'Digital Tumbleweeds in an Online Dating Site Ghost Town'


Seann McCollum


12” X 16” Casket

As soon as the stone leaves his hand, he's committed. Way out in the middle of the pond, ripples emanate from the plunking stone. The computer screen makes his face take on the pallor of a drowned child. His fingers tap the keys like the clicking of deathwatch beetles. His eyes stare without blinking. The machine hums softly, every once in a while exhaling with a hiss as an interior fan spins then stops, spins then stops. There is an annoyed boop as he hits the wrong key, tries to open a protected file. Access denied. There is probably a night outside but he's forgotten about it; this coffin is encased within a larger tomb. The only window he can see through is this tiny illuminated one, though whether the world on the other side of it is an interior or exterior one, he cannot tell. He hits the enter key and the ripples start to spread.  

The Real Trouble

very poorly behaved women (that is me), is seeking a kindly interesting fellow for a love affair. A little moral complexity on your end would be appealing, but mostly the real trouble can be left to me.

Spoil Me

I am a fat girl but damn it we are better in bed, I only like white guys that are close to my age or younger is fine. I have a thing for geeky guys as long as u r kinky in the bedroom. Hit me up lets talk. Let me also mention I have a very very big sex drive and I would love to find someone who has time to help with my needs in that maner.


He takes the bottle of spirits from the cabinet and pours a few fingers into a cut glass tumbler. Tosses it back. This liquid machine, bones grinding together within a bag of watery pulp, skull floating on top like a bobbing cherry. His heart knocks around in his ribcage like ice in a glass, chink-chink. Eyes like glazed olives blinded by the high beams of the car driving right towards his picture window. I'm at the wheel; the ghost of me that is. He slaps the curtains shut, squeezes his bloodshot eyes tight, and pours another drink, hoping for the best.


Other trivia about me: ex-Jeopardy contestant, love to go on long walks including the marathon, have super sensitive feet and compulsively buy shoes for them, have two little tattoos I got way before it was the thing to do...


Now that I have had a bit of experience with this dating on line...A deal killer would be yellow crooked teeth. Sorry, my biggest pet peeve.


Let's not tell anyone how we met, my dear. Let's pretend it wasn't over the internet. Let's pretend it was some romantic chance encounter, out in the three-dimensional world rather than within this flat one. You remember: your eyes met mine, our hearts beat faster, the music swelled… let us not have our fairy tale begin with “Once upon a cold white screen a haunted man was fishing in a digital sea with digital bait, when all of a sudden he felt a nibble on his digital line… ”

My Second Passion

I like picnics, stories, large plates, fine fabrics, bright colors and suitcases. I am reasonably attractive and very sexy to some in the right light. I am one of our city's political radicals, and very involved in this reguard. If it was not for politics I would turn to crime as it is my second passion. I am a piss poor speller but I can paint and make all kinds of things. I love to cook and although I do it with some shame, I am the type of woman to run at a man with a plate of food (the mothering and smothering ends there however). I am none conventional in my goals, but I do have goals and heaps of accomplishments.  

Twilight Zone

I love abandoned houses for the history and the feelings of life changing and moving forward. I'm not talking about the twilight zone stuff though.  


People meet, talk on the phone, have sex, fall in love, are disappointed with the other's looks/ personality/ voice/ smell/ income; they stalk one another, hurt one another, leave one another, have trouble leaving one another, occasionally kill one another, break each others' hearts with the truth or a lie. Don't answer the phone. How many horror stories begin with the words, “He seems like such a nice guy!” and end with the words “restraining order?” Everything is possible at first, the entire future hinges on just a few words, drunkenly typed in the early hours or deliberately and carefully thought out, accompanied by a postage stamp-sized picture as proof of their existence, like blurry photos of Victorian-era ghosts. Shaky evidence at best.


I have been wanting to go to a Haunted House for years...but something always keeps me from going. I am to scared to go by myself, and would like to have a man to hold on to :)


I'm an employed creative single, never been married white female. I've always danced to the beat of my own drum. I've got auburn hair and brown eyes. I've been compared to looking like:  
Elizabeth Taylor/Wynonna Judd/Christina Applegate (brunette)  
I've got tattoos and a clitoral hood piercing (thinking about removing)and am a Wiccan in my belief system. I'm a Giver/Healer which I apply to my work/profession.  
Non smoker/social drinker (it's been about 2 months since my last cocktail)  
Very feminine, and above average dresser/style.  
Adult child, do not want any more.  
Looking to date and possible marry/handfast with an open minded male over the age of 30.  
Only dealbreaker?  
No cats allowed. Sorry.

