Casual Encounter


It was all just a lark. Bored on a cold Memorial Day afternoon, Harley decided to log on to facebook to see what her friends were up to. Nothing unusual—she did it practically every day, and practically every weekend she was able to stir up some kind of excitement: sneaking into movies, crashing a wedding, or building a bonfire on the beach. Something socially questionable. No reason she shouldn’t be able to do the same on a school holiday like today.


But after an hour or so of scrolling and posting, checking and rechecking, it became increasingly clear that every person she had any interest in seeing-or-doing-something-with was unavailable. No one was around.


“Screw you guys then,” she said as she navigated to craigslist.


But even junk shopping turned out to be a bust. She clicked on all the obligatory stuff—weird restaurant equipment, laptops, used cars she’d never own. Someone was posting ads for free puppies. “Idiots,” she muttered to herself.


Her city’s digital junk thoroughly vetted, Harley clicked back to the home page for the “Best of” link. She must have tapped the mousepad in the wrong spot, however, because instead of “Best of,” up popped ads for “casual encounters.” “Ah, what the hell,” she said with a shrug. “Might be good for a laugh.”


The first link was boring. Some college perv showing off his pecs and his penis. “Ew,” she said. The next click was more interesting. Her bedroom. Her sleeping. Taken from her doorway.