Archive for August 2008

Avenue C + Blonde Girls + Indie Music   Leave a comment

I’m leaning against a wall.

Above me strobe light casts a spasmodic, reverberating glow of multicolored light on pale bodies, all dancing to the frantic beat of The Killers. I’m in a club near Avenue C, a place called 40 C, and I’m standing quietly, watching everything and nothing.
As I close my eyes, I imagine myself running hand in hand with the girl of my dreams through a mystical meadow, naked and insouciant, as our body parts flap in the breeze like tissue paper caught under a car tire. This hasn’t been my first stop tonight. But for some reason, it feels like the thousandth stop in so many nights of my life.
An hour and a half earlier, I passed through a bar. As I walked in, a girl grabbed me by the arm. “Let’s get out of here.” She said. I sized her up briefly. She was tall, blonde, with dark piercing eyes, a long almost hawkish nose, and thin yet protruding lips. “I’m thinking of heading to this bar across the street,” I said. This wasn’t a lie—even thogh I’d just went into this bar for no more than thirty seconds—the bar across the street had better light and cuter girls.
She starts following me and then her eyes pop open like someone pulled the light switch in her head. “I have to find my friend.” She says. “When you see her, you’ll be amazed. She’s the most beautiful girl ever. She is amazing.”
This reference made me pause. Number one, why was this girl pitching her friend to me, and number two, why would I find this girl attractive? or even beautiful? Thoughts immediately came to mind of a tall, hideous woman, with sharp grating teeth and meaty breath. This thought flew away pretty quickly. We move through the thick crowd, wet with the smell of beer and sweat and went to the bar. There, I saw a girl with a head of large curls with dark features. Like her friend, she had piercing eyes. But I didn’t find her that attractive. Her friend (who remains nameless) says something to her and then grabs my arm again and heads towards the door. Then, a tall guy who looks like Mowgli from Jungle book (if Mowgli had grown up and started modeling for Armani) grabs “the beauty” and starts talking to her. We all go outside as a group and the friend (blondie) repeats the beautiful friend pitch. “Isn’t my friend the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen?” she said.
I look briefly at her friend, and she gives me a look that can only be described as “eww”. I find this repulsive. “Hey lady, I didn’t say you were beautiful!” They say they are heading to some bar up the street. Mowgli gives me an uneasy look and grabs the “beautiful” girl around the waist.
I have known this group of people for all of three or four minutes. They leave, I don’t follow them.

