By Tom "Valentino
to the Impaired" Waters
My prior dating philosophy consisted of waiting for nubile young coquettes raining from the sky to fall into my peripheral field of vision and, by nature of proximity, in desperate and sweet, sweet love with your's truly. Not the most effective method. Less effective is a better description. Dead right worthless is perfect. Now certain boys and certain men have the innate gift of picking up anyone, anytime, anywhere, be it a supermodel at a yard sale or the much sought after girl-next-door in the grains and nuts section of your local convenience store. It goes without saying that I am not this certain type of boy and/or man. It goes without saying that most men aren't, and most men wish that this sort of person would perish viciously in a freak soda machine explosion. Some people play it wholesome, and try their damnedest (bless their hearts!) to find love and its common denominators in haunts without alcohol, such as a library, a church service, or the occasional cross stitching club for straight men in their early twenties. However, I hate libraries, and most of the women who frequent bookstores are, at the risk of sounding uppity, a bit on the homely side. Secondly, being that I pay worship to the pagan deity of retail every Sunday, I don't have the opportunity to get in on any pious action that may go on thereabouts. And lastly, my stubby, hairy fingers just aren't conducive to any macramé related activities. Conventional means of dating just weren't going to work, so it was clearly time for last-ditch efforts.
This is the point where I was dragged, kicking, screaming (and generally biting anyone that got within a mile radius), out of my happy pocket of seclusion and into the dismal and poor lighting of the lounge lizard stratosphere. I am neither an extroverted nor zany person in the presence of strangers, so the club life was always an option and a lifestyle that was looked down upon. How foolish it is to despise something one knows nothing about when you can research and divulge each revolting tentacle for it's singular foulness (in addition to the overlying revulsion). Like this Greek dude who descended into the Underworld to bring his true love back from the dead, I wandered down into the very gutters of the velvet rope and escaped with something far more valuable: validated parking.
Being that I have led, for the most part, a sheltered and suburban life, city and inner city conduct was never my field of expertise. This isn't a very good thing, either, as most panhandlers and run of the mill raving lunatics tend to prey on, and gravitate towards, people without this field of expertise. I'm not sure if it's because I have a face that's misleadingly kind looking, gullible, or naive, but the homeless home right in on me. Within five feet of leaving my car, some poor, ruddy vagrant will pop out of nowhere and begin with a cockamamie tale of woe so far-fetched that I can't help but reward his flair for creativity with the 38 and a half cents that the story was contrived for: "Yo, man, my grandma got crushed in the steam press at the laundromat and I ain't got no case quarter to take a rickshaw to go see her at the hospital in Baltimore. You got a case quarter? You gotta cigarette? Wanna buy twenty kilos of heroin?" No thank you. I suppose this sort of obstacle comes with the territory.
Awful techno music is another necessary evil of clubbing that has to be tolerated, as there is no alternative. On one evening, I heard the original version, house-trance remix, and 12" extended vinyl of a song that I think was called "Smack My Bitch Up" at every club we frequented. That's part of the charm of going out and dating, though; you go somewhere where you don't want to be so you can pretend that you're having fun and not looking to meet anyone in a place that's too loud, disgusting, and crowded to talk to someone even if you did make an acquaintance! A daisy chain of inevitable logic!
And then there were the Gothic, or 'Goth' people. They make up the ruling majority of the actual dancing type clubs. Goth people practice a system of ethics and beliefs that would make the Mormon code look cohesive. They dress in black to convey their spiritual numbness and/or angst at their parents. Ditto for nose, nipple, eyebrow, and prostate piercing. Some of them either pretend, or legitimately believe that they're vampires. I wasn't aware that vampires were typically five foot men with skin problems and lipstick, or three hundred pound girls with pewter crosses and hairy arms, but...fair enough. The musical collective prefers rancid techno with men screaming through speaker distortion about serial killing and other such nastiness that makes them, by virtue of listening, feel nasty. I don't plan on turning into a Goth person any time soon. It sounds too exhausting. Plus even I can't pretend to be that angry all the time.
Every club, lounge, and dive had it's own charm, or prepackaged lack thereof. In club-speak, ambience is a term that's synonymous with 'shit-hole that a lot of interesting people for some unexplained reason keep going to'. At one of the darker clubs, the toilet was little more than an open hole in the ground sheathed in darkness, where one stood in a voluntarily unidentified puddle (I wasn't about to investigate) and tried to aim for the desired target. The place had great ambience though, because a lot of lesbians danced and groped each other there, which, admittedly, does not bode successful odds for the single male, but is entertaining regardless. Plus it made up for the outlandish cover charge.
