The Protestor and the Prostitute

My mother raised me to be a good girl. I never dated in high school, per her order that I graduate. In college, I had a lot of male friends, some of whom liked me or vice-versa, but they were my usual is-you-is-or-is-you-aint crushes. (Well there was the freshman football player senior year but that’s a story for another day.) I don’t know that Mom was 100% successful by her standards but I turned out all right. I have a job. I have a house. I pay my own bills. I have all my teeth. I am an upstanding citizen most of the time.

Still, we all harbor a past. My “wild” past at Cal in Berzerkley involved activism. No surprise; Cal is home to the Free Speech Movement. Protests are almost a graduation requirement. So I confess openly to chanting outside windows and blocking traffic on Bancroft. One time we faced off with the police in riot gear when we took over the Men’s Faculty Club. The old white men in tweed coats kept sipping their tea and coffee from china cups as my brother and I and several dozen of our friends stood our ground in the name of ethnic studies or professors of color or affirmative action. The cops growled at us from across the hardwood floor, wielding batons. Nothing happened but it felt great. I look back on that moment and similar events with a sense of pride.

Yesterday, via Craigslist, I crossed paths with yet another cute Asian guy. This one ran his own business. He featured pictures of himself in what looked like Cal color fraternity gear. I suppose I should have cut off our communication when his one line reply to me was “so what exactly are you looking for?” That, dear readers, is code. We online personals vets know what that means. It is a question that implies you are not in polite company. Nevertheless, well aware of my 40 day journey, I vowed to check my judgment and correspond with the young man. We exchanged instant messenger names and engaged in the usual chitchat. It didn’t take long(try two sentences) for me to see that he was a juvenile clown. But he had asked me about CL and I do love the soapbox when it is offered to me. I was lecturing about “freaks” when he wondered if I would consider him a freak. He then proceeded to explain that he was once a male escort while on study abroad in Japan. Then he began to poke fun at me for my “craziness.” “You’re one of those protestors?????? Hahahahahahahahahahaha!” Imagine my chagrin. I cut off the conversation to save him from further humiliation.

25 more days.

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