Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Mysterious Perversity in Chicago

Mysterious Perversity in Chicago

Photograph via Flickr by kevin dooley

Editor’s note: Once a week, Laura Morton will use personal history to put a Craigslist ad into perspective.

The Story

I am not here to judge. I know that every relationship has its quirks. Oftentimes, if outsiders were to get the briefest glimpse, a relationship could appear odd or eccentric. In public, most people allow those eccentricities to fade away and appear to be normal people with normal proclivities. But, there are others who haven’t figured out what to share with the world and what to save only for their significant others.

A few years ago, my cousin in Chicago attempted the online dating scene. She teaches at a university, lives in an academic world, and she liked the opportunity to meet people outside her immediate circle. She met some great guys: some that did not transcend email, some that moved onto phone calls, and a few that actually reached the level of in-person dates.

One of these fine gentlemen we shall call Roger. When they connected online, he stood out to her because of his wit. My cousin thought he was funny, interesting, charismatic, and kind. They spoke a few times on the phone, and realized they had a tremendous amount in common. They’d lived abroad for a considerable number of years. They loved obscure silent films. They had distinct taste in wine but also loved a good American beer. And neither would miss This American Life come hell or high water.

My cousin thought she had met her match.

They set up a real, live date.

On a crisp, fall evening, Roger called my cousin to let her know he’d just pulled up in front of her building. My cousin hopped into the elevator and walked out the main door. Not wanting to feel too shallow, she was nonetheless impressed by the fact that he drove a new model Mercedes. She knew he worked in business, and she could tell from their conversations that he was extremely ambitious, so it was a comfort, in some ways, that he wasn’t over-selling himself.

Roger stepped out of the car when he realized it was she. He was tall and lean and wore a dark suit with a wool coat. My cousin wore a vintage dress with huge earrings and a scarf. They looked like opposites, but there was also something very complimentary about the two of them.

They shared an awkward hello, not sure whether to hug or shake hands, or kiss the other’s cheek, and then Roger ran around to open her door. My cousin stepped in, and the door closed behind her, and in that moment, everything changed.

Cat hair.

White cat hair covered every surface of the car, from the back seats to the dash. It wasn’t simply a hair here and there; it was everywhere.

When Roger got back in the car, my cousin asked if he had a cat. Roger said he did not.

My cousin looked around again, moving her hand across the seat, she picked up a good amount of cat hair without much effort.

“A dog?” she asked,

“Nope. I don’t have any pets. I never have.”

They drove to the nicest restaurant, a little place Roger had chosen, but my cousin couldn’t get passed the cat hair. Why was there so much of it? And where did it come from? And why didn’t Roger seem to notice or care? Their conversation was stilted and forced; my cousin couldn’t concentrate as she continued to find cat hair on her clothes, in her purse, and even in her mouth.

Finally, on the drive back home, she asked him.

“Roger, what’s going on with the cat hair? What’s it from?”

Roger kept his eyes on the road and let out a long, steady breath. He did not answer her.

At her apartment he stopped the car and turned to her with a smile.

“This was fun,” he said.

“Yeah, thank you.”

“I don’t think it’s going to work out.”

My cousin nodded as the words sunk in. It came as such an out-of-the-blue shock that she didn’t have the wherewithal to respond. She got out of the car and looked back at Roger as he gave a slight nod and drove away.

She never saw or spoke to him again.

In the end, she understood, as most of us do, that everyone has their own quirks, and it’s when you find someone who loves your oddities and doesn’t bat an eye at the cat hair in your car, or anything else, you know you’ve found your mate.

The Ad

CL > indianapolis > all community > general community

Adult Diaper wear wanted (Indianapolis)

Hello, Im 36 single no kids,non smoker, Drug Free, I love to wear diapers and im looking for a woman here in the Indianapolis aera who also wears them, Im intrested in a friend or Long term relitionship. Please put REAL in the subject line. Women 18 to 45 John.

The Response

But, this shit is crazy.