Outside, the line stretched down the street. Everyone on line was waiting to get in and everyone on line was wondering if they would make it in before the club would close.
As for me, I was still very new to the New York City club scene. The bars and clubs on Long Island were nothing like the ones in the city. There were too many inhibitions and too many people to impress. There was too many people screaming to break free, but yet, each was too afraid to step from their own comfort zone. The city, however, was altogether different.
I knew this night would be different when I approached the line and saw a transvestite on stilts. She had fake blood painted around her throat—as if it were slashed open and bleeding. There were heavy doses of white and red makeup on her face. The transvestite was not passable as a girl, by any means—but I doubt this mattered to her (or him).
I could hear the music blaring from inside the building. The beat was heavy and the music was intense. I never listened to that type of music. I was never into techno or electro, trance-like versions of dance music. I was not dressed like the rest of the “Club kids” as they were called.
Club kids wore clown-like outfits with high, platform shoes. It was unclear if some were male or female. Then there was the ravers; they wore glow-sticks on their clothing and they had their own strange get-ups with ski goggles on their face and headbands around their foreheads.
We waited outside for nearly 20 minutes until a friend of mine swung around and said, “We got it.”
Rob knew some of the promoters of the event. He also did his share of club promotions; however, his promotions were on a much smaller scale.
Rob’s promotions were held in a small bar where under-age drinking was common, fights were regular, and the crowd was usually the same. There was never anyone different at his venues. It was always the same people, doing the same thing, and telling the same stories.
The girls were the same, so where the guys, which meant everyone tried to hit on the same people. Everyone looked the same because we were all caught up in the same trends, trying to look good, but never looking much different from anyone else.
Rob’s events were on Long Island with a Long Island crowd. His main venue and source of income was held on Wednesday nights at a place known as Panama Jake’s.
Jake’s is where hundreds of people funneled into a room that was only rated for a capacity of 175 guests. The special for the night was 25-cent drafts and drinks. The draft beer usually ran out within the first few hours, but by then, most of the crowd was fueled enough to drink bottles without complaining.
As for the drinks—I am told they were watered down and weak—unless the tips were good. A happy bartender is a good bartender, I suppose. They severed the popular Kamikazes, and Bahama Mommas, Long Island Iced Teas, and Alabama Slammers.
I knew everyone in this crowd. It was usual—it was familiar—but the usual and familiar became all too tired for me. I wanted to see something different. I wanted to walk into a room filled with different people from different places.
Rob was not always straight forward. I was never sure if he had the connections he said he did—but the idea of getting into a huge venue Downtown sounded like it was worth the shot.
It just so happened, this time, Rob pulled through.
I walked passed the long line of people waiting to get in and I began to feel a wild stir inside of me. I almost felt cool, I should say. I walked passed the crowds of people, through the red velvet ropes, and then I headed up a set of black steps before walking through a series of black, double doors.
By this time, the music was so loud and electrifying that I could feel the bass vibrating through my body. The beat was steady and thick.
Moving through one black room and into another, I walked through a set of tall curtains, which opened up to a gigantic dancefloor where strobe-lights flashed and people danced.
Hands waved in the air—it was like a sea of arms moving. Bodies jumped around, writhing together in a new form of sexual freedom.
I had never seen anything like this before. I had never seen so many people in one place. Everyone was happy and everyone was having a good time.
The beat was not slow. It changed often, and on occasion, the music turned into digital sounds with a trippy appeal.
It was beautiful to me. The crowd was beautiful, and so was the music. There were no worries about fights or feelings of animosity with anyone in the crowd. That seemed more like a Long Island thing to me.
There was nothing dramatic. All there was were a sea of people, dancing and living as loud, and as fast as they possibly could.
Fortunately for those I was with; I was always the designated driver. I was sober and young. I was new to an experience and hoping to find a girl to share that experience with.
“But be careful,” I was warned.
“You don’t want to hook up with a girl and then find out she’s not really a girl.”
I knew someone this happened to. It was more arranged than random. He was talking to a girl, who he believed was a streetwalker. “She was pretty,” he said.
“But when I put my hand between her legs, I grabbed on to something I didn’t expect to grab.”
Something like this was not what I worried about. I knew what I was looking for. I knew exactly what I wanted.
