He wondered if he was getting carpel tunnel syndrome from clicking his mouse button too much.
God damned mother fucking internet dating sites. He had his profile up on so many of them for a week and still hadn’t heard a response. Shane wondered if this was the Internet version of instant judgement-the physical equivalent of an eye roll or a sneer. He was aware that the world of the Internet held little emotion and there were no social etiquettes-however, he just wanted a response.
But it was like high school all over again, really. You sit there, your picture amongst thousands of others and hope that something about you will catch their eye-then you wait. And wait some more.
The silence was like the wind: it was annoying and terrifying all at the same time. Shane knew there were sites that graded you on how “hot” you were. He didn’t put his picture up on those site. He did, however, put up pictures of his dick. This had resulted is some interesting outcomes.
Just not the ones he wanted.
He clicked again, trying to find pictures of guys that spoke to him. This was an odd thing as he could barely talk to other men in person first, unless there was some sort of introduction, even if it was a judgment on how someone looked.
Shane knew people thought he was shy. That wasn’t it. He was pretty much an extrovert, but just fucking hated people. Not all people, there are exceptions to every rule; just most people.
He passed over another personal ad and heard a knock on the door. Shane sighed. He knew he should just ignore the door knock but curiosity always got the better of him. Taking a sip of his coffee, he opened the door.
Rex was there. “Someone took my fucking dog.”
Shane wasn’t sure he had heard correctly. “I’m sorry?”
“My dog, Roswell. She’s not in the apartment.”
Roswell was a one hundred pound pit bull that had to wear a muzzle. Shane had usually kept his distance, but he liked animals. So he said with some concern: “Did someone break into your apartment?”
“I don’t know.” Rex said. He was fifty, with long greying hair. Shane wondered if he had once been a biker or a hippie. Unfortunately, Shane knew what Rex’s life was like now. That’s what happened when you lived next to someone. You ended up knowing too much about them.
“Let me know if you hear anything.” Shane said. “Are you going to be alright?”
“Yeah.” Rex wore a dazed look. “I can’t believe she’s gone.”
“You really don’t know what happened?” Shane was very cynical. Though he loved all kinds of animals, he was also jaded.
“No, it’s like I said, I came home and she was gone.”
“You never said that part.” Shane told him.
“But that’s what happened.” The smell of beer off of Rex induced tears in Shane’s eyes. The scent of it seemed to fill the air around him. The stench of it reminded him of Pig Pen from those Charlie Brown cartoons, this time with vapour more than dust.
“Let me know if you hear anything.” Shane said.
“You want to come over and have a beer?”
“No, I gotta work.” Shane said. “Or get there anyways.”
“Oh, you’re working.” Rex said. “Sorry, never can tell with you artistic types.”
“It’s okay.” He started to close the door slowly. “Have a good night Rex.” He said.
Rex held out his fist and Shane bumped it. A quick tap is what passed for a handshake nowadays, a quick hit of flesh. “Stay cool.”
“You too,” Shane said.
“You working tonight?”
“Yep, shift work.” Shane said, sighing. Rex’s memory was notoriously poor. “Twelve hours tonight.”
“That fucking sucks.”
“Dig it,” Shane said.
He shrugged and closed the door behind him.