Excerpt from Defying Gravity: Tales of a Reluctant Cougar” by Maya Avery

I leave Jay’s house the next morning happy and in a sex haze. It was pretty unbelievable.

Around 4 p.m., he texts me, “How about last night?”

“Awesome,” I text back.

The next night, he asks me over again. This time, things go a little differently.

When I get there, he is in a somber mood. He tells me about some of his views on religion and then exclaims, “I have to show you this!”

He starts playing a DVD he has about all these myths and fallacies in Christian religious history. It’s pretty interesting.

He tells me he’s an atheist. I tell him I’m not, but that I can see some of his points.

In the DVD, Goethe is quoted: “He who possesses art and science has religion; he who does not possess them, needs religion.”

I’ve been reading a lot of interesting stuff about Goethe lately, so I’m intrigued when Jay says, “Wait, let’s listen to that again.” He backtracks (I want to say “rewind” here, but I guess that would be showing my age) the DVD and starts the Goethe quote over again.

Then, when that’s over, he puts in another DVD about how the U.S. deficit works.

I kid you not!!!

Anyway, about five minutes into it, I start to feel really, well…


“Do you get that?” he asks, when it’s over.

I get the basic premise, which is that our economy is f–ed up! But I didn’t really understand all the math stuff they went over. I’m intelligent when it comes to literature, the arts, journalism and so forth. Math…not so much.

Whenever someone talks about complex math, I typically get kind of lightheaded and prefer to think of happier subjects — such as shoe shopping.

I must look puzzled because he starts to explain some of it to me. Like how our monetary system used to be backed by gold, but now it’s all just computer-generated bits and bytes that have no actual value and…

“Sandals with bows are adorable,” is about all I can think of in response, which doesn’t seem to faze him because he just keeps going on about how the whole system is a scam.

But, what I find most interesting out of all of this, is that I’m sitting here with a 25-year-old. Shouldn’t he be talking about video games and sports cars? Instead, he is someone I could potentially have a really interesting intellectual discussion with once we get on a topic that I actually understand.

Suddenly, my whole world feels kind of shaken up. I almost didn’t get together with Jay because I was so afraid I was too old for him and now he’s thrown my beliefs about maturity off kilter.

I stare into his warm, brown eyes for a moment and smile.

“What?” he asks.

“Nothing,” I say. “Tell me more about the Dow.”

So, he does. And then we have sex.

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