Suiting up, showing up and growing up

Posted on August 6, 2009

Yesterday was a day filled with sleepy naps on my buddy Brando’s hammock, poolside dixie cups filled with ice cold water, and a short visit with a friend who is more than artistically inclined. I met with this friend at his current project’s location off Melrose, where he was painting a storefront with some super sick skulls and old school writing. We stood and looked at his half finished work, the half that was finished, and the half that had yet to be completed, and we spoke of painting, the cool tricks you can use with acrylic, and he offered to show me a few that he had up his sleeve. A couple other fellows passed by, and said hello, but for the most part it was he and I, checking out the work.

I left about 45 minutes into it, wanting him to get back to the project at hand so that he may go home and rest, as he is a paintaholic of sorts and always working on something. I also received a text from another friend of mine, inviting me to watch his band play right around the corner from my home. The invitation had been extended roughly a week ago, and promising I’d go, last night was the night to uphold promises. So down to the club, on the VIP invite list so no trouble or cover, and into the booming and booze filled dungeon of youth.

Now this dungeon felt as just that. A dark, dank, wet dungeon filled with kids dressed in black who had already consumed too much alcohol by the early hour of my arrival at 10:30pm. Try as I might to move around the kids-because most were just that, the place being an 18 and over club- I had forgotten how stuffy clubs become with the sweating bodies and chicks in heels spilling vodka redbulls because guys behind them accidently brushed an arm with lit cigarettes. On my way to the bar, in desperate need of water, one young man was participating in what can only be described as a jumping dancing mating call, one to which I did not respond well. I moved toward the bar, and he spotted me from across the floor, jumping dancing his way directly into my way. He then continued jumping dancing as I tried to maneuver around him, his arms in the air reaching for sanity or dance moves, his hips bursting with the beats to each side of the club. He jumped left when I squirmed left. He danced right when I squirmed right. He jumped danced in place, trying his best to look sexily into my eyes, at which point I finally grabbed him by his beat bursting hips and moved him to the side, finally making my way past. Ugh. No more jump dance mating call men for me.

After I had purchased my two bottles of water, which the bartender hooked me up with for $5 total-as opposed to the $10/2 he charged drunk stupid kids- I went to find my musically inclined amigo, hoping he would be somewhere in the club pre show, where I could stand with him safe from the drunken mess of young humanity. Looking left and right, I couldn’t see him. I stood up on a little step, hoping to see above the crowd, and as I peered out into the dark club, I felt totally out of place. Every single kid in this place was dressed in black, black shirts, skirts, hair, tights, leggings, shoes, and here I stood, loose white tee shirt and jeans. Fresh and clean, amidst LA’s black fitted finest. I stepped down off the little ledge and continued my visual search, at one point being grabbed by another young dancing jumping man. He grabbed me by the shoulders and screamed over the music, “Don’t worry, I’m right here!” I took his hands gently from my shoulders and once again, moved past the hot mess of mankind.

Finally, the band hits the stage. I sit on the ledge of a fountain that is the center of the clubs smoking area, and enjoyed the music. Kid after kid sat down next to me.

“Hey, how’s it goin? Can I get you a drink?”

-“No thanks.”

“Hey, you’re like, wearing white huh?
-“Yup, looks like…”

“So…Do you know someone in the band?”

-“Si, senor”

Perhaps after the first round of denials, I had constructed the “stay away from me” vibe that I’d been working on all night. Or maybe word got out that I didn’t fit in, and person’s just shouldn’t try. Either way, I was lucky enough to enjoy the second half of the show unbothered. And my boy’s band killed it.

The interesting part is that these type’s of venues used to be easily conquered on my things to do list.

Things to do list:

1. Go to club and see band alone.

2. Feel uncomfortable.

3. Get plastered and feel comfortable.

4. Make friends with every person in the club except bouncers and bartenders.

5. Get asked to leave club pre-show.

6. Text friend saying bouncers are dicks and wish I could have seen your show.

7. Walk home drunk and confused, eat, pass out and forget previous nights events.

8. Receive text from friend asking what the fuck happened.

9. Lie.

Last night, I had the chance to suit up, show up and act like a grown up-albeit a little bit of a bitchy one. I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand how alcohol changes people, and even though I’d never met any of these people before their drunken jump dance in my way routines, I am sure they are very nice people when not intoxicated to the point of stupidity or embarrassment. I had the pleasure of being there for my friend, of being able to witness his raw and passionately talented hands bang out killer licks on his drum set. And I had the pleasure to leave on my own accord, walk home fully conscious, and go to bed grateful that yet another day has passed where I didn’t feel the need to get fucked up.

Posted in: Beautiful Days