“My hands were pulsing way above my head. A position that I can’t say I was used to. But when among the company of the Chinese and Korean-Canadian Mafia you had only one choice. Convince them you are having a great-major-rocking-fun-fun-time.”
I just woke up about an hour ago. Insomnia has grabbed hold. But I woke up with an old memory fresh and resurrected again.
A few years ago my best friend (Lauren) and I took an amazing cultural and culinary tour of the Pacific Northwest. Specifically Seattle and Vancouver. It was the first vacation I had been on in over a decade. It also happens to be the best vacation I have ever had. I could blog and blog about the food we ate. The drinks we imbibed. It was all amazing. But, to be honest, the memory holding strongest to me now is of me in a strange basement, pretending to be drugged up, dancing for my life and praying I knew how to get back to my hotel room.
I had never felt so alive.
I had an inner mantra while taking this vacation. “When in Rome.”
I didn’t care how much money I spent…what I ate…how far I walked (AND BELIEVE FUCKING ME IN SEATTLE THAT MEANS SOMETHING).
Lauren, for her part, had a similar, yet modified mantra. She was long committed to a lovely (SEE: I can’t-stand-him-secretly-adore-him-not-so-secretly-love-him-but-despise-him-because-it-is-funny) man. So she ate, spent, walked, and danced with me wherever we went. She also encouraged me to “meet” new people. I had a great wingperson.
While in Seattle I did what Romans do. I danced until near dawn and then shagged a Seattlite named Joe rotten until the sun came up. Hey! It was vacation. What happens in the pacific northwest…needs to be blogged about.
With Joe behind me…figuratively not literally…Lauren and I headed to Vancouver. We had days of food, drinks, culture and fun. On one of our final nights we decided to visit Vancouver’s version of Boystown-Chicago. It was as gay and brazen as Chicago…it just happened to end at 2 A.M. regardless of the night (who knew??????). Lauren and I had danced our asses off at a bass-thumping, pulse-pounding gay mecca until near close. A couple we had met…a STRAIGHT COUPLE…because in Vancouver not only are they that cool but it was the only place they could go to dance without being molested (IMAGINE)…had mentioned an after party. I was game. Lauren was exhausted. As was the male counterpart of the couple we met. But Alison and I (yes I strangely remember her name) were ready to keep dancing. She told me she knew of an after hours party. It moved around, but went until dawn. Lauren made sure I had cash for a cab and had my phone on me and bid me farewell. As did Alison’s’ husband.
Alison and I traveled for what seemed like miles, but in my drunken stupor was certainly only a few city blocks. We came upon a nondescript high-rise residential building. It was of the same green-gray glass of the rest of the Vancouver skyline. At the door, however, was a very severe looking white man. Bald head. Tight black t-shirt. No bullshit. He looks at Alison and I and without balking said,
“Thirty for the both of you.”
Alison moved in close, said only a few words to him and he responded,
“Ten dollars total.”
I gladly paid for the both of us. We entered a gray, concrete, beyond character-less hallway. If you needed to define “blah” this hallway may have very well been it.
At the end of the gray concrete was a small black stand. Behind it, a very tiny, svelte sexy east Asian woman was standing there.
“Your night isn’t over?”
Alison spoke for both us.
And our defacto hostess pointed the way towards a large black door. The second Alison opened it I heard the pulsing thump of club music. The smell of bodies dancing. Sweat.
The large black door lead to an equally dark long hallway.
After what seemed like an interminable sojourn we emerged into a dark, dark basement.
Strobes flashed to my right. Black lights buzzed to my left.
I was excited.
I was terrified.
TO BE CONTINUED…