Just look at one more profile — here’s a guy with dark disheveled hair, stylish but not trying too hard, looks so good-hearted but with a distant enough presence to seem alluring. His profile has eight pictures (yes), but there’s just one more of him with a couple friends out at night, laughing, drinks in hand. And all the other pictures are just things, but they’re well chosen things: a picture of Edith Piaf, a glammed-up shot of Marc Bolan — oh, I need to write this guy now. Shit. I need to write him. But I don’t have a picture on my profile. He’ll just see my friends’ profiles, with all their dressed-up, sexified pictures, and write them. (I need homelier-looking friends.) I copy his profile’s address and e-mail it to my Hotmail account and then — last one — click on one of his friends.
—Shit. Shit. I’m not playing any music — where’s that sound coming from? Fuck, it’s on this guy’s profile. There. Good. I didn’t even click anything and it was playing. I need to get out of here before I find too many interesting faces and links to be able to resist clicking the day away. Just check the New York Times again just in case something momentous has happened or there’s something new in the arts section. There’s something now about the Gaza Strip which I feel guilty about not wanting to read right now, but I leave it and fix my stare back on work.
But wait — this is a terrible idea, especially at work, but I absolutely can’t help it. That guy’s picture is making me desperate for a date. So I open a Word document as though I’m still doing work and type out a post for Craigslist:
bright, warm, over educated, well read, indie fluent boys must respond
the weather is suddenly so nice and i’m dying to be out, hopefully with the companionship of a cute, empathetic, art saturated, smart assed guy.
the girl that wants your company is 24, 5’5″, loves her job, likes going out to shows, not skinny but not overweight, not voluptuous but never mistaken for a boy and often told i’m attractive.
That’s going to have to do for now. I want to come up with two sentences that’ll somehow convey everything I really see myself as, but details will have to come later. I type “have a, but don’t be a, dick” just to see it, and then immediately delete it.
Okay, that’s enough of an internet fix for now. I pick up the sheath of expense reports and their stapled clumps of receipts, look up the account number on the first one and enter the line items, one by one. The first-class airfare to Raleigh and the three nights in the Hilton are by far the largest charges on this one, but the dinner bills still astonish me — several are over three-hundred dollars. Of course, I have no idea how many people this bill covered. Wine may have inflated the price, too. I hear the consultants are never questioned on these receipts we type into the system, at least if they keep bringing in new business. I almost audibly swear every time I see that they’ve sent someone to London.