I always preferred the curvy to thin. I have always been a fan of full bodied women. I need something to grab on to. Besides, I have always been a fan of the female body, and in my opinion, curvy women have more of what I like.
Had I been more secure with my preferences, and had I been less interested in what my friends thought, I might have been happier in my younger years.
On this night; I chose not to worry about my friends or what they thought. I chose to do as I wanted. There was no reason to be restricted to my usual routine. There was also no reason to starve myself of a true experience.
In the beginning, I stayed with my friends. But as the night went on, we all split in different directions. However, we made sure to set a location to meet up, just in case anyone got lost. This way, no one would get stuck and everyone would find their way home.
Rob was the first to get lost. Then it was Greg’s turn. Last I knew, Greg said, “I’m going to the bathroom,” and then I did not see him until it was much later in the night.
By that time, Greg was smiling with his wide, drunken smile. His buttoned down shirt was untucked and unbuttoned. His white undershirt was stained with a red stain that I assume was spilled on him from his drink.
Greg was a good man. He never argued and he never complained. He was more of a homebody, but in the clinch, Greg was a really good friend to have by your side. Safe to say, if Greg was around, I knew I would have a good time.
We were in our early 20’s and the world belonged to us. We were unaffected by the trials of adulthood. We had yet to understand what real heartbreak was and we struggled to relate to responsibility. At most, our biggest concern was, “What do you want to do tonight?”
We all lived at home—so money was not a problem. We were in our college years, so our future was certainly ahead of us, but yet, our future was the last thing we thought about.
I felt something inside me on this night. I felt an untapped desire that was perfect in every way. It opened me up to a new level of confidence. I was in the city. I was New York City, to be exact, and there is no place like it in the world.
Where else could I see a transvestite on stilts, or see another one hanging from a swing in the ceiling?
Where else could I see anyone like the club kids and their ambiguously strange fashion? There was every kind of person in that club. There were black people and white; there were Asians and Hispanics. I did not feel the need to classify anyone—even the gay crowd or transgendered. Everyone seemed to belong, which, in turn, made me feel comfortable—as if I belonged too.
Moving throughout the club, I began to feel almost drunk with all the different rooms and hallways. There was a balcony too. This is where I saw a girl dance topless with another girl. Lights bounced across her skin as her friend leaned in closely. Then her friend dragged her tongue across the topless girl’s nipple. It was amazing.
They moved slowly, which was the rhythm of the music at the time. White and red lights flashed as the two drew closer to each other. Then the two stretched their tongues from their mouths and pressed the tips together.
I was not the only one watching. I assume everyone was watching because they looked so erotic and beautiful. I had seen girls kiss each other before—but I had never seen anything like this.
After making my rounds, I met a girl by one of the bars. She was from a different state. She spoke with a different accent, which was nice.
“I like the way you speak,” I told her. “You have a really nice accent.”
“You speak funny,” she told me.
All the girls I knew spoke the same. They all had the same, typical Long Island accent. I have an accent too, but I assume this is what I liked most about the girl.
She looked and spoke differently. She was as a little taller than me. She had curves, swerving hips, and a large chest. Her thighs were thick and her skirt was very short.
We talked for a while. She had white teeth, blonde hair, and blue eyes. In certain rooms, the black-lights caused her eyes to glow.
She led me by the hand into different rooms and through different hallways. She led me passed the co-ed bathrooms and through the balcony where a circle of young men and women massaged each other’s shoulders.
“They’re probably on ecstasy,” she said.
“Did you ever do it?”
“Once,” I told her. “But I don’t remember much about it.”
“How long ago,” she asked.
“When I was a kid,” I told her.
“But I don’t do anything like that anymore.”
We continued to walk around and see the different rooms of the club. We passed the odd looking and we passed the pretty. We walked to a room that was down on a lower level. This was the reggae room.
Then she took me into a dark room where white lights shaped like circles roamed around the walls. The room was certainly dark until my eyes adjusted. And that’s when she kissed me. That’s when she pushed my back to the wall and bent over. She pushed her backside into my hips, grinding against me, and moving in a circle.
The music was perfect for this. I could see up her skirt. I could see the white thong wedged between her full round cheeks. She was not shy about letting me see, touch, or feel her.
It was perfect.
This is the night I fell in love with New York City . . .