I work the door at a bar, checking I.D's, taking covers, flirting, etc. I do not, however, take the flirting beyond the door and so I turn down the half-assed attempts to take the door girl home.
Cigarette is the nickname of a guy who used to work at the newspaper I interned at long long ago. I never knew him, didn't recognize him when he walked in and was thrown off when he called me by name. From my friends' stories who worked with him, he was creepy and weird, always smelled like cigarettes and had the impolite habit of staring at your chest with his unsettling, red-rimmed eyes.
The bar was busy that night, more so than usual, and I didn't have time for my regular shift drink and flirting. So later, when Cigarette approached me to ask for my number, I was distracted and harried.
"I don't really give my number out to people. Safety thing. Uh, but we can trade emails or something," I said.
He disappeared in the crowd and returned a few minutes later pen and paper in hand. Without a word he thrust them at me.
I blinked, distracted, and said, "What?"
He said, "Your number?"
The line of people waiting to get into our normally not so busy bar was growing. Fast. I scribbled the first three digits of my number before realizing what I was doing. Fuck it. Whatever. I'll deal with him later if he actually calls.
He called a few days later, left a message about coffee. I returned his call a few days later, leaving a message saying thank you but no. I didn't give any reason, just thank you but no.
The next day, a number I didn't recognize called.
"Hi, is this the woman for hire?"
"The Craigslist ad for the woman for hire, is this you?"
"What? No. You have the wrong number. I don't have any ad on Craigslist and certainly am not a woman for hire."
"Is this xxx-xxx-xxxx?"
"Yes. Shit! Is there an ad with that number!? I didn't put that on Craigslist!"
I'm panicking now, reeling with the thought of a Craigslist personals ad soliciting me as a woman for hire. I quickly review the list of people who might find it funny to do this to me. Several come to mind.
"No no, it says a woman for hire with your number. You'll come to my home and service me. It says that. You'll come to my home and service me."
The conversation escalated to him insisting I come over and me insisting that the ad wasn't me. The voice sounded familiar. I looked at the number again and recognized it as one I'd seen recently. It clicked. Cigarette.
"Is this _______?"
"It says you'll come to my house and service me."
"Is this _______!?!"
He never denied or confirmed who he was, instead repeating the services for hire advertised in the personal. I began shouting at him about how fucked it up it was to do this to a woman, and who the hell does that sort of thing, and what the royal fuck, and who the fuck do you think you are, and you're a fucking creep, etc., then hung up.
Cigarette called back twice. No answer.
Months later, he slunk into the bar again.
"Look I'm sorry about the Craigslist thing. It was a bad joke."
"Uh-huh. It's a three dollar cover and I need to see your I.D."