Sometimes you just can't win - you've hard a hard week and you're ready to go out and lose some of your cares, you pick a night where you've had good times before, but after that the world seems to conspire against you, telling you that, this time, you're in the wrong place at the wrong time. That was the experience the boyfriend and I had this last Friday at Lights Down Low at Club 222.
This past week had seen some significant tremors shaking the foundations of our worlds - for me, it was a big shake-up at work that found me reporting to a new and unknown manager, while the boyfriend found out on Thursday that he had to vacate his apartment that he's been sharing for three years because his deadbeat housemates had been late on the rent one too many times. We scrambled around, took off work Friday morning and started apartment hunting. The whole day Friday we were both a mess of distraction and fretfullness, generally out-of-sorts and feeling thrown to the wolves. We both needed to get out and relax, but then the boyfriend was also anxious about being out late and drinking the night before a training run (he's running in the Seattle half-marathon at Thanksgiving with his step-mother and sister). In hindsight we'd probably have been better off having drinks at the Pilsner and playing XBox, but then we had an actual invitation, and supposed guest-list passes, to Lights Down Low, so we figured we'd play through since we'd had fun there before.
My first instinct for Friday had been to check out Sweet 16 at Mighty with C.L.A.W.S. and the other underground techno kids of that circle, but, in the middle of the week, I got an email from DJ Sleazemore of LDL thanking me for supporting them in my reviews and inviting us to come this Friday, along with a mention of putting me on the guest list. I gave him my real name, but, lo and behold, we show up and there's no one with my particular set of unprounounceable Germanic syllables on the list. Bad Sign Number One. Bad Sign Number Two is that the cover is now $7 - this is a bad pricepoint kids, because no night that is really about a group of people getting together in a small Tenderloin bar and playing music is worth more than $5 - more than that and you're over-reaching. We walked in feeling mildly irritated with the world, and now were feeling positiviely peevish.
We hung out and had a couple drinks, then went outside for a bit while the boyfriend had a smoke, during which time Bad Sign Number Three occurred - someone threw a bottle of Hennesy at us from a window in the building either above or next to the club, missing us by about five feet. Nothing makes you feel welcome like having a bottle of liquor hurled in your general direction.
We went back in and found a seat in the small niche on the back of the dancefloor, and after another drink were starting to relax, though our conversation was focused on whether or not party nights are really all that important to the culture of the world, with the boyfriend being of the now dour opinion that it was all really vapid and stupid. I was trying to argue to the contrary when Bad Sign Number Four occurred (and somewhat undercut my argument).
Four kids, two boys and two girls (and I believe one of the boys may have been part of the LDL crew), came back and formed a kind of screen at the opening of our little seating enclosure, with their backs to the outside crowd. I watched as the girl began trying to "nonchalantly" fish something out of her bag. Instantly the boyfriend I both figured out what was up, and were pretty amused. Then the girl came and sat beside me - though it was barely enough room for her to plant her butt, there was no "hi," "excuse me," or anything else, even when I smiled and said "hi" to her. She continued to dig in her bag, and then one of the boys undid the lightbulb that lit our area, so we were sitting in the dark as the girl once again stood with the boys. And then we saw what she had taken from her bag, and it made the rounds of all four people while they were facing directly at us. Now kids, if you are going to do bumps in front of other people and not offer them any, that's just rude - remember back in grade school when you were told not to pull out your chewing gum unless you had enough to offer everyone a piece? Same principle applies here. Neither of us would have done any (well, I might have), but there's nothing to make you feel quite so small as to have people blantently doing drugs right in front of you, as though you are way too insignificant to be of any threat, or even interest, to them, especially when one of them is probably associated with the event itself. As soon as they left (without even bothering to screw the lightbulb back in, mind you - sorry we took up the "reserved area," next time we'll sit with the rest of hoi polloi), we decided that it was time to make our exit as well - we had already heard Sleazemore's set, which hadn't appealed to either of us, and while the boyfriend recognized several tracks that he liked in Rchrd OH!'s set, we decided to cut our losses and head up to Charlie Horse at The Cinch.
When we left the club we were almost trampled by six Latino guys running down the street in pursuit of someone, and then a moment later another bottle was thrown down onto the street. Okay, okay, we get the message already, I thought. We wandered up through the 'Loin to Polk and Washington, stopping for pizza along the way, and in the vicinity of The Hemlock Tavern overheard a Marina chick in heels say "I'm so glad they're starting to clean this area up." Us too, honey. We got to The Cinch just in time to catch the show, get ass-grabbed by Juanita Fajita, and have a couple laughs that lightened our mood.
So there you have it, a tale of how you can start out with the best of intentions and have everything wind up kind of shitty, so that, in the end, you're better off going with the easy and predictable. I still like Lights Down Low and think it has great fun potential - there were loads of kids having a good time on the dancefloor when we left, though I felt like it was more a party of people who knew each other already rather than a danceclub that was for everyone; there are more cute boys of the complicated haircut and black eyeliner sort than you can shake a stick at; it's getting gayer and gayer all the time; and though the music on this outing put me more in mind of The Cafe than the edgy electro I've heard there before, I still think it's a good place to go and get in touch with a different aesthetic - but on this particular occasion it was a strike-out. If it hadn't been for Juanita getting all flirty with me at The Cinch, I might have ended this Friday feeling pretty non-existant, and that sure isn't the reason I, or anyone else, likes to go out. And kids, if you're going to do drugs in clubs, do them in the bathroom, okay? That's what they're there for.