We’re sitting at the Root Down restaurant in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, a converted auto shop filled with art deco kitsch. There’s an entire wall hung with hard plastic desk phones from a bygone era in various bright colors. I meet my date for the first time. She’s elegantly dressed in frilly black pants and a sleeveless black top sipping a strawberry rhubarb Caprihina. We embrace like old friends.
Since me and DanceCougrr (her Match handle) started instant messaging on Match a few days before, we realized we were mental soul mates and as she wrote, MOTs (Members of the Tribe) This elegant, zaftig Jewess, a former sub-prime loan maven, has re-invented herself in a couple of new start-up ventures. She pole dances and is fluent in several dance forms. She’d emailed me photos of her on a pole with a bodybuilder/fireman for her 50th birthday. Her sybaritic personality was that of a self-actualized woman unafraid to grasp life by the balls and fully enjoy every moment in all of its absurd glory.
The endless patois of witticisms endowed with occasional yiddish or rap phrases turns both of our minds on. If my brain had a clitoris it was being stroked every second – before our date, she left a voicemail telling me how stimulated she was by our conversations. We acknowledge that even if we never “feel the animal” for one another, we will always be BFFs.
I order another drink, a tequila infused with poblano that tickles my throat. By the time we head to the table I feel my cranium being grasped by the alcohol and tell the Cougs that my brain function is impaired, but I continue rattling off puns and spontaneous mutations on our conversation. She’s bringing out a part of me that is unique to my NYC jewish roots. My dad and I bonded by spending endless hours one-upping each other with wit. My date is across from me, her kind brown eyes lucid and receptive. She’s a profoundly good listener. She tells me about her foiled date with a guy she calls the “Avatard,” a man who communicates with extra-terrestrials who needed a ride from DIA since his car was “in the shop.” They never met but he emailed her a pornographic photo of the Avatar’s leading couple in a compromising position.
Bathroom humor and serious inquisitions into personal histories intertwine as we wax poetically about the Gnocchi and Falafel. One wouldn’t think these two would mix well, but the food is so exquisitely prepared it’s melt-in-your mouth ecstasy. I don’t remember the last time I had a meal where I wanted to eat as slowly as possible. We bid farewell to our waitress and circumnavigate the Highlands neighborhood. The buildings are a mish-mash of cold post-modern condos mixed with cute Victorian bungalows and hideous 40s era shacks with aluminum siding. She can talk architecture. We can discuss anything under the sun. It’s kind of like a middle-aged Jewish version of Before Sunrise – an entire night of magic free of sex. We end up on a park bench across from a Spanish influenced mission. She jokes that we could go over there and assume the missionary position. We chat on the bench about my trips to India, her cruises around the world, her time in Istanbul. She’s curious and asks more questions than I can answer. Intellectually, we have a rapport established in a mere few days that’s exciting, stimulating, profound and raunchy. At midnight she appears illuminated and vibrant. I’m fading. My new single life with its 2 a.m. weekend bedtimes has caught up to me. I assure her I’m not yawning because her company is boring. Au Contraire. We trace our way back to the restaurant and in front of another post-modern rectilinear apartment building we notice the brilliant full moon. I turn my back and drop trou, momentarily exposing my cheeks, mooning the moon. The Cougs, not one to approach anything in life half-assed, turns politely, and bares all to the white orb in the sky, outdoing me for commitment to the moment.