So I Dated an Axe Murderer
Before her first OkCupid date ever, Lindsey spent most of her day on Gchat, joking to her friends that she was worried that her date would turn out to be an axe murderer. When her date brought an axe to the bar, Lindsey was actually worried that he might be an axe murderer. Immediately seeing her concern, her date, Aaron, laughed nervously and attempted to explain:
“Oh, this is more of a for-show axe. Like an accessory. It’s made by this guy who lives in North Carolina — he’s a fourth-generation axe maker who hand-forges the head out of steel and lathes the helve from Appalachian hickory.”
“Sorry, did that make me sound like an asshole? I’m really not an asshole,” he winked as he signaled the bartender for a glass of Fernet Branca, neat.
Lindsey was flustered. The detail to which Aaron could describe his hand-crafted hatchet impressed her — hell, it even turned her on.
“I got it on Etsy,” he added.
The rest of the date went smoothly. In person, Aaron resembled all the things she enjoyed about the week and a half of messaging back and forth on OkCupid: he was funny, often charming, and just a bit quirky in all of the right ways.
After the bar, Aaron invited Lindsey over to his apartment. He put on an episode of Orange Is the New Black, but they barely made it past the Regina Spektor theme song before they started making out.
This is going great, Lindsey thought. Who knew I could meet a totally cool, fun guy on OkCu—oh my god what is that??
Lindsey jumped backwards and yelled. She pointed to the knives—butcher knives to be exact. The apartment was dimly lit and she hadn’t noticed the entire wall of them until now.
“Are you slaughtering animals in here or something?”
“Oh, sorry,” Aaron apologized, “I collect Japanese butcher knives. I know a guy on Craigslist who tracks down rare knives from a 90-year-old blacksmith named Toshiro Nakamura. His forgery is near the summit of Mount Okuhotaka, and every summer he goes up there and makes ten knives. They’re very hard to come by.”
Aaron reached up toward the wall and pulled down one of the knives, gently placing it in Lindsey’s palms for her to examine.
“Look,” he said, “the blades are made of white carbon steel, and the handles are made from an exquisite magnolia hardwood.”
Lindsey handed the butcher knife back and let out a big sigh of relief.
“Do you want something to drink?” Aaron asked.
Lindsey laughed. “Yes, sorry. I have to admit to you: this is my first OkCupid date, so I’ve been kind of nervous. A little paranoid, honestly.”
Aaron smiled as he poured two glasses of Trader Joe’s wine. “It’s my first online date too. You should’ve seen me all this morning. I was a nervous wreck.”
They paused Netflix and curled up on the couch. He put on the latest album by the National and they kept talking, even kissing occasionally. Lindsey wasn’t sure how much time had gone by, but it didn’t seem to matter. That was, until she started to feel dizzy, her vision blurred. The lights in the room seemed too bright and suddenly they didn’t exist at all.
“You should’ve been more careful about the artisanal rufinol.”
Lindsey passed out and Aaron went onto describe the flunitrazepam he’d purchased from a specialty drug dealer based in Poland (though Lubomir really preferred to be called a “drug curator”).
Later that evening, Aaron would cut her up into little, tiny pieces — not with his fancy axe or knives of course. These were precious objects, really more like works of art to be treasured. Plus, they had cost a lot. He wasn’t made of money, you know?
The Haunted Profile
The advice Derrick had been given was to be persistent: OkCupid made meeting people easier, but it still required one to put himself out there. So after he created an account, Derrick started messaging women immediately. As a part-time bike messenger and stand-up comedian, he knew exactly what his type of girl was looking for.
“Hi! How are you? Wanna go biking in search of the perfect whiskey ginger, or grab a drink on a roof?”
“You ever been to Smorgasburg? Pretty decent vegan banh mis.”
“Wanna check out the new Wes Anderson at Nitehawk? Nothing like a PBR during the movies.”
When none of the cute, Warby-Parker-bespectacled girls with bangs responded, he started to get a little more desperate. He dipped into his 70% matches, then went down to 60%, even 50%.
“hey girl how u?”
After a while, it didn’t matter what someone’s profile said. Derrick just took a quick glance at their photos and sent them a message. He sent dozens of messages until it was hundreds, hundreds until it was thousands. He may have even messaged a dude or two. Not a single person replied to Derrick.
“beautiful lady, hello!”
“have drank :o)”
“what’s your favorite color?”
He kept at it — message after message — with no success. Why was no one responding? He was sending so many.
“got any pics for me?”
“you are gorgeous. how are you feeling today?”
“do you like how i met your mother?”
No one ever saw Derrick again. There are rumors that he gave up and moved to a cabin deep in the woods, while others think he offed himself out of frustration. But some say that on the darkest, coldest nights, you can see Derrick’s profile in the moonlight, still messaging unsuspecting women, occasionally sending them photos of his junk.
Amelia is in the living room watching a re-run of Parks and Rec on her laptop, rolling her eyes at yet another Geico ad, when she hears the phone ring. It’s the landline. Since she’s apartment sitting for her mom’s college roommate in Tribeca, Amelia decides it’s best to let it go to the answering machine.
Suddenly, she hears her iPhone rattling, and the familiar sound of her ringtone (“Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake) emanating from the kitchen. She sighs, pauses Hulu, and goes to retrieve her phone. It’s from an unknown number.
“Hello Amelia.” An unfamiliar voice.
“Is this Wesleyan calling again? Listen, I’m not interested in donating any money this year. My loans are crazy expensive and I’m an editorial assistant, so I’m basically living off my parents—“
“Amelia, what are you favorite movies?”
Amelia thought for a moment before answering, “Rushmore, Remember the Titans, and Anchorman.”
The caller breathed heavily and pressed on. ”What are your favorite books?”
“Definitely Everything Is Illuminated, 100 Years of Solitude, and The Great Gatsby.”
“What are you usually doing on a Friday night?”
“Either grabbing drinks with friends or watching Netflix at home.”
“What’s the most private thing you’re willing to admit about yourself?”
Amelia paused for a moment. These questions were beginning to feel invasive, and yet, she felt like she had heard them before. The other answers came easily, but this was one was harder.
The caller repeated: “Amelia, what’s the most private thing you’re willing to admit about yourself?”
Amelia laughed to herself. “That I’m on OkCupid.”
Such a clever answer, she thought.
The murderer hung up the phone, disgusted by how bland Amelia’s answers were. Like, was she even trying? He rated her profile 1/5 stars — a fate worse than death — closed the tab of his browser with OkCupid open, and logged into HowAboutWe to find a decent human being to murder.