A Trump Curious Black Guy Almost Gets Laid In Denver
I've been on this elusive quest to find a girlfriend (or simply a girl who responds to my texts) that broke the ubiquitous mold of aspiring L.A. actress or deadly serious New York Social Justice Warrior. Night after night at Bar Stella in Los Feliz or happy hour at Sweet and Vicious on the Lower East Side, I'd brood and complain to friends about not meeting girls who understood the "complexity" of (an admitted) narcissist like myself.
So, like most people facing a deep existential crisis, I turned to my smartphone and in its cold blue glow in my bedroom at 3am I discovered romantic enlightenment in the form of a very curious Instagram account: Hot girls doing macho stuff like fishing, hunting and driving manual transmission pickup trucks in places society told me weren't safe for a lone black man to visit. But it's alien exoticism was part of the intrigue, a stark contrast to the god awful derivative art openings or shoe gazing indie "rock" shows I'd been dragged to over the years trying to mimic a Hu-Mon relationship. I decided, if I truly wanted to be happy, I'd have to go questing in places that thought America Needed To Be Great Again. The savage middle America that was home to 9 foot tall, broad shouldered, strong white women who hurled boulders into ravines for Sport and wrestled bulls to the ground by their horns wearing nothing but trucker hats and rebel flag bikinis.
And thusly, a spontaneous 13 hour drive later, this weird compulsion to seek out women of this nature has me nursing a margarita in Denver, Colorado at Prohibition Bar & Grill studying a trio of girls who seem like they jumped right out of this bizarre Instagram fantasy I have. A half hour goes by, exchanging inviting glances with one another, but my overthinking of an opening line prolongs the silence and I sense my window of opportunity waning. Desperate, I make my margarita disappear, wait for the confidence to arrive and decide the most practical way to break the ice is to rally the entire establishment into a drunken bastardization of our National Anthem.
Shortly after this, the group of girls approach me, startled by my overt adulation for the United States of America, and introduce themselves. The first girl is a short blonde, the other a tall one and the third a brunette who meets my 5'7 eye line evenly. They inform me they're on a Girls Trip from Wisconsin and this piques my curiosity further. Did they only look like the type of girls that existed in my fantasy or were they real deal? There was only one way to find out.
"So are you guys voting for Trump?" I ask abruptly, awkwardly.
They all smirk and look at each other before the Shorter Wisconsin Blonde takes the lead and fires back like a spread of buckshot, "Why? Let me guess, you're like a New York Liberal? You hate Donald Trump, right?"
I study her and consider her line of questioning. I frankly hadn't made a decision about Trump yet. This was early on in his campaign and the full bore of his dubious rhetoric had yet to charm the nation. Rhetoric I was more interested in trying to divine the hidden machiavellian motives behind. It was confounding because this "New" Trump was a a deviation from the one I'd grown up seeing, making cameos on The Fresh Prince and Home Alone 2 we all seemed fine with. I even read The Art of the Deal when I was a 23 year-old in the midst of bankrupting a coffee shop I used to own and found some of his braggadocios aphorisms about business to be mildly inspiring--but President?
Still, this was an opportunity to break new ground with a type of a girl I've not once encountered in my travels and experience a different type of dalliance. Yes, it was time to relish in this era of sexual fluidity and express my identity however I wanted and not be locked into some archaic binary dictated by the draconian White Male Patriarchy. It was time explore a side of me I had to hide for so long. It was time to be...a little Trump Curious.
"I'm not sure, I mean, I guess I'm open to the guy if he demonstrates some competency," I respond noncommittally.
At this, I might as well of told her I was the guy who wrote that Red Solo Cup song because her disposition immediately shifts from hostile inquiry to exotic curiosity. "Really? That's like," she starts as she brushes a dirty blonde lock from her face, "So surprising."
I order another margarita.
Several more drinks have been consumed at this point and the focus of my attention shifts to the bartender who has been eyeing me curiously since I walked in. She's not particularly tall, but she fills out her thin red flannel shirt and tight denim jeans with a physicality acquired through work--not the vanity of pilates or Yoga. Her face is also freckled and tight for her age, suggesting time spent out in the sun. A woman of Mountain recreation.
Initially, I perceive her observation of me to be some form of hostility, perhaps even racially motivated, but after she asks some probing questions about my New York State ID she surprises me with a proposition. "I usually don't do this," she says leaning closer to me over the Oak bar top. "But I'd be happy to give you my number and show you around tomorrow if you want."
I try to steal a quick sideways glance of the trio I was chatting with earlier and realize I have to make a decision here and now. I'd learned all too well in my early 20s the folly of chasing two women at once so, naturally, I oblige her offer. "Yeah that'd be great," I say.
The bartender nods with a small smile, a deeply intense stare and goes to make me another drink without asking. As she does, the shorter brunette of the Wisconsin Trio saunters to my side.
"So were you serious about voting for Trump?" she asks, hypnotically stirring her Whiskey Sour.
"Well, I wouldn't say I'm definitely sold on the guy, but I like where he stands on foreign policy and taxes," I respond.
"I mean," her voice lowering and tinge of sorrow washing over it. "I don't love everything about him, but I just have to say I like him more than Hillary. I just don't trust her."
"Yeah, he's definitely a jackass, but at least I know he's a jackass. And I think he know's that about himself too. A dark honesty, I guess," I say with a shrug.
"Right!" she exclaims and takes a pause before sipping her now properly mixed cocktail, searching for more ways to contextualize this strange black man alone in Denver. "What do you do for fun in New York?"
"Honestly, I just like getting drunk in the woods behind my Grandmother's house and shooting my Grandfather's old rifles," I confess.
"Oh my god, really? I go shooting with my Dad all the time back home," she says, nearly beaming. "He'd really like you."
I laugh. "Would he though?"
She blushes and I glance over my shoulder and notice the bartender who offered to show me around tomorrow glaring at me briefly before returning to her duties. There goes that.
More drinks and some time later an impromptu dance party breaks out on this particularly animated Sunday evening. The Wisconsin Trio, who I've noticed have had this weird James Franco type lingering behind them all evening, announce they're heading back to their hotel. They've invited me to join, but make a tacit suggestion that this Franco guy isn't welcomed. I nod and wait until he's preoccupied "Wipping and Nay Naying" on the dance floor to give the girls the signal to make a subtle exit back towards their Holiday Inn. A few blocks down though, the James Franco comes sprinting after us.
"Hey ya'll left without saying goodbye!" he yells, sweating, panting and wavering from side to side. The girls are drunk and unable to articulate themselves so they resort to nervous muttering to one another.
"I think they're done for the night, I'm just walking them home and Ubering back to my place," I lie to him.
"Ah shit man, it's early! Come on forget them, I'll buy you a drink, bro," he commands without the customary amiability that would make you want to comply.
As a younger man, I would of felt some weird need to oblige, but as a goal-oriented 30 year-old I simply say, "No thanks," and continue walking the girls.
"Well what the fuck. I got us a table at my boys bar. It's fucking packed and it's hard to get a table," he says, losing whatever cool he thought he was holding onto.
By this point, the girls have kept walking and I'm standing in the middle of Denver being yelled at by a guy I don't know, occasionally interjecting with a, "Yeah takes all kinds" or "You'll be aight." Eventually, he stops his tirade and bursts into a full gallop across the street into the night and I see the staggering trio off in the distance under the neon of the Holiday Inn front facade. I consider jogging after them, but I decide I've learned enough about Middle America Girls. For now.