Monday, December 12

Strange days indeed

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Fig. 1: A geometric illustration of your host's personality type

I've got droopface, fresh from the dentist. Can't wait to go back next month for the second round of fillings. I can't really go out in public right now at the risk of drooling on myself or others, or else I'd go get my oil changed. So here I am, wasting my time and yours.

Saturday night after work, Phil drove downtown and met me in the CA parking lot and we followed a couple of people I work with to Raiford's Hollywood, a little hole-in-the-wall dance club run by people who dress like pimps (whether or not they are actually pimps is none of my business), complete with the Jheri curl, gold teeth, and purple velvet everything (except for the dude at the door, who was wearing a white suit). I don't dance, but I went just to see the place, as everyone around me raved that it's a cultural landmark you have to see at least once (and marvel at the "No discrimination" and "No illegal drugs" warnings painted on the cinder-block exterior). Plus, I've been asked by this group of co-workers to go out before, but I always decline because going out is not really "my scene." It's hard to explain to people who go out drinking every night that you don't really like to drink and hang out in smoky taverns but you're not a puritan prude, either. So, I decided, what the hell. Just go this once, if nothing else.

And it was indeed an experience. While Phil allowed his hips to groove to the playlist of ABBA, Michael Jackson, Al Green, and all those other more respected, obscure dance/disco/funk artists I'm not going to look up, I stood stiff, one hand in my coat pocket, the other clutching a cup of beer (they only serve 40s and cups at Raiford's) that I actually drank (I hate beer), just taking it all in. The acrylic floors; the random, unmanned drum set; the walls and ceiling covered in blue handprints; the gold poles beckoning the drunken, self-depricating exhibitionists; the smoke billowing from ceiling-mounted machines; the security people stepping in when a couple's dancing turned just a little too risqué.

And of course I was uncomfortable and felt like I was taking up valuable dance floor real estate (which I was). And I was scolded by a woman I don't even know for not dancing with Phil when he clearly wanted to dance. So, yeah.

I guess this qualifies as my first time in a dance club (I'm not sure, though, because I can't remember if I've ever been drugged and taken to one), and it'll probably be my last. It's not that I didn't have fun; I actually sort of did, in a "Well, I'm glad I know what this place is now" kind of way. I'm too uptight to hang out in dance clubs without a heaping helping of ironic awareness, which serves as a buffer, a concept with which I am totally bored right now. Also, please see Fig. 1 if you need further explanation of why I don't do well in dance clubs.

The real horror was the drive home, when I came unglued and screamed at myself for being such a fucking loser that I can't even function in a dance club like a mobile human. Phil had been totally perfect the whole night — nice, accommodating, handsome — but I couldn't get outside my head long enough to let loose and have some Raiford's-approved fun. I just stood there and willed the clock to hurry, a lump of nervous trepidation in my throat the whole time. What in my life has caused me to be so painfully uptight? Can it be undone? Should I have to undo it, or should I just learn to live and love my solitude-craving ways? I thought I had begun accepting myself a long time ago, but I've never hated myself more for being a wet blanket than on that drive home Saturday night.

Then again, I've felt scary and crazy all week, so maybe it wasn't the best time to thrust myself into an element I'm neither familiar with nor eager to investigate.

3 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

I try to avoid dance clubs like the plague.

Sometimes I want to dance, but rarely do I want to get all scantily clad and have a complete stranger try to grope me while keeping the beat.

Mon Dec 12, 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Your friendly Maytag repairman said...

Bah. You're not missing out on much. You were probably much, much too sober for that kind of atmosphere.

Mon Dec 12, 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger phallicpen said...

Dancing is tricky. I think it's lovely for your butt and self-esteem to spend an hour thrusting around in the kitchen when no one is home, but that doesn't translate well in public arenas.

Don't feel bad. Most of the kids on the floor probably couldn't get it up for a bitchin' game of Worms Armageddon.

Mon Dec 12, 08:13:00 PM  

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