craigslist awkward encounters
So there I am on the 22. The bus is packed, and I am fresh off a shopping trip to Safeway, which means straddling one bag so it doesn’t fall over while carrying another in my arms like it’s a baby. I get the feeling that this is what it must be like to have twins, except I’m pretty sure you’re never supposed to set your child down on the floor and straddle it, or even think about doing that.
At the next stop, a young man gets on followed by even more people, and they start moving toward the middle of the bus where I’m stationed with my bags, and there’s about as much likelihood that I’m going to move aside for them as there is likelihood for anything to move that is definitely not going to move.
I think he must have seen the fear in my eyes, because as soon as he gets to me he says, “Don’t worry this is fine.” Bus equilibrium has been reached. I smile at him, as though he had just saved one of my twins from an alligator and say, “Thank God.”
I look away to check the status of the floor twin, and I hear him say, “Do you live on Oak?”
“Yes,” I say, and then because it seems like the right question to ask, “Do you live on Oak?”
He answers in the affirmative. “I feel like I know you,” he says.
I’m wondering if he might be the father of my twins (!?) and I look down at the one on the floor and smile in a benevolent way that I think says, Daddy’s home! But what I really say is, “Oh?”
And he says, “Were you looking for a roommate awhile back?”
“Not that I know of,” I say. (as though I am so nonchalant about looking for roommates that I might be doing it right now and not even know about it).
And he says, “Oh.” And then we both get off the bus. “So,” he says, “Do you live with a lot of people?”
“Two girls,” I say, “Do you live with a lot of people?” (these are the questions that define your life)
“Two guys and two girls. But we’re actually looking for another roommate.”
Is he asking me to move in? “Well I’m spoken for,” I say. And then he looks at me like I had just told him that he was the father of my twin grocery bags, and I have the paternity test to prove it, and I realize that maybe he thought I meant that I have a boyfriend who speaks for me and he needs to stop being so fresh and asking me to move in, so I immediately launch into, “I mean, I’m spoken for by my roommates. My roommates speak for me. Already have roommates. Not moving out. Hahahahaha. Roooooommmmaaaaaaaaaates!”
He looks at me, and I look at him and then he says, “Good luck,” and it might seem like a weird thing to say, but you wouldn’t think so if you had been there.