Story Sent in by Jo:
For our first date, Carl took me to a hotel restaurant and then we took a walk to the enclosed atrium, just past the lobby. Dinner had gone well, and I thought that he was a decent guy. We sat down next to each other, talked for a bit, and then he leaned over and kissed me. I didn't pull away, and it was short and bashful, on his part.
When it was over, he stood up, stretched, and said, "Want to book a room here?"
I hadn't expected that question, and I replied, "Maybe not tonight."
He said, "Well, we should commemorate this, somehow."
It had never occurred to me to commemorate something I had just did, and so I had nothing to say as he looked at me expectantly. He said, "I've got it. Follow me."
I walked with him, out of the hotel, and towards a row of nearby stores across the street. What should have clued me in to the fact that something unpleasant was about to happen was his repeated statement, "I've never done anything like this before… I sure hope it works."
He walked us to a hardware store, purchased a can of red spray paint (apparently you have to show your ID to buy spray paint - I never knew), and led me back to the hotel.
Finally, I thought it prudent to pipe up, "What is it you have in mind?"
He said, "I've never done anything like this before… I sure hope it works."
I stopped walking. "Tell me what you're doing."
He said, "We're going back to the atrium. Nothing bad or anything that will hurt you."
"What are we going to do there?"
"Um…" He looked at the spray paint, then at me, then back at the spray paint, and then at me again. I couldn't put the pieces together.
I helped him. "Are we going to spray paint something?"
He said, "Yeah… well, maybe. I just thought it would be cool to get our names or our initials near that bench."
"Oh," I said, comprehending, "Absolutely not."
"What? Why not?"
I explained, "You're talking about defacing private property. I–no. Are you serious?"
He shrugged and said, "I figured it would be smart to do it near where our first kiss actually happened, but I'm all ears if you know of a better place."
I said, "No place. No spray painting of anything. Just the memory wouldn't be enough for you?"
He took a moment, then said, "Why don't you ask George Washington? Mount Rushmore, the Washington Monument, Washington D.C., the Statue of Liberty… half the stuff in the country commemorates him. You're telling me that we shouldn't commemorate important occasions?"
I said, "But those are all legal."
He replied, "And you think Mount Rushmore was legal when it was first made? The guy defaced a whole mountain, and it's art. I want to put some paint down near a bench, and that's wrong? Why does goddamn Washington deserve a million statues and we can't even get a line of paint?"
"Because Washington was a war leader. We just kissed."
"Just kissed?" he said, raising his voice a bit.
"I'm going to go," I said, "Maybe we can catch up again some other time." That was a lie. I had no intent of ever seeing him again.
He replied, "I can't believe you just said that. You must have a really low opinion of yourself."
"Yup. Bye," I said, and hurried back towards the hotel, as my car was parked there.
Carl hurried on in my direction, but he didn't walk with me. He kept going, almost running back towards the hotel, and once he made it there, he entered within. I don't know if he ended up spray painting anything, but I made it away from there before any further encounters.
Story Sent in by Jo: