Page 51 - WTP VOl. VIII #7
P. 51

 “Single Simplicity.”
“So that’s....what? Some kind of deodorant?” He laughed. “Yes! It weeds out the stinkers!”
“Charming. I gather it’s a dating service. For simple- tons. Sounds perfect for you. What does ‘single sim- plicity’ even mean?”
“It means these chicks won’t mind that you’re piss- poor and working for a two-bit French joint. And
it’s not really a service, just a list of ads from socially conscious folks looking for love. Or maybe they’re just looking for a fuck, who knows. But try it, you’ll like it.”
And that’s how I end up on a hot summer Monday night talking on the phone with a complete stranger named Mindi. Her ad, I must say, was memorable. Brief and to the point:
Straight Shooter: DE, SWF, 32, 5’4”, blue-eyed, blonde, petite, scarred but straight-shooting lady marksman. If you’re straight with me, I’ll be straight with you.
It was there tucked in among eight photocopied pages of SWFs, DJFs, BBWs, and other species of available women from NY, NJ, PA, CA, WA, HI, and elsewhere around the country, all lined up in neat columns selling themselves in 50 words or less. Ear- nest, open, trusting women throwing themselves into a vast, anonymous sea of testosterone. I imagined them sitting in their kitchens with a glass of white wine in one hand and a pen in the other, polishing their profiles. Or maybe scrunched up in bed, knees to their chests and a cat by their side, trying to cap- ture their best, optimistic selves in print.
From an initial scan, it appeared that most of these singly-simple women lived in New York or Seattle. Only three lived in my home town of Philadelphia. Two more lived in south Jersey, and one in Delaware. Since my ex-fiancé is from New Jersey, I rejected that state on principle. Two of the Philadelphians were over 60, and the third wanted a “tall, nondrinking, born-again Christian”—which disqualifies me on all counts.
That left the scarred but straight-shooting lady marksman from Delaware.
As an English major, I liked that she spelled “you’re” correctly. I also liked that she had the efficiency to come in at half the allotted words. I wasn’t sure what “scarred” meant, but I warmed to the image of a petite blonde with a handgun. And I have to admit
that, after my experience with Laura, seeing the word “straight” four times in three lines didn’t hurt. So I sent back a note telling her about myself and the res- taurant, and gave her my phone number.
Mindi tells me she wants to know me better before we get together. That’s fine with me. I’m in no rush, and I enjoy our conversation. We make another phone date.
“I’m into radical minimalism,” she tells me the next night when I ask why she joined Single Simplicity. “The whole living simple thing. Getting in touch with my inner calm, that kind of stuff. That’s what the shooting’s about, I guess. I find it soothing—just me and the target.”
“I’m more the opposite, I’m afraid.”
I’m on the floor before the TV again. I was just watch- ing coverage of the Hubble space telescope, but now I’ve turned the TV off to focus on Mindi.
“More into radical complexity, you know? Getting in touch with my inner chaos.”
I mean it as a joke, but she takes me seriously. “What’s so chaotic?”
“Well, everything, really. Progress. Ambition. Success. It can all feel so impossibly beyond reach. Not so much the doing of it, but the doing of it perfectly.”
“Perfectly? Good god! Give yourself a break. You’re human, aren’t you?”
“Not according to my exes.”
“Hmmm. Plural? That does sound complicated.”
“I rest my case. So, what do you do when you’re not shooting?”
“I’d rather not have to say. But since you asked... Phone sales. Telemarketing. That kind of thing.”
“I bet you’re good. You’ve got a great voice for it.”
“Please, don’t insult me. I despise the work. But the pay’s decent and it’s only part-time, so I still have time to shoot and write.”
(continued on next page)

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