Mostly rambles, few brambles
Under Hobbies, He Wrote “Revenge”
I won’t say it was a total turn-on, no erotic giddiness fomented as I read and re-read this descriptor. Rarely, do I make it all the way to “Hobbies” on someone’s dating profile. More often than not I hit a “Ben Affleck” or “Dave Matthews Band” bogey and bail entirely on a whole human being, but this guy’s bio was eerily barren aside from his professed devotion to revenge. Curiosity tingled through me. I had to know more.
Never have I actually stated that I love revenge, but I do, and I think we all do to some extent. It is always somewhat satisfying when Dateline catches their predator or when at the end of the movie the tormenting bully loses the dance contest after being socked in the mouth and falling face first into horse diarrhea.
“A revenge hobbyist,” I said aloud to my empty bedroom. “And he’s not that ugly.” I was trying to find any justification to send him a message. My whole body felt like a low voltage charge was pulsing through it, and yet all I was going off was his one photo, possibly repurposed from a government ID, and his claim to love revenge.
“Clayton Williams,” I said his name with a heavy breath. We both had “Revenge” interests, stated and unstated, which was almost like hating the same people. It is nice when you and your partner both love someone or something, but the true bonds and the most cathartic rants seemed to always arise from hating the same things. I can only assume he’d meant to write that he also despised “Ben Affleck,” “Dave Matthews Band,” and “Julie from Marketing;” I mean, then I’d have no choice then but to message him. But I can dream, dream that he meant to write those and that down the road they will be fun surprises for me.
I wanted to message him. I really did. Maybe he hates online dating as much as I do and us meeting on here is serendipitous, both of us reluctantly attending a party we never wanted to be at in the first place only to find lifelong happiness.
My fingers typed out a non-threatening message. Something overly friendly employing at least one “heyyy.” I don’t know who I am sometimes on this. I don’t know if it brings out my best or just my most conflict-averse self.
What if I doesn’t work out, what if—through no fault of my own—he’s embarrassed at the end of our relationship or at the end of our fifteen minutes of sipping coffee in a well-lit public setting? I’d be square in his sights for unspecified revenge, and I don’t know him well enough to know if he’s more the pranky, mailbox-full-of-worms type or more the identity-stealing saboteur.
This is what dating is, I reminded myself. You put yourself out there, and sometimes you end up with a front porch full of medical waste because you believed love was out there, attainable, and maybe you could find it with who you thought was a classy hospital janitor. This town is big enough that someone, preferably within a twenty-minute drive, will share your enthusiasm for Thai food and writing Boys from Brazil-Cheaper By the Dozen crossover fan fiction.
He replied, sans capital letters. This is what dating is, I reminded myself again in my pseudo mantra, celebrating someone for who they are and not who they aren’t. “less kno about u is better,” he’d written back. “Give name & where can find him? $50k wire to acct and is done.”
I starred at the message as I tried to decipher. “I don’t understand. Who are you, can we meet sometime? I like revenge, too.” I may have tacked a mortifying smiley face or three on as well. I could feel my heart calcify a little; why wouldn’t he want to know about me?
Ten minutes later a reply not worth the wait trickled through: “Fuk you government.” I went to bed upset over a fugly Internet stranger who didn’t want to get to know me.
When I checked back tomorrow, during Dateline, his profile had been deleted. The first story detailed the shadow industries of amateur mercenaries in the United States. The crackdown by Soldier of Fortune on their classified ads had left a vacuum that’d since been filled with telemarketers, cryptic billboards, and dog whistling online daters. There wasn’t revenge, but there was a bit of closure, and I returned to my empty bedroom and edited the chapter where the troop of teenage Hitlers loses the big dance competition.