Boomer In The City: Divorced American Style


Divorced American Style
by Barbara Rose Brooker

When you’re a divorced boomer, you go out a lot. As a columnist, I’m invited to fundraisers for whales, parking lots, Indian restaurants, you name it. Tonight, I’m at a fundraiser for the foreign film press. In a loft style building, and hottie gay waiters wearing nose rings and attitudes pass chilled martinis and puffy canapés. Latin music is blaring. I’m decked in my Joan Crawford style, five- inch platform shoes, black net stockings, and my off-the-shoulder top. A small black hat with a tiny veil sits on top of my shoulder length gold streaked hair. I make hats. Sometimes I make hats from cardboard boxes, paint the boxes and put veils on top.

Anyway, I’m shooting the whiz with a lesbian filmmaker. She made a film, Clitoris Lost. It’s a hit. She’s stick thin and seven feet tall and she wears a cape with moons on it. She’s really nice and pretty. She rants about how the boomer men are totally “decrepit.” So after she flies the coop, I’m standing by the bar, guzzling another martini and stuffing shrimp puffs in my purse.

“Hello, Anny. I’m Charlie Zuckerman,” says this hunk. Wow. About sixty- something, he’s got this huge puffed silver-streaked hair and a movie-star face. He’s dressed like Cary Grant, wearing this dark pin-stripe suit. Classy.
“I like your hat. Funky,” he says. “Like the usual older woman.”
“I’m not an older woman. I’m a woman.”
“I just noticed.”
“Whoopty do.”
He laughs. He reveals small too white teeth.
“I’m president of the foreign film press,” he says in his high faint voice. “I read your column. I like it. I want to make your column into a movie. I’ll talk to Bob.”
“Redford.” he says, as if I should know this.
“You got it going on,” I say.
“I’m backing a film in Dubai. ”

So then he rattles my ear off, telling me how really important he is, that he’s been divorced for a month, and “loves” his life. That he made his fortune in windows, and his windows sell all over the world.

“I’ll take you to Dubai,” he says.
“Do I have to wear a burka?”
“Sounds sexy,” he says.
“So you’re kinky?”
“Let’s get out of here. I want to show you
my etchings.”

I hesitate a moment, then I think okay why not? Recently divorced so he can’t be too jaded yet — besides he’s handsome, affluent, makes movies. How can a boomer billionaire hurt? So we arrive at his coop next to Coit Tower. Wow. The art collection consists of the usual rich man’s art: a boring Motherwell painting, a Lucien Freud, Kline, Picasso prints, probably art that his decorator bought at auctions. Piles of shrink-wrapped art books are displayed on antique tables, like props.

In his brown leather den, at a schmaltzy mirrored bar, he pours brandies in two humongous bowl-shape glasses. So I’m sitting on this brown leather sectional that curves around the room like a slide, drinking brandy. Anyway, he presses some buttons, and bam, this Moroccan music pops on, real sexy. He sits next to me, yakking about his private jet, Sotheby’s, his condo in Dubai and in Paris. Then, for another hour, in a monotone, he talks about his friggin health.

“Doc says I have the body of a fifty year old.” He waits as if waiting for me to agree. I just nod, thinking he has a body like Gumby.
“I told Doc the other day,” he continues, feigning modesty, “If I came back in another lifetime I’d want to be me. He was amazed.”
“I bet he was.”
He pauses then as if reflecting, then as if he’s about to say something profound.
“You know. I’ve never been sexually attracted to a woman your… age. Sixty- five you said? Most of my dates are in their twenties…”
“I’m not usually attracted to billionaire types like you. You’re too slick. Everything looks too manufactured.”
“Not everything,” he says, taking me in his arms.

He’s gulping my lips, and sticking his long tongue in my mouth, and I’m gagging, and I hear a zipper.

“Hey! Sir. Your equipment is on my leg. Do you mind?”
“Do you love it?” he whispers.
“Love what? I have to go,” I say, pushing away. “I have to go. I have a column to write.”
“About what?”
“You. Divorced American Style.”
“A very romantic evening,” he says. “I’ll tell my driver Mohammed to drive you home,” he says.
“Not to worry,” I say. “Gotta go.”

I rush out of there, and outside I grab a taxi, thinking this boomer oldie business is for the birds. Geez, I’ve had it. Is there ever going to be love? I rush out of there and grab a taxi. The night is full of stars.

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