As they leave, two cute girls walk past me to go into the bar. One of them girl rests her hand on my shoulder. “g’night fabulous.” She says nocomittaly, and disappears down a pair of dark steps. I’m tempted to follow her inside and say hello, but I decide not to. I have no energy to do this. My social desires to interact with people occasionally get scooped out like old moldy ice cream and tossed into a back alley somewhere.
I have a quick drink at a bar across the street, a place called Max Fish, and watch people play pool. At some point I realize all I do these days is people watching, walking around like a wraith, all but invisible, if it weren’t for this pesky thing called a body I’m wrapped up in.
I end up at this spot where a guy I know asks me what I’m trying to do.
“What kind of girls do you like?” he asks. “Women.” I reply with a smirk. “But generally, tall ones, with interesting dispositions, but generally girls who like me.” I say this with a smirk as well.
“Well you need to head to Nublue, a spot on Avenue C between seventh and eighth.” He said. This was coming from a guy who owned a bar in the area—mandatory ponytail included—and I thought about it. Avenue C was a good ten minute walk from where I was, and this place might not even be jumping. But face with another boring night of the same ol’ bars in the LES I decided to go. I walk slowly past a few clubs, seeing throngs of people outside talking, smoking and laughing.
When I reach Avenue C, I’m in a blank zone. I walked a block too far and ended up almost on Avenue D, had to sneak a tinkle in front of a bush (directly in front of what I think was a church), and then felt annoyed by the time I reached where I was supposed to be. I stop at a place labeled 40C, and ask a few girls in the line if this is NuBlue. “No,” a cute girl with platinum blonde hair says. The guy checking IDs, a flaming guy with straightened hair and pants that would make Dave Navarro blush tells me NuBlue (which, up to this point I believe is spelled “New Blue”) is a block down the road. When I reach, a (obviously black) bouncer sits in a cheap plastic chair, and gives me an indifferent look. Admission is ten bucks, and I don’t feel like making the investment. I ask him what kind of music is playing inside, and he says Brazilian and house. I’m still not tempted.
A few guys come out and tell me there are very few ladies inside. At 40C, the line was chock full of little indie chicks. I head to 40C.
This brings me back to me leaning on the DJ booth. After paying five bucks to get into the spot, I become lost in the noise around me. The girls here are dressed very nicely, but they aren’t any friendlier than girls anywhere else. Lots of guys with Pete Wentz hairstyles, float around with big smiles on their faces. It seems everyone has black hair, tight pants and an “interesting” fashion sense. I see one other black guy in the entire place, a man that looks like he’s in his forties sporting a head of thick locks and a sharp jacket. The music is very good, but this doesn’t inspire me to dance. I stand near one of the bathrooms for a few minutes, watching people interact. The indie crowd always fascinates me. People are more energetic and lively. The occassions are trumped up with energy and riddled with a hazy sense of the status quo. Everyone knows how to dress, people dance for the sake of dancing and the DJ looks like Edward Scissorhands. I can’t say it was surreal, but in some way it was cool.
At some point a song plays that I can’t name that takes me back to Barcelona. For a split second, I’m there beside my then-girlfriend, happy and blissful without a fucking care in the world. Then I blink, and I’m back on the dance floor, somewhere off Avenue C.
At some point, I end up leaning on the DJ booth disinterestedly staring at the people dancing in front of me. I find how sad this image must look—the tall (other) black guy in the indie club standing in the most obvious place in the club staring at nothing—and I think someone else notices it too. A girl beside me says something, and I realize it’s the girl I had spoken to earlier in the line. “Hey, didn’t you ask me earlier if this was NuBlue?” she says. I give a stilted response and entertain light conversation. She introduces me to her friends, but my social radar doesn’t’ inspire me to keep talking. She is cute, verily so, in a nice black skirt. She reminds me of Brittany Murphy, but that comparison doesn’t make me feel anything. She’s with two other friends and I my energy is low. I suddenly feel like sleeping, and lean against the DJ booth once more.
At some point, a woman talks to me. “I can hook you up with any guy or girl you want.” She says with a smile on her face. I’m not sure if should be flattered or wonder if I’m projecting a bisexual vibe. I ask her why she’s good at this sort of thing. “I’m freshly divorced,” she says, her eerie smile never losing its brilliance, “and I’m happy!”
I take this into consideration, nod, and lean against the wall again. I see the blonde and her friends leaving. She waves to me, and somewhere inside me, I curse briefly. The chick liked me.
After another ten minutes I leave. The music was getting better and the DJ was amped up, but I didn’t feel like staying, even after he shouted “Okay you sexy motherfuckers start moving! Two for one drinks for the next hour!”
When I went out side, ironically it was raining. It was fitting, as if the earth was aligned to my somber mood. I spend five minutes standing in a group of people that curse a lot. A drunk girl kept bouncing into me. She was literally inches away from me and acted like I wasn’t there, and in that moment, I felt truly invisible. There I was, standing in a group of seven people, all talking around me, while I watched light reflect on falling raindrops on Avenue C.
I say screw it, and head out into the rain. By the time I reach my pizza place for my ritual slice, I’m soaked. I walk inside with a wet head of hair and a light chill running up my back. I wolf down the slice and go home.
Another wonderful night.

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Like the shadows, dear Brutus….   Leave a comment

A man with tight plaid pants on shakes his ass to the groove of break beats. Behind him, a girl with long braids mimics his moves, aligning herself to his gyrations without ever touching him. I’m seeing this out of the corner of my eye, and as I stand in front of a shadowy column in The Darkroom, a club on the Lower EastSide, I find myself wishing I was somewhere else.

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New York is many things. For some is spark of opportunity. Hidden between the folds of the highly contiguous buildings, packed streets and bright lights is a glimmer of hope. Hope of a dream of making it, doing what thousands (or more correctly hundreds of thousands have done in the past) which is make it big.
I’m not sure if I have these visions of grandeur. The pace of New York is getting to me. I thought girls in DC were flaky, but New York takes flaky o the Nth degree. I live in a world were people don’t answer their phones, sent stilted text messages to convey a point and only seem to want to say hello if they happen to see you online in Gchat.

