Photo: Nicolas Raymond / stockvault.net
I’ve never quite understood dancing. I’ve always associated the image of spastic movements subject to electronically-imposed rhythm with heartbeat, not with voluntary body motion. Not that I’d be holding any ideological grudges against the concept of dancing, I just can’t seem to grasp the essence of it. The point escapes me, somehow. Most of my movements are caused or required by practical need and/or physiological urge. Thinking of it, even laughter, although highly appreciated and sought after, is not voluntary.
Apart from extreme auditory experience far beyond the threshold of ear damage, is there anything else to clubbing than sweltering temperature, borderline intoxication and tongue-induced tonsillectomy?
Let’s paint an image: amidst the thick, inseparable masses of cigarette smoke that both blocks the upper respiratory tract and blurs the remnants of one’s already tear-filled vision, countless numbers of ecstatic figures visible well enough to distinguish sex yet not enough to reveal any defective facial or bodily features, engage in thorough, laborious rubbing against each other in agitated expectation of wild, exploratory intercourse thereafter.
On Friday nights the stuffy, humid undergrounds of city clubs turn into electronic infernos glutted by growing numbers of oversized, neckless disco demigods and artificially tanned, breast-happy make-up marvels that both come to seek their sweet share of admiration. Interestingly, all the actions undertaken among the club crowds are indeed everything but disorganized. Quite the opposite, clubs are the apparent number one choice of venue when it comes to silent, yet all the more intricate procedures of seductive practices governed by very well formulated, yet unwritten, variable and liberal rules to follow.
I enter such a club arbitrarily. After accommodating briefly to the sensory overwhelmingness upon entry, I find my slow, burdensome way through the swarms of sweat-covered patches of naked, burning skin that give me just as much as a brief peek in the light of the ever-flashing strobe. I stand puzzled and order a quadruple shot of whatever it may be to lighten up my mood, morals and wallet simultaneously.
Despite my tracheae being widened by the increasing amounts of alcohol amongst my blood vessels, I still cannot quite comprehend the nature of pleasures club population may find in such a random physical output of energy, especially given the conditions of hindered vision, hearing and respiration.
The reasons for such conduct have always sparked my interest. The incessant exasperation. The mind-numbing music. The absence of words. The amount of pervasive, yet desirable body contact (that I can understand interestingly well). The omnipresent scent of both cheap and ridiculously-overpriced liquid alcohol and heavy perfumes. The darkness, heat, sweat, lust, stares, touch, the works.
I increase alcohol intake deliberately, for no immediate sensation of pleasure seems to be setting on. I care not for my impaired balance, at least for now, and remain vigilant in my observation, trying to make the best of myself until my capacities inevitably begin to diminish. The variety of action is abundant in the club: the dancefloor welcomes members of both sexes present to engage in delirious muscle movement coupled with the unequivocal exposition of one’s clothing, haircut, figure and overall attractiveness as such, prolonged eye contact necessary; the bar is a place of friendly chatter with strangers, where social distances shrink in some peculiar, indiscriminate way, enabling random encounters to grow into physical contact within minutes; and, on the face of it, it seems that lone observers such as myself are also a distinctive social group taking part in this parade: they stand about, exchanging glances, probing the possibilities of reciprocal sympathy with the opposite sex, waiting for their moment to strike.
And so do I, still sitting with a slight smile on my face, observing the inner workings of this inexplicably complex club mechanism, digesting ample amounts of alcohol in my otherwise vacant digestive system, inspecting the barely visible, ceaselessly stirring crowd to possibly witness an aroused female in a dark corner shoving her absurdly oversized bosom in somebody’s (but mine) face. I scrutinize the crowds and despite being an unseasoned clubbing beginner, I cannot but notice the vast variety of interaction, fascinating in the absence of words in general: almost the entire body of information is conveyed by different channels.
In this environment, the possibilities are truly endless. For all I know, I might as well have two more shots, dance away the remnants of reason within and have my way with whomever I please in a lavatory or otherwise. Speaking of which, I have been able to lose track of how many drinks I’ve had. Nevertheless, I try my best to remain seated at the bar chair, although the difficulty of keeping my body upright is becoming greater every minute. However, the inevitable urge of bladder voiding is becoming dangerously strong and so I decide to take action.
Only now do I realize how impaired my senses are. I struggle to find my way to the toilet. The seemingly simple act of moving from point A to point B becomes a voyage of darkness, confusion and sine wave trajectories. After several gruesome minutes, I hit, perhaps by accident, the right door and enter (or rather fall into) the tile-covered room. Seeking structural support of nearby objects, I reach the designated spot, rest my head against the wall gently and lean on it with all my weight in order to achieve at least passable stability. Upon successfully fastening my belt (itself a result of a five-minute struggle), I’m on my way to wash my hands, when I come to realize a strange feeling: my digestive tract is about to retaliate. My reckless course of action at the bar is ready to take its toll as I leap across the room to the closest toilet (with surprising accuracy this time). I throw up the complete selection of beverages consumed beforehand.
I stand up afterwards, recognizing the familiar sensation of exhaustion, sickness and disorientation. I am definitely drunk, more than I’d like. I turn to the sink to rinse the hydrogen chloride from my burning throat, but out of nowhere I am interrupted in my endeavor.
Before I know, I find myself being dragged to the dancefloor by a strange female, twitching uncontrollably in vain attempts to dance, thoughtlessly directing my movement closer and closer to her body. Amidst the heat of the powerful rhythm I somehow lose track of her presence. I come looking for her, blinded by the purple strobes right above my head. Skimming through one of the dark corners, I discover her whereabouts and approach discretely.
Her impulsive behavior strikes me once again when I appear to be standing in the corner of the very same lavatory I have been to not so long ago, her slim fingers frantically clutching at my upper thighs shortly thereafter. Not quite aware of the course of events that lead to this strange encounter, I give in as her moist tongue enters my oral cavity.
Baffled and bewildered, I somehow seem to finally have the experience of inconsequential toilet stall intercourse. If only there was any enjoyment in it! Sadly, I still feel dizzy and very, very sick. Barely able to comprehend what is actually happening to me, I bend over in stomachache and wonder how I got into this situation in the first place. “I’m sick!” – I whisper desperately, angry at myself like never before. The blonde just smiles and gets firm hold of the backside of my neck: we kiss as if it was the last time and after this long, passionate moment, she gives me one more glance and walks out of the room to become lost in the darkness forever. Only muffled silence of the walls remains.
I sit in the living room, sipping black tea very carefully (I still feel quite discomforted), wearing the same crumpled shirt, my disheveled hair twisted in all directions. My roommates inexplicably smile upon entrance to the room, saying no more than “Good morning!”
I guess I came to realize the point of clubbing after all.
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