One

59, unemployed white guy.

In my profile it says “I can find something to like about almost anywhere, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit [REDACTED] again.”

(Since I’m doing this anonymously, I’m redacting clues to who I am.)

One responded to that directly. He said he had gone out of his way to go there, and did I want to have coffee. I liked that he was so direct, and I was absolutely willing to hear a story. I said, “Sure, sounds great. Let’s meet at the coffee place at 1:30. You can tell me the story and then, we can both get the hell out before there’s traffic.”

He was late. He texted me to let me know, but I had made plans for later that afternoon and I wasn’t going to extend our time. “Oh, you’re going to bail, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, I am. I have to meet a friend for lunch. But I want to hear about your trip to [REDACTED]. What were you doing there? Why did you go?”

He couldn’t remember much about [REDACTED]. Instead, he told me a story about a completely different place, a story with a series of bad judgement calls. After trying to buy weed on the streets of New Orleans, he smoked crack with strangers and had to hand over all his cash to get away. I think I was supposed to be impressed with his adventurousness, but instead I ended up thinking, “Wow, that’s some poor decision making.” His visit to the place I wanted to hear about took place more than 30 years ago and had no detail.

“Crack is really bad for your brain,” I said. “Maybe that’s why you can’t remember.”

“I didn’t smoke that much,” he said.

Oddly, he looks better in person than in his profile photos. Someone should tell him that.