.Quite disturbing.
Tonight, I floated between a few bars. I watched TV at this bar where the bartender, who is normally quite friendly, gives me a perfunctory hello. I’ve been going there for almost ten weeks and I sent her an e-mail, but something about me bothers her I’m guessing.

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On nights like these I feel like the shadows themselves. I stand in the darkest corner, watching bodies float by like wraiths. Voices are obscured by loud music, and they all coalesce and sound like the humming of bees overlayed by whatever the DJ decides to play. Its all good and well to enjoy the night life, (I for one, go out mostly because I am bored), but its becoming increasingly pointless. I’ve found myself in various parts of the world doing this same activity; walking around, talking to people, listening to music, sipping on a nameless beer brewed in a factory I’ll never visit… and its becoming meaningless.

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Tonight I met an English girl who is a designer for Urban outfitters. This brings the number of English women I’ve met since I’ve been in New York to probably fifty. She seems nice enough, telling me that “North England has the nicest people.” But I have no way to verify that. I have no sexual interest in her, even though she is cute. On nights like these I might say hello to certain girls to answer a pressing question. She didn’t look like an American (I thought her outfit looked ‘Mod’ style, and I was correct, but some would say it’s a lucky guess) so, I asked her. Therein lies the rub, dear Brutus.. or should I say Hamlet.

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Sometimes I talk to break the monotony of my thoughts. At some point I was punching notes into my Ipod about what to write. Beside me, while I was doing this, a girl bounced into a tall fellow, spilling some of his drink on her arm. Of course, the guy she was with (quite wrongly) took offense to this most egregious circumstance and proceeded to confront the tall guy. What made this scene funny was the fact that the guy was French, and spoke broken English. The girl was fine, the guy didn’t spill much beer on the girl to begin with, but the French guy started going on off about something involving his “girlfriend and his sister” which I didn’t understand. Maybe he meant to say “lover” and got the words mixed up. Either way, the tall fellow laughed, patted the French guy on the shoulder and walked back to his friends, who were both a good three inches taller than he was. But you guessed it, the French guy returned, filled with the indignation that has been put on so many television screens in my lifetime. No fight broke out, but a part of me wished the French man would produce a glove, and slap the tall guy in the face, shouting, “Sur incompetent Americaaan!”
Sadly, my life isn’t that interesting. I knew tonight was a lame night because I didn’t even eat my ritual slice of pizza. New York, New York. Oh how I love this love and hate relationship I share with the big apple.
Tomorrow I’ll probably wake up blearly eyed, feeling better about my situation. I’ll forge on towards bigger and better things, or find myself in another shady bar in some other part of the city, standing  as always in the shadows, watching life pass me by. Or maybe I won’t do that. I might be jogging down park avenue, looking at the opulence around me, and find myself thinking about the past. Screaming to myself, “What the fuck did I do wrong?”

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I’ve completely changed. I can’t even play video games anymore to interest myself. TV is boring and I find myself wanting to be far, far away. Maybe I was meant to be a world traveler, one of those guys who grows a thick beard and roams the earth, leaving mostly children in his wake. Maybe that’s my destiny. Who knows.
Yesterday I watched Forrest Gump for what must be the tenth time, and I found myself almost tearing up at certain scenes. The first time I watched the movie, I didn’t really know what love was, nor did I have a strong grasp on the concept of death. Now, watching it after losing people in love and death multiple times, the move seemed completely fresh. I knew exactly how he felt when he was running. I’ve had my ‘Jenny’ on the mind too, and I’ve watched someone close to me die, seeing their life fade away in a few choked breaths while people around them screamed as if the resonance of their voices would trap the soul into the broken body.

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I like the fact that even a simple man like Forrest Gump can find love, and find a wife. Since I’ve been in New York, I’m truly convinced that American television perpetuates the ideal of extreme beauty being the most desirable attribute of a mate (male or female)  is wrong. Real life shows you that most people are average, and like average people. Above average is scary, a frightening visage of something you can’t compare to. Run with the average joe and you are safe. Go with the smart intellectual, and things get fuzzy.

