The route between Salt Lake City and Denver was snowy and flat, with the exception of some conical formations dressing white kilts. The hotels have no longer pool but skating rings. My head hurt as when you eat an ice cream very fast, and my fingers were so insensitive that I couldn’t pick up a dime.
But once I got to Denver the temperature became bearable.
I couldn’t help but sense the big contrast between the perfection of the downtown of Salt Lake City and this square spot of the Midwest. The small details, as the undergrowth among the fissures on the bridges, reminded me that I was getting closer to the East.
Again I found a large homeless population walking up and down, importuning the passers, as a social plague of professional losers.
The sharp edge of the buildings wasn’t telling me a lot, and I felt that my stop in Denver may be shorter than planned. The streets looked empty and boring.
Then, the night came. A myriad of festive creatures emerged. True, it was the last weekend before Halloween, and people are crazier than usual with these festivities, but my hostel was located in the epicenter of the bars and clubs that will flood the streets with this eruption of twisted humans, and I am an avid spectator of extremes.
I started to walk Broadway and take one of those cheap flavored vodkas you can find nowadays. The groups were very open. In minutes I was involved in a game of dices with other three customers of the bar, one of them a beautiful young woman with blue eyes. I learned really late that she was engaged with one of the guys, but I’m not sure if that information would have made me stop. After some physical interaction with the girl that I will intentionally fail to detail, the clueless guy came back from the bathroom, hug her, and told me with his chest full of proud: “This is the woman I’m going to marry”. Heavens, we men are so vulnerable when we fall in love.
Women in general were eager to propagate the species that night. A German girl started to talk to me in a corner while we were waiting for the street light. She wanted me to join her and her friends in a private party in a hotel room. The other guys in the group pulled me enthusiastically but then an angry tall woman disguised as Dracula came, reprehend her in German and grab her from the arm. I guess she was the designated driver.
Then I got into a gay bar. I didn’t know it was gay but in Halloween all bars look like gay bars. The interesting couple there was a fifty years old gay wizard with a beautiful niece out of character. I was trying to get to the nice, but it turns out to be a package that included the uncle. The girl was cute… but after a short cost-benefit analysis I decided to walk away from the deal.
Then I went to walk to the 16th Street Mall. I got to say that this is a recent and extraordinary idea. Denver transformed its centric 16th street into a boulevard with free shuttles going up and down. It really makes the city attractive. That part of the downtown escapes from the square patterns of the rest and lightens the night in an elegant way. The new architecture in Denver is aggressively breaking the edges of the old town.
When I returned to Broadway I thought the party would be over, but no. In the same block of my hostel, there was a stairway pointing underground with sparkling lights at the end. It was just $5 to get in. Here, the creatures of the night that I saw on the surface as festive students transformed themselves into basement monsters. People were dancing and brandishing green phosphorescent sticks as if it was the erotic version of Star Wars. No clearly defined couples. Practically everybody was dancing with everybody. But it wasn’t impersonal at all. There were actually two straight couples having intercourse over the tables. But nobody was messing with them; they were working in their own hookups and creating green figures in the air.
I love extreme manifestations: sunsets, volcanic eruptions, nine-inning home runs and orgies. All those things you positively can miss from the crypt.
Talking about Halloween, is interesting to note that every time we try to celebrate death, we end up making hyperbole of life. That's way I saw the quiet streets of Denver transformed into the most vigorous Gomorrah I have seen in the US.