I was growing nervous as I sat in the Dunkin parking lot right off of Sockanosset, where we had agreed to meet. The rain had let up, but the sky was gray and my windshield was covered in beaded droplets. Finally, seven minutes late, I saw a silver Nissan Rogue with North Carolina plates pull in a few spots away. I exited my Corolla and proceeded toward it.
The man who emerged from the driver’s seat wasn’t at all what I was expecting. He was in his late forties, with neat — if thinning — hair. He wore a crisp, button-down shirt and wireframe glasses, lending him a distinctly professional air rather than the aura of degeneracy I had been anticipating.
Shame scurried up my spine as I looked down at my own outfit: a ratty T-shirt and sweat shorts above a pair of battered Crocs. I confirmed that he was, indeed, Daniel Hilyard, the man who I had contacted on Craigslist. Then he opened the back door of his SUV and showed me the weirdest looking dog I’ve ever seen in my fucking life.
The Hard Times: Whoa! What the fuck is that, a mutant greyhound or something?
It’s…a whippet. This is the puppy you’re buying.
Oh. Oh, yeah. That’s right. Sorry, I just wasn’t expecting —
You thought I was going to sell you drugs, didn’t you?
No! Of course not! I guess it just spooked me, is all.
Come on, admit it. You think this is the first time this has happened to me? I’m fed up with guys like you. Can’t you just go to the grocery store like a normal person?
I don’t like the way the cashier looks at me when I’m only buying 20 cans of whipped cream.
Jesus, throw some strawberries in your cart or something. Or just order them online.
That’s what I did!
I mean on Amazon or something, jackass! Did you really think fifteen hundred dollars was a fair price for some nitrous containers?
I figured you were going to have, like, a whole pallet of them. Like I was buying in bulk.
In a Nissan Rogue? I’m not Costco, man. This whole thing has been a nightmare. I’m leaving.
Can I at least get the dog? I think it might look cool in a little leather jacket with spikes on it. Hey, wait, come back! I’ll pay for the dog!