I’m 26, which feels about six years too old for the nightclubs my friends frequent. I’m not talking about bars, where you talk about how great Friday’s are and how terrible tax is. I’m talking about clubs – the ones where you scream in another person’s ear and act like you don’t care when a 16-year-old spills a vodka Red Bull on you and offers cigarettes as repayment.
Waiting in line is okay. I think about how to avoid the dad-who’s-come-to-pick-up-his-daughter vibe. The girl in front of me acts like not being on the guest list is the fall of Rome, while I just hope the bouncer doesn’t refuse me entry because the bottom hem of my jeans is too loose. That’s happened to me before. It’s just one excuse in a long line of reasons I’ve been given by men who look like they don’t know the difference between the alphabet and algebra.
One last breath of fresh air before I enter the 18-year-old compression chamber, fueled by the sweat of kids who know more about the DJ than I know about my own mother. It smells like the locker room of a school gym, if they used amyl to clean the tiles. It’s hot as fuck too, something the wide-eyed individuals I’m rubbing shoulders with don’t seem to notice (or care about).
I’m surrounded by people who either have a Soundcloud account, a bucket hat or an exclusive card that verifies the fact they know absolutely everyone inside the club. Except me, of course. The only person I know is the person who brought me here, and they’re already trying to put their hand inside a vagina somewhere on the dance floor.
A dude with an oversized t-shirt twice the size of my bedsheets spots me staring at a girl whose shorts have been eaten by her ass. Dress policy has apparently switched, meaning girls are wearing male underwear and guys are wearing girl’s dresses. “Sluts!!!##!@#@?” screams oversized t-shirt man in my ear, pointing at the girl with the hungry ass. He motions lighting a cigarette and points toward the smokers section. I remember that the construct of friendship in a nightclub is based solely on having a cigarette together.
I become concious of what I’m wearing. