So there I was, having dinner (take-out from Zen Palate on 9th Ave.), minding my own business, watching some TV and trying to get caught up on my overdue work. As I ate my Curry Noodle Soup with Vegetables and Pan-fried Vegetable Dumplings, I caught out of the corner of my eye a neighbor's cat looking at me through the window.
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I got up and let him in. He sat on a chair near my air conditioner and looked at me in that all-knowing way that cats do. I looked up from my computer and said in exasperation "What?!" To my astonishment, he replied "I've been watching you and I've come to the conclusion that you need a girlfriend." Now I don't know what to be more surprised; that my neighbor's cat was talking to me or that he was telling me I needed to get out more.
"And that's not all" he said, "When's the last time you got laid? I have really good ears you know, and these walls are not that thick. You really need to do something about this situation."
My mouth was still open so I closed it. I thought about what this cat was saying to me and realized that he was right. That I was fooling myself in thinking that my next girlfriend was going to bump into me on the subway or ask me about the book I was reading or see me walking in Central Park and say "Hello." I replied "So, what am I gonna do? I hate the bars and the club scene is too hip. Women I am attracted to on the street are not approachable or they will think I'm some nut." I threw my hands up in exasperation.
The cat twitched his whiskers, and calmly licked his paws. I could swear he was grinning at me. He paused to look at me and said, "You are so stupid sometimes, you know that? Haven't you heard about Craigslist?" A light bulb went off in my head. Of course I had heard about Craigslist. After all, that was where I had found my apartment and also a job for a close friend of mine, and where I'd sold my furniture upon moving. And then I recalled that Craigslist also had personal ads.
"Oh yeah!" I said, "You want me to place a personal ad?" It suddenly started to make a lot of sense.
"Look," he said. "You're a nice guy. You're honest and funny and not ugly. You've really got nothing to lose. There's no reason why you shouldn't be in a relationship right now. Frankly, I don't know what's taking you so long. You're 29 years old, right?" I nodded in the affirmative.
I looked at him and said "Do you know how hard it is to meet people in this city?"
He stared at me and said, "You already know the answer. The answer is Craigslist. What are you waiting for? I'll bet there are hundreds of women out there just dying to meet a nice guy like you who will take them to the movies, to plays and concerts, and to dinner."
I got up and walked to the fridge. I asked him, "Hey, do you want some milk?" And when I turned around, he was gone.
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