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Either way, if we live in a world where Forrest Gump can get laid, then there is hope for anyone isn’t there? Who knows. Like I said before, I’m a fly on the wall. I stand in the shadows, watching people go by, hoping a big fucking swatter doesn’t mess with my flow.
Hah. Fly on the wall….

SILENT RAVE: NEW YORK+   1 comment

me at the silent rave

me at the silent rave

A man in a large costume that resembles a jar of mustard runs past me. As his yellow figure bobs oddly through a throng of sweaty, pubescent ravers, the crowd erupts into a cacophony of cheers. Somewhere, a voice shouts out. “Mustard man! Mustard Man!”. Then, a Japanese guy in a hat expertly designed in the figure of a chicken floats past. He spreads a pair of thin arms wide.
“Who wants to suck my cock?” he shouts. Behind me, a group of guys giggle. I stand in this chaos, snapping photos and floating quietly through the crowd. That’s the most interesting thing about this experience. Around me, hundreds of people are dancing excitedly. Bodies covered in sweat glisten under dimly lit New York street lamps. Tiny emo girls toss their dyed hair back and forth, strange shirtless guys do very homo erotic dances, and guys like the chicken man—there are a few of them around—all prance around, dancing to some quiet, unheard music. This is because they are dancing to their own music.
I’m at my first silent rave.
To see hundreds of people dancing with their telltale ipod headphones in their ears, all grinding to their own beat, is like seeing a music video on TV with the mute button on. But not only am I in this music video, but I’m an active participant, snapping photos, not trying to brush against too many of the girls present (many of them are teenagers). This would probably count as the second rave I’ve been to in the states. Like all raves, there are tons of very attractive women.
To my left, a Heidi Klum look alike wearing headphones straight out of an 80’s movie grooves beside her equally hot Asian friend. In front of me, a tall red head makes me think immediately of Berlin. All around, cute teeny-boppers, people with shaved heads, tatoos and t-shirts that read “I love NY” are all dancing.

Raving, in complete silence.
The silence is broken by screams which have no purpose. In rave music, people normally scream when the bass drops. Like most music, rave incorporates a specific tempo that keeps the crowd going for hours on end, ecstasy, cocaine or no. After a minute or so of the introductory song loop, a bass kick drops. This is where people scream and dance faster. Tonight, people are raving telephathically. The bass kicks in on one person’s headphones, and they broadcast it to everyone else with a scream. This spreads through the crowd like wildfire—people jump, run around and even mosh—and then the silence falls once more.
There is a natural tendency for human beings to feel threatened in the presence of large groups. If you’ve ever attended a large arena where a fight started, you might have “felt” a ripple through the collective consciousness of those present. You sense the anguish of those around you, you are caught in the bubble. For a moment, you and the crowd are one. Tonight is one of those nights.
I slip on my headphones and start playing a few trance tracks from a top 100 album I have. Almost instantly, I am in the bubble. As the sounds of voices, screams and bodies hopping around fades, I am part of the collective. All I hear are the snares, break beats and heavy basses while I look through my own personal windshield. Somewhere, a conga-line starts, and dozens of people begin sprinting in a sweeiping arc around the other ravers. For a second my radar gets tweaked. I get sensation of danger again. The groups of bodies darting through the crowd resemble the scene of a brawl. Bodies moving rapidly, touching, colliding. But the feeling subsides. These people are all here to have fun. They are happy being separate yet close.

A part of me wishes the rave was louder. At least I would have more to say.

Hospital blues and Darkroom Views   Leave a comment

I’m standing in the middle of a club, a hot place known as the Darkroom on the Lower East Side, and I’m not trying to hookup with girls. I’m trying to construct a narrative.

As weird as that sounds, sometimes I venture out, nicely dressed (usually with a tie or some odd accessory to accompany me) and I just stand up in bars, watching people interact and seeing the pluses and minuses of our social debacle. Since most of the bars I venture to mostly have white patrons, there is the inevitable observation about dancing, the odd hookups here and there and drinking. For most people it seems, alcohol is an escape from their problems, but not just that. It is an escape from reason. Not only are senses dulled, but also rational decisions.
“Maybe that guy sorta looks like Freddy Prinze after six drinks.” She says to herself. Maybe she doesn’t say this.
On nights like these, I watch the sharks float around—the guys that will talk to ANY chick—and I see how successful they are. They usually aren’t.

