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A guy's night out

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For the past two Friday nights, I've been dragged to the Embassy. My protests of "I'm tired/I don't want to/I have a sore throat/I hate the place" have gone completely unheeded. My buddy Dan just says: "I'm driving and you're coming."

Within an hour, I find myself forking over five bucks for the privilege of entering a club that I really, really don't want to enter.

Stupid silver-tongued Dan.

When I was 18, I loved clubbing. It felt so deliciously adult to show my ID, swarm around the bar and gyrate in a tight circle with my crew on the dance floor. Somewhere along the line it lost its appeal.

Now that I'm a crotchety 20-year-old, I don't like nightclubs. I hate all the asshole guys looking for a fight. I hate the girls who dress slutty to get free drinks. I hate the whole experience.

At Dan's urging I step reluctantly into the dark, loud, smoky cave that is the Embassy. Inevitably, he knows at least a dozen people inside. He can hardly walk five steps without being hailed, "Hey, Dan!" and getting hugged and welcomed. Sometimes I get introduced.

I'm uncomfortable, so I grab a beer. Kokanee is all I can afford, but at this point I'm not choosy. Dan starts to dance with his other friends and shouts at me to join him. Nah. I don't dance, especially not with strangers. I'm much happier leaning against the wall, worrying if getting a beer when I'm uncomfortable makes me an alcoholic.

I look like an ass when I dance. Arms flailing, head bobbing, lower body hardly moving, sometimes I lose the beat entirely. I know most people on the dance floor look like asses too, but that doesn't change the fact I don't want to look like an ass. It's three more beers before I'm willing to even consider dancing.

Downstairs opens around beer #4 and we walk down to a heavy dance beat. My head bobs, almost in spite of myself. I finish my beer and somehow end up on the dance floor with Dan and a plethora of people I don't know. I feel a twinge of discomfort, but I like the song. I start to flail. I lose the beat. It doesn't really matter.

Something inside of me acknowledges I look like an ass, but I'm on the verge of drunk so, instead of being embarrassed, I'm amused. I dance harder, my feet start to move.

Just for fun, I close my eyes. I don't spend my time looking around for better dancers or hot girls. I forget I hate clubs. I'm moving to the music, and I'm having a great time.

Some time passes--I don't know how much--and people start to filter out. We decide it's time to leave. I'm tired and sweaty, but happy. It's only when we step outside and start walking toward the car that I realize I'm sober.

Nothing has changed in the club scene since I left. There are still plenty of things for me to hate. The only difference for these past two Fridays was I was able to ignore them. I didn't go clubbing with the crew, I went with Dan, a friend who makes me comfortable. I wasn't trying to get wasted or to hook up with a girl, I was just trying to have some fun on a Friday night. For the first time in a long time, I managed to do that at a club.

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Holy christ that's me. Except that I do a much better act at seeming like I enjoy myself. How can you be bitter at 20? I was one of those happy bouncing girls at 20. I'm 28 now and being bitter and feeling old seems much more reasonable: I've seen much more of this shitty life and realized what a fucked up world we live in. So I go to the bar, and ya I can make funny jokes and make everyone think I'm this funny happy girl, but in the moments when I'm not talking I'm still thinking in the back of my head that this fucking life sucks, and god I don't know why he's looking at me, and do they all know that my self-esteem is rock bottom, and how can I aviod the next attack of social anxiety, and do they know I tried to turn myself into a lesbian to run from my problems and that I have, as a result of my desparate attempt, become even less confident around straight guys, and my god maybe I should just have a drink and get my ass home before I start to really make them think that I'm all that.... So maybe I'm not alone in feeling like a piece of shit and maybe this world isn't as bad as I think it is sometimes, and maybe one day I'll 'find peace.' So until then, enjoy your drinks, know that I'm out there too doing the same fucking thing, and know that some day it will get better and that even though they all say that this is the time of our lives, and yes, there are moments when it is, it can get better as we get older, and not everyone has it all figured out at 20 something (notice there's room for both of us there) and we're going to be fine...

wow its amaszing that you were able to find release that is most peoples fear. that they will never find release they will never be able to just let go, there are even people who are afraid that when they do find release they would be mocked. so its always good to be able to let go of everything if we could'nt do this we would all go crazy with all the problems people have you have to find release or you'll break down...