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Sep 2017
This is a thoroughly post-modern phenomenon.

[Breathe, don't be nervous. It's fine. Wallah, you're not doing anything wrong.]

Digitally arranged meetings with ostensible strangers yet with more familiarity than our ancestors could imagine.
An arranged meeting,
a warm greeting,
a sensing,
a feeling.

“Are you Sami?”
“I am,” as I posture for a hug.

[She’s actually more beautiful than I expected. Her ample curls smell like conditioner and sunshine.]

“So you’re Kuwaiti?"
"Yea, I moved here when I was 18, to Kansas of all places."
"To be honest, I had to look up the emoji flag from your profile. My Muslim WhatsApp group helped me out.”
“Oh, okay. So you’re Muslim?”
“Yea, I was raised Muslim; my mom married a Kuwaiti in the 80s, blah blah blah.”
“What? Your mom lived in Kuwait?”
“Yea, kinda crazy, I know, but it’s a small world.”

[Small worlds make the gaps between souls smaller.
Who knew such a small place could leave such a big impact on so many lives?
Certainly neither of us.
Serendipity?
Allah y3alam.]  

“Why do lesbians discriminate against bisexuals? You’d think of all people, they wouldn’t be so judgmental.”
“You’d think, but you’d be wrong. It’s like we have a plague.” Her voice goes on, but my mind drifts off.

[Tortoise-shell glasses, beautiful lashes, manicured eyebrows that frame flickering dark eyes, encased in a forest of curls, legging laced thighs, oh my. ::Deepsigh. Pay attention to what she’s saying! Oh my, she’s my type. This is bad. No, no, hamdilah, this is good.]

“Do you want another round?” the bar keep’s inquiry snaps me back to reality. I interrupt to suggest a change of location. [Perhaps something less commercial, less public, less straight, more private, and more intimate.]
“It’s only a short walk.”
“Yea, let’s do it.”

[By short walk, I mean three doors down from the bar. The perks of suggesting the venue.]

“Shoes off?”
“Yea, it’s habit, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course not.”

She sits, crosses her long legs, and gives me this look. My heart flutters; I remember my manners:
“Can I make you a drink? What’s your poison? Gin or *****?”
I mix our drinks and think:
[She must like me.
This is good.
I’m glad we did this digital dance to find romance.
What a treasure, finding this post-modern habibi.
Alhamdulilah,
Lucky me.]
Sam Bowden
Written by
Sam Bowden  Tampa
(Tampa)   
  813
     Henry Akeru and Emeka Mokeme
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