Horror Stories

im new to the area but all i keep seeing on your guys post no crazy women no wack jobs is it to much to ask is there alot of crazy girls up here i mean my dad lives in s.e. and tells me horror stories of what he has gone out with please let me no

I Don't Want You to Read Your Poetry to Me

The only light in the room is an electric lamp with a red bulb on the bed stand. The computer screen saver – a school of digital fish circling within a digital aquarium- casts a blue glow across the desk. The window is open and a gust of wind makes the curtains billow. The moon claws its way upwards as high as it can before sinking back exhausted. The neighborhood kids have toilet papered the tree and the ragged ends of the tissue ribbons flutter madly, scraping against the leaves which still cling tenaciously to the branches, even though if they had any sense they would have let go by now.

Were Have All the Cowboys Gone?

Great song!!! is this us:? "If you like Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain; If you are not into Yoga and have half a brain; If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape, If I'm the lady you've looked for write to me and escape"

The Drowned Dental Assistant

A pale hand reaches out of the dark pool. No one sees it. It beckons but there is no one for it to beckon to: the only men are sitting out of sight on the other side of the ridge, typing on their laptops. She tries to sing to lure them to the water but her throat fills with mud every time she opens her mouth. The men's extension cord skirts the lake and disappears into the woods, running over logs and between trees. She stretches her fingers towards it, thinking to pull it out of its distant socket, but it's too far and she cannot leave the pond. Annoyed and discouraged, she lets her hand slip back beneath the surface and she pouts in the silt, trying to come up with a new plan.


I am done having babies. I have two thats enough. Let this be my last ad. Oh i fish for sturgeon too.

The Veldt

It was always late at night, after he'd been drinking and smoking too much, that he'd stagger over and plop himself down in front of the monitor. He had placed an ad long ago but no one had ever responded so he'd given up hope of meeting someone through such a degrading and insulting means. He still read all the ads religiously every day though and every once in a while he'd fire off inebriated emails to the sad women who so eagerly put themselves out there in the shooting gallery in the hopes of getting shot with cupid's arrow. He snarled at the fat, or old, or broken women who flashed tentative smiles or cleavage for the digital camera. Desperation. They were leaving themselves open for any predator that might come along. They were wounded wildebeests alone in the middle of the veldt, crying out for help and too stupid to see that their moans were only attracting impatient scavengers. As he finished each missive he smiled his hyena smile and licked his chops before hitting the send button.

A Week or Two of Fun

My birthday is fast approcaching as are many fun nights of drinksing and hanging with friends and I so dont want to be the single girl all those nights and come home alone my birthday. The best part about getting older is birthday sex. I want a fun guy a young guy is good too but not an old guy. I plan to get a new tattoo for my day and its also nice to have a guy to go with for moral support. So anyways if you are looking for a week or two of fun and maybe more in the long run drop me a line. OH yes I AM FAT and I am looking for a guy that is WHITE. pic would be nice. I am going bowling friday night if oyu are free and want to join.

Dr. Zhivago

She was shy at first. She desperately wanted to be part of a community of writers, even if it was just an online one hidden in the ether of the internet. So she joined the online writing forum, one more spirit among many. She logged in and created a false identity for herself, a new persona. This is where she met him. He was a frequent contributor; nearly every day, he'd be on spouting cranky advice and posting his stories. Something shone through his cantankerousness though, something vulnerable, pulsing warm in the frigid steppes of the internet. Digital crows sawed the air, ragged wolves howled in binary on the edge of the woods. His black words were like footprints tracked across the icy screen, and as a train wailed in the distance she resolved to follow them no matter where they would lead.

The Horse World

A man that wants his lunches made with a sweet note saying I miss you with my pretty lips kiss on it with his favorite shade of lipstick. I am a 46 year old red head by choice, I love to laugh, I have a postitive attitude and think life is to short to waste on negativity. I love to cook, and love my family. Dancing, listening to all generes of music, traveling, and the beach is my most favorite place to be. I am a Christian women, I have one wonderful child that is the light of my life. We are very involved in the horse world so if you like to ride horses Yee Haw we will have some fun.

