Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's 3:30 a.m.: What are you doing?

Mac Attempts To Get Laid; Screws Self Instead


You've had a two days at work. Surfed the net, fended off whiny bankers, argued with coworkers about what your job is and is not. You need a drink by 3 in the afternoon. You leave work on time for once, but irritated at yourself and the workplace as usual. You get home and remember the Z-boys are playing tonight. You take a nap because you are normally exhausted after work, and the additional stress of being angry leaves you half dead. You take a shower, feel a little better in the warm water, a little more like the "self" you can tolerate being around. The water washes away the sweat of the day, but not all the sadness. You deal with it, smoke a cigarette in the kitchen, watching the cabs and cop drive by. That's the way it's been since you returned from that wedding in Scotland: Cabs and cops roaming the street outside your kitchen window, dropping people off and picking people up.
Everyone seems to be going somewhere except you.

You put on your coat, lock the door, and drive to Sonotheque, hoping tonight will be different fun, in hold of a kiss.

You can't find the bar and get lost somewhere amidst the Lake Street El tracks warehouses and million dollar condos. You turn around and around the blocks of closed cleaners and liquor stores hiding behind black iron cages. The streets are empty and your semi-good mood is emptying out with each exhale of now nervous cigarette smoke. You see a tiny blue neon sign peeking out from the window store fronts. You found the place and a parking spot a block away. You flick your Camel Light into the curb and walk into the bar.
After you show the bored dred-locked bouncer your ID, the first thing you see is yourself in a floor-to-ceiling mirror just inside the door to the bar. You cringe at your reflection, and turn away quickly, and walk into the main room. You avoid any mirror you come across, and there are quite a few. You can't bring yourself to look people in the eye.

It's long and dark, just the faint pulsing glow of Christmas light-like twinkles on the floor and the glow of a movie playing on two walls. The place is empty but for your friends, two bartenders, and two DJs at the bar. You swerve straight for Mike and Brian at the bar. Hellos are bandied about as you scan the overpriced drink menu, choosing Old Speckled Hen Ale just for the name and the fact it's only 5 dollars. It turns out to be a fine Ale and you drink 4-5 of them throughout the night. Cock-a-doodle-doo.
You lean against the bar, talking to one of the DJs, nice guy young, and this is his idea: having live music come on after a DJ set. The music is mixed with other bands and some of the DJs original beats. Its got a primal sad trance-like quality to it, which fits fine with your mood. The fake nostalgia of living out a Jay McInerey novel settles onto your brain, and you go with it. You lean against the bar and try and follow Mike and Neil's conversation about obscure movies by obscure foreign directors, and that crappy familiar feeling starts inching into your mood: you are the dumbest person in the room. So, you lean back from the bar and check out the women and men (boys and girls?) trickling into the bar. A rumor goes around the bar that the Z-boys aren't going to play tonight-- no one here to hear-- but that is soon quashed as the crowd surges up to like 40 people, all white hipsters except for a Nigerian ("he's fucking wacky to listen to" someone whispers to me) and a cute energetic Asian woman ("I think I met her at another of our shows" Mike whispers into my ear). You've been spending time in Gallagher's for so long, you suddenly feel out of place with all these white faces strutting around white men in leather jackets striking poses and white women standing with one leg jutted out in front of them ass pushed out just so with one hand on hip. There's a different vibe among those seeking attention, looking for a week-night hookup. You wonder what vibe you put out, shake your head and take a huge gulp of Hen: it can't be good.
The band starts playing, yet no one seems to notice. The band and the DJs have timed it worked it so the last song on the speakers was in the same key and beat as the first song by the band. It flows seamlessly into each other.
The set is mellow and good and you try to take some pictures (knowing that they won't turn out very well). There's a guy at the end of the bar who looks like a member of some Russian Mafia feeling the waist of a ample Blonde. It's strange, but you get the idea that he "owns" her. The couple next to you starts making out at the bar, you stare at the woman's jet blue-black wavy hair, and smell her sweet perfume and try to remember the last time you made out at the bar: Holly H.. 1998.
You sigh and finish your beer and scan the crowd, eyes stopping briefly on the pig-tailed girl in the 50s red dress white tights, then move on back to the Asian woman in the simple-black-dress whose name you forgot even though Mike introduced you only like 30 minutes ago. Your eyes meet, and you know there's not even a flicker of a chance, so you return to your smoke, stare at the mile long line of liquor bottles on the wall and let her go on speaking to the crazy Nigerian unmolested.
It's nearing 2 o'clock now, and you still want more beer, so you leave the Z-boys, and drive north on Ashland racking your brain for somewhere else to go. Gallagher's is closed on Tuesdays, so you try go through a list of all the 4 am bars you can think of, none of them sparking the least bit of fiery interest in your Ale-soaked brain. You turn onto Western Avenue and see an open spot next to the Mark II Lounge and think "why not." It'll be dead, but you can always mopey-gawk the hot Bulgarian waitstaff and drink in peace.

Mark II Lounge--- Edie and Robert

My Place closed until May 11th

Mullens---model---link in email?

Mark II--- Latin Swing Night

Gallagher's----Ren and Jane
More later---Mac

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