Saturday: Me, Cinde, Mac, at the Polish place on Bedford, me and Cinde gossiping, Mac ignoring the endless prattle, on and on, these girls just keep going.
What are you doing tonight?
No what are you doing tonight?
Come to my house and drink champagne with me and watch dumb movies. Don't go out.
Well it's Ian's birthday. He's doing a night at a club.
Fuck Ian. (Ed. note: Ian is a very nice person but it sounded good at the time.) Come to my house and drink champagne.
This is all I can handle these days. Fun for me is good conversation. Or at very least being able to hear what the other person is saying to me. So I was all settled in for a cozy slightly drunken night at home with one of my best friends.
8 PM: Cinde shows up and she is dressed nicely, not at all what you should be wearing if you're just going to be sitting around watching A View from the Top. Which by the way is the worst movie ever. I read in interviews that Gwyneth calls it "A View From My Ass" instead. You can deflect all you like Gwyneth but you're the one who said signed the contract, and you're the one who agreed to wear the sleazy outfits, and you're the one who displayed no comic timing, and you're the one who had a wistful "I should be in a movie where I get to use my British accent right now instead of this" the whole time. No one else to blame but yourself.
You look nice. Why do you look nice? You look nice, right?
So much has happened in the last few hours. Matty got engaged!
So there's an engagement party tonight. You should go.
I don't think so.
See when I first moved to New York I would go to clubs because all of the people I knew would go to these clubs. Then after a while I made more friends who shared with me a disdain for these clubs, with their shitty music and their overpriced drinks and their secret underground direct link to all of the bridges and tunnels in the tri-state area. And then some of the people who liked to go to the clubs starting being my friends outside of the clubs, and those people I am still friends with today. And some of them I never, ever saw unless it was in a club or at a party.
These people are not really my friends anymore. This is not to say I don't still like them or love them in some instances. But somewhere around the year 2001 I would only go to clubs once every two months, just as a reminder of why I didn't go to clubs anymore. Then it became once every six months. Then once a year. And now I can officially say, I need no more reminders, because I will never set foot in a club of any sort ever again.
But apparently I had to learn one last lesson.
We took a twenty dollar ride to the westside and walked into a bar that actually had a velvet rope with bouncer outside. It was a hookah bar, which is so the best place to be for someone who doesn't smoke anymore. Drinks were ten bucks. The music sucked so hard it brought tears to my eyes. People we actually recognized started showing up after about an hour. I remembered how everyone was always late, that being "a few blocks away" meant "a few blocks and the Williamsburg Bridge."
While I was waiting a young man sat next to me and chatted me up. He was a professional tennis player. He told me that he had just bought an apartment in Bayside and he was ranked 527 and that he had once beat Andy Roddick and his jeans cost two hundred euros. He was with a bunch of other tennis players and they all ranked somewhere in the five hundreds. When I told him I was a writer he told me he really liked - drum roll, please - Anne Rice.
Then I saw a bunch of people I hadn't seen in a year or more. I heard what they were up to, I shared bits and pieces of my life, but I don't think some of them I wll see again. It makes me sad, but not sad enough to do anything about it, because if we were meant to be friends, wouldn't we have made that transition by now? Is it too late?
Cinde dragged me to the next place, some below ground place in the West Village. It was going to be ten bucks to get in the door but for some reason we got in for free. That was the first nice thing that happened to me that night, but you know, it's not even that nice really, because drinks were ten bucks. Cover charges are lame. Ten dollar drinks are lame. God, this evening was so freaking lame.
Anyway after I waited twenty minutes to go to the bathroom - I found out later on there was a secret bathroom, wink wink - I ordered a drink and looked miserably around the room. A large bouncer man came up to me, and in the second kind act of the night, told me I could sit in a little VIP area if i liked, behind a little velvet rope. So I sat there for a bit with Cinde and Nico, roped off as it were. Then I was dragged to the other side of the joint because that's where all the "action" was. I passed by two youngsters dancing all white boy raver style to the loud techno music. They were so fucking excited about this music. I could smell cigarette smoke on everyone. Then I saw someone else I hadn't seen in a while, a nice kid. I think he asked me how my writing was. I started to tell him and then I fumbled and then I just didn't care.
I looked back and saw the dancers bouncing in unison. I looked ahead to the dj booth, where someone was taking their job very seriously. I looked to the right where people were hidden in booths, feeling cool and mysterious because they were high and underground in the West Village. It was dark. There was some red lighting. I only had one last thing to say.
I turned to Cinde and said, "I now know what hell will look like." And then I left.
Never again. Don't bother asking, don't bother inviting, take me off all of your mailing lists. I am done.