The Cask of Amontillado

The electric light buzzes purging the office of all shadows. There are no dark corners, everything here is evenly lit. New and shiny and spotless, even the trashcans beside the cubicles are clean enough to drink out of. These new buildings on the borderlines between somewhere and nowhere have no dark history; no one ever died or was murdered in them, no one was raped or tortured or buried alive beneath the thin carpeting, beneath the concrete. True, a secretary once passed out right here and for a few minutes stopped breathing, but it turned out she was just hypoglycemic and when she came to we got some Pepsi in her and she was fine. There is a legend that the parking lot was laid over an ancient Indian burial ground but, other than a supervisor's SUV being mysteriously covered in silly string one Friday afternoon last June, there have been no signs of any supernatural activity. The guy who waters the shrubbery around the edges of the lot claims to be part Hopi but he's lying.


I want to meet a good looking caucasian (white) healthy man under 45 who hasn't cut his hair in 15 or more years, are you out there?

The Scratchy

I do not care about muscles, but do like the man with beards on, because of the scratchy and also to touch in the nighttime

Séance Friction

The gentlemen and ladies, high society's wealthiest eccentrics, gathered round the table and waited. Finally the medium swept into the room, layers of gauzy fabric flowing from her arms and head. She surveyed the room with enormous owl's eyes. She took her seat by the door and held her bony hands up for silence. The lights dimmed; the only sound was the rustling of fabric as the guests shifted uncomfortably on the hard chairs. The medium bade them hold hands as she started chanting the mystic words that would summon the guardians of the gates between the worlds. Suddenly a piercing wail rang out; the gentlemen and ladies all jumped. One of the ladies, unidentifiable in the dark, muttered an apology and fumbled in her purse, but it was too late. The old woman snarled, "How many times do I have to tell you people, TURN OFF YOUR GODDAMN CELL PHONES!"

But You Are Paying

I hate men and I like them both at the same time. I don't qualify for any real relationship, nor do I give a shit about sex. Sure I would like to find a great guy who is fun, kind, and intelligent that I can get along with, but quite frankly that is pure bullshit. It is always one match from the list with nothing else or if they match anything they want anyone but you anyhow. Sure you are great for a while, but there is always something that fucks it up.  

You can email me, take me out on a date, or do something fun with me, but you are paying for it. If you don't want to, quite frankly I couldn't give a fuck less.

The Exorcist

After such a terrible first date, she expected to never hear from him again, but she'd inadvertently charmed him somehow, despite her trying her best to be boring and unresponsive during the meal. She listened in horror now to her voice mail as it spit out message after message from him: “Hey, I had a really great time the other night, I'd really like to see you again. I think you're a really great lady, I think I felt some chemistry happening there…” She felt a pit widening in her stomach. She thought if she ignored him he'd leave her alone but he didn't. She couldn't bring herself to be blunt, even through email, that most distant, impersonal form of communication. Every other day he'd write or call, his optimism undiminished by her silence. What could possess someone to be so persistent, she wondered as the weeks wore on. She erased the messages as soon as they appeared, wishing she could erase that single date as easily.


Who wants to vote with me…we can go over voting guides, voting manuals, and the willamette week, and we can look at senators, gubernatoral candidates, and decide on measures. Yeah for measures, I can make some rice krispies (tm) and make our collective voices heard on lame candidates.

Searching for the Tangible

Do you feel the cool breezes of Fall at night, smell the wood smoke of the fireplace next door, or shuffle through the beautiful red leaves at the park as you walk the dog and wish you had a partner to share it with? Nothing complicated, definately sensual and relaxed, enjoyment of good company in the moment.

I Want to Feel Butterflies (1)

Does not mind occasionally relocating or killing invading arachnids.


I'm a single, divorced Mother, doing a kick-ass, above-and-beyond, statistic-shattering, world-changing job of it.


I admit here that my age is different from what I posted. I look much younger than my age and wanted to get your attention. Although my birth certificate says I am 56, my age is usually guessed to be about 45.

