Before Tinder, it was Craigslist.
Look – young people from all over the country move to New York to work at prestigious companies for a lot of money. Everyone is working all the time. The gals are not interested in settling down and having babies. The men are focused, lazer like, on making money.
So what do you think horny young 20 somethings do?
And back in 2001, it was Craigslist. Craigslist was still virtually unknown outside of a few cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The only people that used Craigslist were 20 something hipsters from the city. So back then, women would still put up personal ads and sometimes even post a picture. It wasn’t “private” exactly but the audience was small and exclusive.
Her ad said “No Time To Date” and it was a litany of “small town gal in the big city.” Works all the time, never gets to meet guys. Looking for this and that, something. Loves this. Whatever.
Reading between the lines it means “busy career gal, haven’t been laid in months, looking for a man to fuck me silly all weekend then leave me alone.”
For me, this was my bread and butter pretty much, because, hey, I was in the same situation. I did have a girlfriend, but she lived all the way across the country in California and it’s not cheating if you’re in a different state.
Whatever, I never claimed to be a “good person.”
So this was like textbook. We had met for drinks on Wednesday at the dive bar near the towers. Aisha would flirt with me when I had some girl there, to help me out. She was a sweetheart. Aisha wasn’t interested in me at all but she liked me hanging around so she’d help out when she could. So this girl – I don’t remember her name – she’s about 27, a few years older than me. Cute, slender, long hair, dressed real nice. I forgot what she did. We have three drinks, I tell her I’ll walk her to the subway around the corner. She turns to say goodbye so I kiss her, we make plans to meet on Monday, after she gets back from whatever she’s doing on the weekend.
On Monday, god, I could barely concentrate at work. I had half a hard on all day thinking about fucking this girl tonight. At lunch, my bosses, Jimmy and Richie, took me and a few of the guys out to some fancy Thai place at the World Financial Center a few blocks away. Jimmy is bitching and bitching about the power downs. It didn’t make any damn sense. Why would both buildings have all of their power – including emergency power – shut off over the weekend? Everyone had been working late backing up all of the systems, making sure we could bring them back up without any problems. This did not make Jimmy happy at all.
Jimmy was probably 40 something, blonde hair, blue eyes, looked like a grown up boy scout but cursed like a sailor. He actually came across as rather relaxed and informal but the man was responsible for billions of dollars flowing through the company on a daily basis, yet he never broke a sweat. And the power down thing did not please him at all. He had been working on some roll out for months then, all a sudden, without any warning, the building management told everyone they had to prepare for two weekends of power downs, in both towers. “Upgrading the internet” or “fixing the electricity” or something, and that was why Jimmy was bitching about it so much.
Anyway he was a cool guy and it was nice of him to take us peons out for lunch with the big bosses. You know, older guys, they love to show off to the younger men. As I was like 24, just out of college working my first job, I never paid for lunch, or drinks after work. Guys like Jimmy and Richie, they loved to pull out hundred dollar bills and give outrageous tips to the bartenders and waitresses. I suspect both of them were loaded far beyond the kind of money I could imagine.
Of course, for me, 24 year old kid from the suburbs, I was making fucking bank. I’d pull out twenty dollar bills to tip the girls at the bar but it came from the same place honestly.
So we’re all chomping away on $40 entrees while Jimmy and Richie are having a cussing contest talking about the power downs. I’m pretending to pay attention but all I can think about is this chick I’m meeting later that night.
You know, thinking back on it, I figured it was just a regular job. I had pulled my one string to get this job, some kid I knew in college worked for one of the banks and knew Richie and had gotten me an interview. I wasn’t an employee, I was a consultant, working on a small team with a contract. Now I figured, sure, some of these guys had probably worked at NSA and the like, and I knew some of the guys from the DC office worked down in Maryland and had security clearances, but how was I to know, some kid, how connected finance is to the spook industry?
So I’m guessing, and it’s just a guess, that one of the guys on our team was assigned to this company for reasons a bit more complex than just a salary. LOL, I was surrounded by these people but I didn’t have a fucking clue.
But whatever – all I can think about is meeting Hot Chick uptown later than night, around nine. Meeting for drinks at nine basically means you’ve already scored, as long as you don’t fuck it up.
So that’s why I was uptown. We meet over at a bar close to her place, lubricate ourselves with a shot of whiskey each and two glasses of wine, then hop in a cab back to her place. I was basically raping her in the back of the cab. The driver says, “no please don’t touch her. Not here, no please.”
I swear, if I was the conspiracy theory type, I’d say the cab driver was Osama Bin Laden himself. Full bushy beard, some kind of tablecloth on his head, the whole nine yards. Of course Osama Bin Laden was on the news every once in a while but you know, we had no idea of what was coming.
So all night long I’m fucking this girl. We just walk into her apartment, she starts to get a bottle of wine by I’m just kissing all over her and just drag her into the bedroom. Two horny strangers just needing some attention and to get off. Well she wakes me up around seven and I’m hustling to get to work. No time to go back to my place but I have a change of clothes at the office for just this sort of thing. So I shower and put on last night’s clothes, which smell like smoke and whiskey. Frankly I look like shit, unshaven, but hell it was worth it.
So I walk blocks to the subway and get onto the train. This train is always fucking crowded. Miraculously, I get a seat and start reading my Wall Street Journal (best newspaper in America, at least back in those days.) Hey, I work in finance so it’s what you’re supposed to read.
I’m almost at my stop, but then, the train stops and all the lights go out. “Shit,” I’m thinking, “I’m going to be late. Jimmy is going to chew my ass out.” We sit there for five minutes – it seems like forever. The light comes on for like two seconds, then go back off. You could hear everyone on the train groaning, cursing under their breath and sighing. The announcer comes on and says, “there’s a delay.” Well, no shit, I thought. Five more minutes.
Finally, the train starts moving, but it’s going backwards. Now people are whining real loud, but it keeps going backwards. We go all the way back to the previous stop, and the announcer says, “there’s been an accident at the World Trade Center. Everyone must exit the train here. Everyone must exit.” People are mumbling, but the lights come on at the station, the doors open, and we all get off the train. The announcer says everyone must exit the station too. This sucks, but we all line up and start walking up the stairs.
I look at my watch, it’s already nine o’clock. I’m thinking, “shit I’m going to be so late.” Well I finally make it up the stairs to ground level and there’s a huge crowd standing in front of one of the buildings. Everyone is pointing and staring, some people even have video cameras out. I’m thinking what the hell is going on? So I look over to where everyone is looking and – let me tell you – I couldn’t fucking believe what I saw.
I can’t stand it I know you planned it
I’m gonna set it straight, this watergate
I can’t stand rocking when I’m in here
Because your crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear
So while you sit back and wonder why
I got this fucking thorn in my side
Oh my God, it’s a mirage
I’m tellin’ y’all it’s sabotage