Every woman at every bar had a special tantalizing feature that stuck to the roof of my mind like so much mnemonic peanut butter, whether it was an interesting back pack with copulating children's show mascots, a nose ring bigger than any you'd ever see this side of a toreador, or in some cases just an ass that left my eyes out of their sockets and my tongue along the rail of the bar. It's a fascinating atmosphere,with it's own ethics and a corresponding band of acolytes who go faithfully into the night, without fail, until they find that fake someone who hits home with the little fake person inside of them.
Certain days had themes attached to them in the club utopia. At one bar, on Tuesday nights, only Englebert Humperdink cover bands graced the small plywood handicapped ramp that doubled as a stage. Some bars designated Sunday as Sexually Conflicted Day, where closet gays, asexuals, and the occasional Eunuch were allowed to get out, get down, and get dirty with each other, no one, or their catheter, respectively. And I'm certain it's widely known that Thursday is the day when people the world over place sponge candy in their underclothes and somersault the length of the bar onto a pool table full of Vienna sausages, but I was never privy to these things before. Just like I was never privy to dancing.
(Audible and extended sigh of disgust) I will never dance, even for the sake of finding action. No Bump and Grind, Slam Dance, Macarena, or other pasta-related dervish. There are some men who dance, and enjoy dancing, and these men are known to be gay. I myself am not gay. If I were gay, maybe I'd enjoy dancing, but gayness simply isn't in my genetic encoding. It's sort of tragic how women love to dance, are always looking for guys who want to dance with them, and have no alternative other than gay men. Sometimes drunken men dance, or desperate men, and you can still see how uncomfortable they are with their sense of coordination, self-consciousness, and overall burgeoning embarrassment regarding the fact that they're dancing badly. If I could make it to the bathroom without tripping over a level surface, or get on and off of a barstool without catching my jacket on a nail on a post that's three feet behind me and ripping the lining out onto the floor much to the amusement of my friends and any other strangers who aren't blind to wild, stunted spectacles, perhaps I would venture it, but I can't, so I don't. I did the twist once at the age of 13, when I didn't know any better, and the original videocassette, as well as any copies, were destroyed tragically in a freak gyro copter crash some years ago. One of the other things I learned was not to trust a straight man who dances well, as he is a professional, and therefore he is trouble.
There are lifer's on every notch of the gender rainbow in clubs, and you can spot them by following these guidelines: If you meet someone who's hair is glazed, greased, or so perfect that they look like they should be endorsing a product while they're talking to you, that's a good sign. If a woman is playing tiddly winks with a handful of diaphragms and an empty margarita glass, this is also a good sign. Persons who don't have a general air of shame and self-disappointment are almost always cold-blooded, no-nonsense, hit-and-run swingers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it depends on your designated prey. Do you want a disease or a drink? A one night stand, four month relationship, or an interlude in the alleyway next to Bob the Hobo? It's an unforgiving meat market, and there are many different cuts of beef hanging from hooks in sub zero temperatures wearing nylons and pumps. You just have to know how to grade your beef. Fortunately, I lean towards the Upton Sinclair school of evaluation, as opposed to the Tijuana State Board of Excellence in Iguana Remainders.
That's not fair, though. One thing that I learned among many is that in life, there are diamonds in the dust, and the club scene is no different. The other things? Perhaps a roster is in order. Thomas' Rules Of Lounge Order, as it were. Relegated by the order in which they were discovered. Take note, and if it sounds silly, or outlandish, remember the source, and bear in mind that much pain and hardship was incurred for the sake of this invaluable scoopage I am imparting to you for the low introductory price of, well, free.
Ever Happens On A Monday
A Good Thing When You Have It
Blow A Good Thing
Harder You Try To Score, The More Bleak Your Odds Become
Rule #6 Perfect
People Who Slur Are Not Anywhere Near as Charming as They Perceive
Themselves to Be
Rule #8 If You
Don't Have an Ugly Friend With You, You're The Ugly Friend
The Sensitive Male Schtick Stopped Working About Five Years Ago
Lie About Your Job, Even If You Have A Good Job (And You Probably Don't)
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