I’m not afraid to browse around on Craigslist. There’s something I find compelling about decorating my home with previously owned goods (that would be the price-cut). But what I love most is the camaraderie and trust that’s so evident on the site. It’s the only time Angelinos willingly--nay, ENTHUSIASTICALLY, give out their phone number/address to complete fucking randos. Anyway. I was on Craigslist trying to find a kitchen table because my roommate managed to break ours while sitting on it, not because she was fat but because the table was already rickety (I’m required to say that). And when I clicked on a posting called “DINETTE!!!!!”, an unforeseen desire blazed within. I NEEDED that table. It was the perfect size, the right price, and it had a CHESS BOARD painted in the center. Technically I don’t play chess, but someday I might learn. Vivian was friendly on the phone…perhaps too friendly. But I chalked up the huskiness in her voice to getting over a sore throat. “It’ll be great to see you,” she breathed into the phone (not unlike some kind of phone stalker). “I’ll leave your name with the man at the gate.

Vivian came to the door wearing head to toe spandex, and I figured why not? Maybe she was leaving in a minute to head out for yoga. “The table’s in the attic,” she said and led the way up. “It’s 100 bucks right? “Unless you want it for free.” Now the signs were coming together, and I was feeling a bit unnerved. Alone up in her attic I felt I pretty much knew what she wanted. “Bark for it.” “I’m sorry?” “I want you to bark for it.” “Bark—” “Like a dog.”

It was an odd request, and I struggled with it. There was some sort of bizarre power play at hand. She was trying to make me do something she knew would be humiliating, degrading, and it took less than a minute before I had an answer I felt comfortable with. That’s when I started barking. For a free table? I certainly did.


Annie Kerns, Mathieu B, LA SURVIVAL GUIDE

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