesus bullshit,” said the girl, “we were sent here to warn you.”
I laugh, because this bitch is obviously off her fucking rocker crazy. She’s pretty much unfazed by my amusement. I ask her who they are, and this is when she tells me they’re the time travelers. At that point, I’m grinding my teeth together to keep my face deadpan. Apparently her name is Enid, and his is Garth. They tell me they’re from the future, but the girl does most of the talking. Dave mostly whispers to her and fidgets. I fish into my bag and pull out a doob-tube that I had thrown in there that morning. I pull out the joint and light it. Probably my current lack of THC is fucking with me in this situation.
By the time the joint is gone, we’re all walking towards the van. Only now I also have an open beer in my hand, and Enid is telling me she has a lot to tell me.