Originally Posted: 2007-03-08 00:29 (no longer live)

The Perfect Craigslist Girl, Or So I Thought

I saw her post. The title was eye-catching, I clicked. There were 4 photos, all of them clear, reasonably close-up, and all stunning. Beautiful face, glowing complexion, auburn hair blowing in the wind. Is that a tulip field behind her in that one? Is she on boat in this one? Blue skies, sun shining, her smile wide and bright. The ad was relatively brief yet charming and creatively intuitive. I knew she'd be getting a ton of responses.

I wrote her, told the truth about myself, attached a picture and hoped for the best. The next day I get a response, she asks a few questions, I answer, and she writes back with her phone number. That's right, I didn't need to provide proof of birth or a pay stub. I called and she picked up on the first ring. Her voice wasn't high-pitched or deep, it was just normal and a little perky, she rambled on and then I rambled on. I called her again, and then again, our conversations were fluid, no awkward pauses, she was simultaneously available and unavailable.

We met at the Matador in Ballard for our first date, her choice. I gave myself plenty of time but there was an accident on 520 and I was 15 minutes late, I showed up frazzled. But instead of being rude, she was understanding and pleasant. Apparently she'd showed up early, put our name down on the list, sat at the bar with a glass of white wine. She was even prettier than her pictures, her face had matured, her hair was looser and wilder. She wore a pale yellow strapless top and dark jeans. The curve of her neck and shoulders and collarbone, her tan skin, I tried not to stare. The hostess took us to our table. The bar was loud so we sat on the same side of the booth. She wasn't nervous at all and her hand was ice cold and smooth. She made me laugh. I was in love with her then, and I knew it, and it was terrifying.

I called her the next day, she answered, we made a date. I offered dinner, she suggested the Pink Door. It was Halloween weekend and she wore an outfit that was almost-a-costume. She refused the first table the hostess offered us, requesting one along the banquette. I expected the hostess to refuse, the staff there is infamously snotty, but instead changed direction and took us to the requested table. She seemed to know the staff, the wine-list made sense to her. She over-ordered and ate little. After dinner I walked her to her car, everyone on 1st Ave. looked at her as we walked by. When we got to her car I kissed her. Afterward she smiled and said goodnight. We had another date, and another, and another, it was perfect, we made-out in her cold car, NPR droning in the background.

And then another date- she came over to my place and we watched When Harry Met Sally, she said it was the sweetest movie of all time. We didn't really watch much of it, of course. She said "yes" all night long.. "yes" over and over and over again, and "please." She said "yes" and then "please" over and over, and breathed into me. She left the next morning. "Thanks for having me over," she said. It was raining and cold outside, but I was warm and sleepy. I called into work and went back to bed and woke up to her smell on my sheets. It was 5 days before Christmas.

I never saw her again. I called, texted, and e-mailed for weeks, long after I should have stopped, but I just couldn't accept it. Then I started to realize that I didn't know her last name, where she worked, or where her apartment was. I had no way to find her. Why hadn't I ever thought to ask? Why hadn't it just come up naturally in conversation? Was it all on purpose?- some sick manipulation? But why?- to what end? I'd become paranoid. Distant. I re-bounded badly, very badly, embarrassingly, over and over again.

But it started to get better. A new girl started a few weeks ago on my floor. She smiled at me every time we passed each other. I asked her out, she accepted. There we were, this past Saturday night, in El Camino in Fremont, and I look up, and there she is. She looked fantastic, wearing all black with high boots. She was with some guy, a tall, big guy with blond hair. I put my head down but it was too late, she saw me and came over. She leaned in and kissed me hello, asked me how I've been, complimented (with a totally sincere tone) my date. She suggests some specialty drink, then excuses herself. I couldn't tell my date the truth, of course, so I had no excuse to leave. About 1/2 an hour later she leaves, waving goodbye quietly as she passed through the door.

I couldn't help myself- I went home, already drunk and then drank more. I called her around 2AM.

She didn't answer.

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