This is messier than I thought it would be.
There is a fine line between profitable and pervy, and it seems that I have managed to make both of those things just one massive grey area. But hey, risk and reward– that’s just a part what I signed up for, right!? Not that it matters anyways, considering I can’t land a gig to save my life. I’ve tried to email a few guys about some offers, but every attempt has ended in disappointment in the form of no reply. These were the two that I had really been gunning for:
$15/hour to sunbathe at some rando’s pool? Dude, you would have to be a straight-up fool to pass that up.
It’s always been a dream of mine to go dumpster diving ever since I read this piece called “On Dumpster Diving” by Lars Eighner… But honestly, I’m probably just poeticizing something that would’ve ended up being kind of gross. It’s for the best that he didn’t reply, I suppose.
Once I let go of my sunbathing and dumpster diving dreams, I thought, “Okay. Well, if these folks can’t give me quality content to write about, I guess I’ll have to make it myself.”
This weekend I was in Fort Worth for work, so I did a bit of hunting around the Dallas/Fort Worth craigslist. Unsurprisingly, the offers there were a bit dry compared to those around Austin and San Antonio. So instead, I made an offer of my own. On the bottom of the community tab of craigslist lies a handy little section by the name of “rideshare” which is exactly what it sounds like. People list trips they’re making in the near-future and invite random people to contact them if they want to come along.
About an hour after posting this, I receive a text from a man named Derrick:
He then proceeds to FaceTime me, I assume to verify that I’m not a serial killer or anything. I’m greeted by a muscley-looking dude with a patchy beard in his mid-twenties. Seems like a chill guy. We exchanged identification and agreed to meet at a travel stop on the side of I-35.
I got to Waxahachie around 6:30 and pulled up to the travel stop. A few minutes later, Derrick’s girl pulled up next to me in a silver Mazda. She and Derrick made out in the car for a good minute before saying goodbye. He then walked over to my car, dressed in the striped hoodie and red hat he told me he would be wearing, and threw his duffel bag in the backseat. I offered him some jerky and we made our way onto I-35.
For the most part, the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful; Derrick napped nearly the whole way there. He told me a bit of his story towards the end when he woke up. He’s lived all across the United States, but he has resided in Austin for the last four years. He works full-time and is on his way towards finishing his degree in Exercise & Sports Science. He is extremely hard-of-hearing (which was honestly kind of an issue for me considering I’m so quiet when I meet strangers), so he’s 100% fluent in sign language. He plans to bridge the gap between the athletic community and deaf community at a baseball camp in Austin.
By the time we were finally kind of comfortable with each other, I reached his destination, and it was time for us to part.
Is my judgement skewed? I mean, probably. But did I die? Nah. The taboo behind craigslist is a little unwarranted. Sure, horror stories like Phillip Markoff and Michael John Anderson are definitely out there, but as long as you keep an eye out and listen to your intuition, the chances of something bad happening are few and far between. Stay sketchy, my friends.
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