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  • I had not heard from Lisa for several weeks when she texted me last Sunday with "Whatcha doing?" I replied that I was watching football.

    "DVR that shit and meet me. Beer" was her reply.

    Now, Lisa was someone I had not ever met personally. We first began texting through an online dating app, Tinder, about two months ago. After a few days of some back and forth we realized that between personality differences and logistics (she was bartender at a club south of San Antonio). But that was then.

    We quickly settled on meeting a La Tuna, a patio bar we had both mentioned going to. I got there a little before she did and settled in. I knew from some limited experience that meeting after you already knew a small handful of edited and selected facts about someone could be odd, and I wanted to get ready for the different focus it can take to get through that. In ten minutes or so of sitting around, I thought I was ready.

    I recognized Lisa as she walked up, her oversize sunglasses and long, straight, brown hair giving her away like a poker player's tell. She picked up a water from the bar (no beer for her should have been my first sign) before we sat down. I had done this before. Within the past three months, I had actually been on four different first dates. Never mind the fact that I had never gotten to the second date out of any of those, I still thought I was ready. I wasn't.

    Here's what I started learning before I was done with the first beer:
    1. Lisa was not her real name. Her real name was Ashley
    2. The reason Ashley (lisa) used a different name was that Lisa her stage name.
    3. Ashley needed a stage name because she was a stripper, not a bartender.
    4. I could, if I wanted to, "hit it" for $300 (her words).
    5. Ashley was married, and her husband knew about all of this.

    At this point, I might have been a little shell shocked. Somehow I got and paid for another beer. I was vaguely wondering what, in all of our brief communication, might have lead Ashley to think I was someone who would need, or could go for this arrangement. Now that is not to say that strippers, or any sex worker, are people who are somehow different from anyone else. Everyone does what they have to do to pay bills, and that's all. But being the John somehow is a little different. I'm not doing something to make money to pay bills. In fact, I am doing exactly the opposite.

    But here is what I learned during beer #2:
    6. Ashley had been a student at Incarnate Word High School while I was a teacher there.
    7. Some of her friends had a crush on me while they were there.

    Cue phone call to friends. I get handed the phone several times to say hi to a few different people, I have no real idea what is happening anymore. And as this is going on, I might have asked Ashley a few pointed questions about guys in her line of work, and how she felt about all of it. I'm not sure of exactly what I said, but I think it could have been rude. When I was finished, Ashley just said "Gotta go." and walked away.

    And when I texted her later to say that it was at least nice to meet her, "Fuck off" was her brief reply. And you know, I think I am completely ok with that.
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