Craigslist claimed the position was “work from home,” but I saw no red flag in first meeting face to face. She scheduled the interview for a Thursday; I put on a spiffy little blazer and drove up to Glendale. Mary, a Harvard-educated lawyer allegedly requiring paralegal assistance, was heavy set, with bulging eyes and variably-widthed dreads. She wore loose house clothing and complained of rheumatoid arthritis. She may have had a stroke recently, or she was just that ugly. Mary’s “office” was a disheveled condo, her “desk” a four-legged wooden crap-holder. She stared deep into my soul, letting words dangle in the stuffy atmosphere, cherishing awkward silences. After her hour-long rambling monologue with no inquiry into my work history, I should have walked away. When she asked me if I’d ever seen “Sunset Blvd,” I should have run. The interview was over, I could tell I got the job, and it started immediately. Let me emphasize that everything herein actually happened. Mary’s hyperbolic life and our mad afternoon together require no embellishment. After a recent STD scare, she told me, her “pussy is off-limits.” Chastity belt. However she still craved male companionship, someone to cook for and watch TV with, but absolutely no sex! A sense of relief throbbed through my manhood: you will not be needed today, and we high-fived.But just how much does watching TV with a housebound hag pay? Paralegal indeed, I was now officially a sexless male escort to the grotesque. She celebrated with a big glass of Ketel One, and asked if I wanted one. Tempted as I was to anesthetize all five senses, I knew to guard my sobriety; I declined. Her nervousness to broach the platonic man-whore offer triggered a brutal bout of the hiccups. I shouldn’t have suggested she drink from the other side of the cup, because she followed the advice and twisted over it, splashing water down/up her nostrils, snorting and gasping like an epileptic dreadlocked hippopotamus. Diaphragm contractions expunged, our next intercourse-free activity involved the playing and replaying of the Patsy Cline song “She’s Got You,” broadcast on her Kmart iPod player, and featuring lead sing-along vocals by my questionably-esquired captor. Apparently not yet over the Texan oil mogul who’d left her at the alter, she began to cry. Each time the song ended, she played it again, each time singing and sobbing, bawling and belting, a drunken karaoke night on Planet Getmeouttahere. Mary informed me she had begun to consider me as a sex partner. “Wait, what?” intoned my slumbering member.“Am I going to be called up to active duty?” “No, no,” I reassured him, “I can’t afford the Hazard Pay.” We were both relieved to hear that she considered me “too short.” I took no offense to my sexual disqualification, but when she lurched toward me with outstretched arms and puckered beast-lips, I recoiled. I’m too short, I’m too short! I’m gay! You’re gay! It was attacking me and I had to defend myself with swift movements and Olympic agility. I dodged, and she looked pissed. A seriousness overcame her hideous façade: “you have to leave right now,” she warned, “because if you don’t, I’m considering forcing myself upon you sexually.” We can argue semantics, but I’m pretty sure that can be paraphrased as: “go or I’m’n’a rape you.” Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’m against rape of any kind, but particularly of me. My paralegal experience involved very little rape-avoidance training, so I operated on instinct, which told me “leave” and “God, I hope the front door isn’t bolted.” Mary lumbered off to find her checkbook, and returned to scrawl a check. She tore it out and looked up from her chair: “you know, I would fuck you.” Hear that, Little Me? Today’s your lucky day! You’re gonna get some, wait, where’d you go…?” “What happened to the chastity belt?!”“Honey, you’re dealing with a bitch in heat. Fuck that belt!” Hagrid’s and Pizza the Hut’s vodka-breathed love child would fuck me. Awesome! I was broke and hadn’t been laid in months. This could be the answer to my romantic and financial woes! Instead, I stuttered: “I…I’m not interested,” as if dismissing a free* vacation voucher, not a repugnant self-proclaimed wannabe rapist. It glared as it thrust the mangled check at me while trundling back into its lair. I took the cue and raced to the thankfully-unbolted front door, limp and confused penis in tow, and out onto the street. Los Angeles air never tasted so fresh. The check was for $150.
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