A Personal Ad
12:54 p.m. on August 03, 2004
When I was 19 and living in the Haight district of San Francisco, I placed a personal ad in the weekly paper. It read something like this: FISH! Looking for intellectual, emotional and physical stimulation. Blah blah blah, etc. I got 180 responses. You could tell right off that some of these guys were whack-a-do, but some seemed decent. The first guy I called was named Mike and he seemed OK, so we set up a date. We met for coffee and talked for a long time. He turned out to be from Yuba City, which is known for it’s international tomato festival and not much else. He swore he never had sex with cattle and I believed him. He was diabetic and let me watch him take his insulin shot, which was interesting, and then we made out in his car. After a bit, I was ready to go home & used the old homework excuse, but not before we made out some more and he grabbed my boob right there on Haight Ashbury. I declined any further dates when he called the next day.

The second guy I met was named David, and he was a dreamboat. He must have been at least 5 years older, because he had a maturity and worldliness about him that surpassed me. He had been traveling with his band in Africa and had some amazing stories and I could not stop staring at him while he told them. I knew in my heart it was not a good match, as I had the emotional maturity of a dill pickle and the experience of a cabbage patch doll.

My 3rd date was named Carl and he was the proverbial baby bear to my goldie locks. We hit it off over the phone and had a ton to talk about. We agreed to meet at the Woolworth store on Market Street. I had just recently gotten a job at a deli in the financial district that allowed all the free pop you could drink. I drank one too many. We met and got along well over lunch and more beverages. In the middle of his long rant about his upbringing, I had to interrupt, because I was about to piss my pants. I have the world’s smallest bladder, and it was over-flowing. Of course the Woolworth store did not have public bathrooms, so I had to run 3 blocks over to the Macy's, and let’s just say I was glad I was wearing a skirt. I probably left him unattended for a good 20 minutes, but still managed to swing a second date out of the deal. I have no recollection of what we did on our second date, but I do recall the goodnight kiss and it was awful. To this day it stands as my all time worst kiss in my whole life that involved way too much teeth clacking. Still, I liked him and just chalked it up to nerves. A few days later the earthquake hit. He called me to make sure I was OK. We exchanged stories and then arranged for date number 3. This time, I would meet him in his neck of the woods, Oakland. I took BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and then immediately realized that this may have not been the smartest thing to do just days after a major Earthquake, when we were still experiencing aftershocks. BART literally travels UNDER the bay. I survived, but it did unnerve me, especially since once we got above ground, I could see how badly the earthquake ravaged the city and could tell how badly the damage had affected this area. Anyway, Carl met me at the BART station and we went to a music show. We tried making out again afterward, but the teeth clacking was even worse this time, and I think we both knew it was not meant to be, so I took BART home by myself in the middle of the night.

Most responders to the personal ad would leave a message on a voice mailbox with the hope that I would call them back. One guy named Dave actually sent me a letter to the PO BOX provided by the newspaper. It was a very cool letter covered in drawings and artwork. I was intrigued and gave him a call. He seemed super cool. He was from New York, where I had just returned from the year before and we hit it off swimmingly. We made a date and he picked me up in his motorcycle. He drove me to an area that I had never been before and I got a little worried, as it might not be the best idea to get on the back of a motorcycle of someone you do not even know and let him take you to the warehouse district. It ended up he was taking me to a Thai food restaurant, which was almost worst for me than what I previously feared. I am basically allergic to spicy food. It is like eating fire, which is extremely unpleasant. Plus, I had horrendous helmet hair from the ride over. I somehow survived the meal and back on came the helmet and back on the bike we rode. This time he drove me up to Coit tower, where we sat and smoked pot while looking at the view of the city. We could see the Bay Bridge, which sustained major damage during the earthquake and many people were killed. Dave said he had just driven across that bridge about 30 minutes before part of it collapsed in the quake. While a little drunk and a little high, he drove me back to my place where he spent the night. I turned up my radio too high to cover up any macking sounds, so as to not annoy my roommates, but the radio kept everybody up. The next day I let Dave draw all over my bedroom walls. Since the earthquake left cracks and missing plaster on every wall, our landlord said we could draw on them. I still have pictures of his art on my wall and a little face he carved for me. Eventually he ended up moving back to New York, but I had fun while it lasted.



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