A quick grab of the waist, a stilted dance and a whisper in the ear of “Can I call you sometime?” never works. This might work if the girl is extremely drunk, but she’ll never answer the phone. You’ll call until your fingers are riddled with Carpal.

I haven’t felt like blogging for several weeks. I’m back in that mental void again. This week, I’ve had three or four dreams about an ex-girlfriend of mine that I really want to forget, and I’ve even had the unpleasant experience of being awake while my body is asleep. I have no idea what this means for me psychologically, but it was fucking frightening. I was dreaming that I was in my Grandmother’s house in Jamaica, which I have dubbed “The Palace”, and I walk home, to my apartment in NYC. (Hey it’s a dream, Jamaica and New York are a thought apart). When I reach back, I lay on the couch (where incidentally I am sleeping) and then I open my eyes. Only, I can’t move. The only thing I “think” I can move are my eyebrows, which do nothing to keep me awake.

Then I close my eyes again, and I’m immediately plunged back into a dream world. Only this time, I sense something very sinister watching me. I open the door to my apartment and the hallyway is eerily black. In the darkness, with my limited vision, I can see something moving in the background. Something dangerous. I run back to the couch and lay down.

Again, I open my eyes. I can’t move. All I can move are my eyebrows. I can’t scream and everything around me is still. It was frightening and weird. Until finally, I was able to get up, the 1,000 pound weight off my chest and the presence gone… for now.

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve falled into the aforementioned void. A funk which messes me up from time to time. I’m sort of enjoying New York, but I’ve been spending a few hours in the day visiting my Aunt in the hospital. This is a mentally taxing exercise. I hate hosptials, and I think going to one every single day is beginning to make me feel wired and filled with images of death.
Either way, tonight was the first night I went out in a while.
I haven’t felt the need to go out and try to meet people. I normally find this an annoying and disturbing process. Like many Friday nights, in the clubs I went to, there were large groups of girls dancing in tight circles, cock-blocking left and right. I was observing this of course, since I was constructing a narrative.
Inevitably, I met people. A small, very cute blonde wearing a white hat pulled me to the side at one point, but danced around me mostly. Her name was Amy. At some point her friend who was aptly named Mandy, (and also very blonde) said they were lovers. I believed them. In fact, for most of the night a majority of the girls in the club were dancing with each other, which lead me to think they might all be lesbians, or just fucking strange.
At another club, I met a girl named Milan. She was very cute. Like 30% cuter than Ashley simpson. I saw her reject a few guys. All my conversation with her was random. I was standing near her and lamented on hearing the “M.I.A” song for the tenth time that night. This comment peaked her interest, and she spoke to me for a little ewhile. But then, her two blonde friends (she was a brunette) left, so she was gone. Fleetingly.

I honestly don’t have much writing juice in me these days. I think I’ve said enough about my ex-girlfriend. I think I’ve said enough about the odd social situations I find myself in (good or bad) , and I think I’ve said enough about certain things I want to achieve.
I could write about the dozens of women I’ve met and kissed and messed with, but to what end? I’m no happier than a guy who failed his bar exam after three years of school and countless hours of studying.
I want to write for writing’s sake, like most writers, but that seems lame. No point writing unless on has an audience correct? Whoever reads my blog never posts. I somewhat do this as a personal reference for myself, but I also do it to stimulate the people around me.
I can’t say New York sucks, but I think I personally suck in New York at this point in time. That’s a joke by the way.

A part of me wants to talk about the Russian girl I met on the Subway, the Russian I met in Union Square and the Russian I met at this bar called Pianos. Or the three Aussies, the Swiss chick, the Candadians and the Infamous English. I could talk about how much i’m still in love with someone who has no desire to even seen me. But why? Why talk about your life if you are talking to yourself…
Alas. Such is life. Tortured dreams, and tortured events. Tomorrow its back to the hospital. May I have mental strength….

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