Ouija Board, Ouija Board

She logged in and started scrolling through pictures of faces. After a few minutes, she realized she wasn't in control of what she was doing; it was as if some invisible hand was guiding hers as she rolled the mouse across the foam pad. The arrow on the screen poked at images she had no intention of looking at. It lingered on a sepia photograph of a pixilated and pasty young gentleman in a brown suit with an antiquated hairstyle. His eyes were huge but sunken deep in his sockets. Without her bidding her fingers danced across the keys and before her eyes they tapped out a message declaring her devotion to this stranger whose visage belonged in a stereoscope rather than a Pentium II processor. She grabbed her wrist but she couldn't stop her hand from crawling onto the mouse like a starfish clutching a clam. Against her will, her finger clicked Send.

I Want to Feel Butterflies (2)

She ran her translucent fingers through her translucent hair: I could not make her more solid, no matter how hard I concentrated. Eventually I just gave up and stared at her smoky form as it gyrated for me on the dark screen. Her hand descended to her dusky crotch, her mouth made an “o”. As she came, she let loose with a hollow wail like the wind through metal pipes. I told myself to pull the plug but could not, so I just sat and stared. Well, that's not all I did.


I have what are called safe words nothing and yes. They are all you will hear until I know that you aren't going to tell me I'm a liar. Once I feel safe with you, I'm unfortunately by nature sarcastic I try to keep my opinions to myself, but sometimes I just can't help it. I need a man who won't freak out when I say something, it's okay to say I'm rude or whatever, call me a liar, see ya don't need ya.

I am looking for an emotional connection, no sex until I know without any doubt that you are a safe person for me to be me with. Then watch out MF cause I will take you for a ride.

I Am Sure It Would Fall In

Let me say IF YOU WANT TO SHOW YOUR THING OFF.. MOVE TO THE NEXT AD! And if you are that proud you should get a job in the PORN industry! Also, please note that I do not go to church and I listen to Coast to Coast.. which YES I believe in Aliens & Ghosts! Ok.. bout me.. Hi my name is Rusty (Redhead) 44 yrs old, 5'3, 150lbs smoke & drink my wine! I have learned that the smoking or drinking thing makes it hard to meet people. Everyone does one or the other. I am a person that will not ask you to change so don't ask me to change! And please don't ask me to go to church I am sure it would fall in when I walk in! I have a 26 year old son that is on his way to a great career so my worries at home are my 13 year old german shep and my kitty. And sometimes they are worse than my son ever thought of being! (smiling)


Well, my boyfriend and I just broke up and it really bumped me out. I was going to go to our Halloween party but not anymore. I do not want to sit on the couch while he is out bangin other girls. This is where you come in.


She joined an internet dating site to try to get him out of her head. Even without posting a photograph of herself she received six hundred twenty-eight responses within twenty-four hours. She pulled her ad and set to scanning over the pictures sent by her prospective suitors. Most of them were unattractive, many of them grossly overweight. A number of them had sent shots of their penises. One even sent a picture of himself fucking another woman. She finally narrowed it down to thirty possible dates, and sent each a brief invitation to continue corresponding. She filled the next month with coffee, beer, dinners and movies. Only three of the men made drunken passes at her, the rest were all perfect gentlemen. She made it clear with all of them that she wasn't looking for sex right away. But with each man she met, all she could see were his eyes staring back at her, his mouth smiling, his hand reaching for the check. It was as if he had possessed every one of them. She realized there was no escaping him; they were destined to be together. She sighed and drove out to the cemetery where, sitting on the headstone, she deleted all of the men's phone numbers from her cell phone one by one by one and then quietly lay down on the grave and stared up at the cloudless sky.

This Picture Was Taken Five Minutes Ago




I am in a relationship...kind of. We've been together for a few years, and things are just dwindling. I work days, he works nights. I like going out, he likes staying in. We never see each other, he is getting more different from me by the day. I guess I am looking for someone to connect with? I haven't felt a connection in a while, and it sucks being lonely. I want to break up with him, but I haven't seen him since last weekend, and won't be seeing him this weekend, and I am not a girl to break up via phone or text so it might be a week or so. I know this probably sends up red flags to stay away from me, but really, I would like to do something this weekend. I don't think I am pretty, I am probably of average looks, chubby, dark brown hair and eyes, my hair is long, I don't like having short hair. I am 5'8. I have a car, and a good job, and I am just pretty basic, I just have this feeling that I am really missing out on life.

20 GOTO 10

In a filthy spare bedroom up in the abandoned Victorian house on the hill, in the same room in which an old man hanged himself years ago, there sits a dusty computer desk upon which sits an even dustier computer, which is said to blink on late at night to display a black screen with green text that keeps scrolling constantly the same message: