Okay, so I’ve seen The Craigslist Killer movie, based on the true story of a serial killer who picked his victims on Craigslist. But I’ve allowed myself to indulge in a Craigslist Fantasy while I’m home sick with a cold and a hurt back.
Hell, it could happen, right?
This much is true: I’m selling a keyboard on Craigslist now. I got a response from a guy. Via text we’ve been making plans to meet so he can check it out. I had to reschedule once because I was too sick to deal with it, he responded by text that he hopes I feel better. Aw, that was nice.
And it got me to thinking . . .
What if . . .
Here’s the fantasy part (meaning none of this actually happened) . . .
Chris was scheduled to come on Sunday afternoon at 3:00. The kids were with my ex-husband. I started looking for him right before, because I don’t have a doorbell and my dogs were out back.
And there he was, a man at my door.
Chris was medium everything in my fantasy, medium-to-tall height, build, complexion, the kind of guy who could commit a crime and would not be remembered, except for his smile. A great smile. All and all, an impossibly nice mix of nerd and athlete. After all, this isn’t online dating, I don’t have to check all the boxes in my harmless fantasy. He was conveniently without race or ethnicity or age in my fantasy. He wasn’t big enough to scare me — since we are alone in my house, but he was big enough to be my manly fantasy — since we were alone in my house.
But I digress . . . from my own fantasy . . . so sad. Okay, back to it.
Out of habit I checked his hands. Clean and no ring. Good.
“Hey, how are you, I’m Chris.” He smiled, a Hollywood smile.
He seemed pleased to meet me. Which means my painstakingly effortless casual look had succeeded — tight tee-shirt and jeans, sneakers, but earrings,necklace, lipstick and blush. However, in an unconventional move — I left my glasses on and hair up in a clip. Hell, this wasn’t a date. Plus, if my glasses are on, I can get away with the lack of eye makeup, which means I don’t have to worry about taking off eye makeup later. (Always thinking, always planning, often lazy.) All in all, I presented a nice mix of nerdy femininity, thank you very much.
“Good, I’m Roxanne.””
“Nice to meet you.” He held out his hand.
I shook his hand, shouldn’t have, since I’ve been blowing my nose all day, but there was a man in my house and I was going to touch him, some way, some how . . .
“Anyway, the keyboard is downstairs.” Could you wait just a minute?
I pulled out my cell and called my mom, pretending that she was a boyfriend.
“Hey, sweetie, just wanted to let you know the man is here to look at the keyboard and I’ll call you later. No, take your time — he looks okay.” I smiled at him. “But you can come if you want.”
“Well, you can never be too careful.” Safety first, safety last, safety always. (I wonder if he carries condoms?)
He laughed again. So did I. I may have giggled. Damn.
The dogs were going crazy outside. He said, “You can let them in, I love dogs.” (Ding Ding, we have a winner.)
“No, they’re harmless, but they’ll be all over you.” (Insert obvious double entendre)
I showed him to the small door to my semi-finished basement and motioned him down.
He joked, “Now should I be scared?”
“Perhaps, a little.” (Bwah ha ha, you have no idea . . . )
I uncovered the keyboard and said, “Let me get it turned on.” (I thought, “I wanna turn him on.” Why? because he’s a man in my house. That’s all it takes. )
“Okay, looks good. Cool. Wow. ” Chris immediately starting playing, pushing the buttons, the joystick, changing sounds.
He was lost in the keyboard. Just like I like them, said the spider to the fly.
I watched him play with it for a bit. Keyboard technique only fair, but chording nice. Knows his way around electronics. For the first time in a long time I was not in a hurry for a person to leave my house. I offered him water. You should always offer a guest in your home something to drink.
“No, thanks, I’m good.” (Are you? I wonder.)
My back was aching and I needed to sit, so I sat at my son’s drums (which,by the way, are really mine). Before I knew it I was playing (at) drums along with him. Fun. To quote the great scholar — The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,
“A girlie who can play the drums can write her own ticket.“
Do ya think I’m sexy now, man in my house?
Chris wanted the keyboard. Yay! (I wanted him. Yes, I like musicians, even part-time basement musicians.) I explained to him that I threw my back out and couldn’t help him carry it. “Oh, I can probably do it.” He got up to lift the keyboard to test the weight. I watched.
Biceps, good. Oh my gosh, what is wrong with me?
His pants were too baggy for butt evaluation, which is good, because if he’d had on skinny jeans? Well, that would have been bad.
All in all. I like this guy, I thought.
He likes music and the same music gear I own. Good.
He’s got manners. Good.
He has a job of some sort because we had to schedule around it. Good.
So far he hasn’t tried to kill me. Very good.
A fleeting thought — I keep duct tape in my gig bag in the basement; he’s in my basement. Hmmm. I briefly considered getting out the duct tape to ensure a longer visit, but I decided against that. Sigh.
“Oh, I forgot about the case. It’s upstairs. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get everything down because of my back. Can you help bring it down?”
This meant he had to walk through my house to the upstairs attic storage.
I saw him glance in my bedroom. My bedroom is nice. Kind of hotel chic. Not too feminine. In other words, man ready. Yeah, baby.
My kids’ bedrooms? Not so nice. Messy. The kids weren’t home, and I have been too sick and hurt to clean their rooms. I apologized for the messes. He shrugged and said, “You should have seen my room when I was a kid.” (I’d like to see his room now.)
“Do you have kids?” I ask.
“No, I’m not married.” (I love that answer). “I’m still a big kid myself.” (I don’t know about that answer, but he was a man in my house.)
“My kids are with their dad today.” Awkward silence. Why did I say that? This is horrible, I’m awkward even in my own fantasy.
Why? why? did I say “their dad” ? Then I remembered my fake boyfriend call I’d made to my mother when he arrived. Oh no! So now he thinks I have multiple kids and at least one baby daddy plus a boyfriend. Damn. Not well-played. Now the awesome task in front of me was to slip in “Ex-Husband” and “single” in the conversation in the next 45 seconds.
I can be skilled in the art of conversation when I have to be (i.e. when I’ve already messed things up), so when he commented on a painting of me, I casually mentioned that it was the only thing my ex-husband gave me that I kept, other than the kids — ha ha — and that it was painted in Europe and I fantasize about moving to France when my kids get out of school — and I added, slipped in, really,
“I’m single and free, right?”
“Right.” He smiled.
Well-played, Roxanne, well-played.
Then Chris asked, the dreaded, inevitable question. He asked me how many kids I have. I mean, he saw the boy’s drums, now he was walking through my girls’ rooms and there are baby pictures on the walls upstairs.
Well, this is tricky. I have five children. Five. Sometimes I’m afraid to tell guys that. But I have to say, they don’t seem to care that much. Still, it’s a substantial number.
“Five. I have five kids.”
“Wow.” And he did what many do, glance at my waist. I pretended to ignore that.
“Yeah, you got that right. Wow. But I had them two at a time . . . so.”
We had the twin conversation and he adds the obligatory, “You’ve got your hands full,” thing. Blah Blah Blah. My stock may have plummeted. Damn kids. Whatever. There’s a man in my house!!!! Perhaps I should reconsider the duct tape to keep him here, I thought, now that he knows I have five kids. Hmmm.
So, long story short, in my fantasy I stood there and watched him load the keyboard and I didn’t drip snot on my chest. Lots of biceps and sweating were involved, his, which I enjoyed. He paid what I quoted, didn’t try to talk me down, and said, in parting, “I hope you feel better.” Aw, that was nice. (Which is how this whole thing got started.)
In my fantasy conclusion, my Craigslist guy doesn’t kill me. He calls me. And he comes to my next gig.
I don’t allow myself to fantasize any further than that . . .
Just Me With . . . a Craigslist fantasy. The G-Rated one, anyway.
Postscript from real life: Just got a text from him checking in, saying, “Before I made other plans later I wanted to ask how you are doing.” Aw. He wanted to know if today was going to work for me. He ended with, “FYI, I’m in no rush, in any case. Take care, Chris.” I replied that I’d reschedule and hold the keyboard for him.
I think I’m in love.
So the fantasy continues . . . for another day. Because today I feel like crap, look a hot mess, and walk funny.
Final Postscript from real life: He came to my house to see the keyboard — with his girlfriend. Sigh. At least he bought it. I used the money to pay off a credit card. Next fantasy? Becoming debt-free.
My Marital Home was large Victorian fixer-upper still in progress. I had accumulated a lot of children and stuff over my years there. One of my forms of therapy has always been to get rid of things and rearrange furniture (I know, a little weird) . Consequently I’d been cleaning crap out with a vengeance after my husband left (so much so he thought I was moving way before I even thought about it).
When the real move was on the horizon, I was faced with moving from this big house to my new little project where Piss Man and his GF were living (See Piss, Puke and Porn). So I basically decreased our belongings by — my guess — around two/thirds . . . Mind you the kid count was remaining the same and they were/are growing by the minute and although some days I’d like to sell them, I’m aware that generally this is frowned upon. Consequently, other stuff had to go.
Since I’m a purger by nature I drop by Goodwill often; they know me (even got hit on there). But since I was already doing this massive move by myself, including getting the Marital Home ready for sale and fixing up the new old hoarder’s house, I was quickly tiring of schlepping my stuff to Goodwill. I also tired of selling individual items, you know, meeting strangers at inconvenient times, etc. to maybe or maybe not make a sale. (Sounds a little like dating, but I digress.) I’ve never had luck having yard sales. So I started posting things for free.
We’ve all seen those ads, “Free Stuff” “Moving” etc. Well, I became one of those people. I decided to give away everything I could on one beautiful weekend. I took pictures, posted them on Craigslist and said FREE — come get it . . . first come, first served.
When living in a smaller space you don’t have the luxury to store certain things, one of them being holiday decorations. I’d already gotten rid of much of that stuff, but I was ready to let go of almost everything else. I told myself, and I was right, that I probably wouldn’t miss it and if I wanted more decorations later I’d start fresh.
My kids’ babysitter (now a good, good friend) had given them these beautiful angel decorations — you know the kind with the velvet gown and fur and whatnot — I had four of them for the girls and she’d given the boy a big nutcracker (heh heh). The angels had looked beautiful in my formal dining room when I had my Christmas sing-along parties. But, that life was . . . over. Still, even for me, it is a bit harder to get rid of items that were thoughtful gifts from a loved one– so I struggled a bit.
I knew I couldn’t store the angels and I knew that in the new old house I wouldn’t have a place to display them at Christmas . . . so . . . I took a picture of the kids’ pretty angels, posted it on Craigslist and put them out on the street, convincing myself that my friend would understand. It felt kinda like giving away my four girls, except my girls aren’t always angels . . . but I digress.
After posting, I got an email right away from a guy wanting to know if I still had them. I checked outside and they were still there. He asked me to hold them until he could get to my house.
I mean, they were pretty, but I didn’t know they’d be hot property — in June. I moved them to a more secluded place and told him where he could find them. He came and got them right away. I never saw him.
“Cool,” I thought, “My stuff is going.” It’s amazing how you can’t sell something for a dollar but if you offer it for free — it’s gone.
A couple of hours later I got an email from the man who took the angels. He thanked me for the them, telling me that they were for his mother who was going through Cancer treatments and having a pretty rough time. She didn’t get out much, he said, hardly ever. But when she saw the picture of my Christmas angels she wanted them so badly that she rode with him to get them.
He said those angels made her so happy. He was thrilled to be able to make her smile.
He just wanted to let me know how much I’d done for the both of them.
I almost cried. I’m lying, I did cry.
Oh wait, it’s Just Me With . . . tears in my eyes . . . again.
For what happened when I prepared the Marital Home for sale, see My Panty Drawer/Your Panty Drawer
For my purging of marriage related material, see:
and for what I wish would happen with Craigslist, see, A Craigslist Fantasy.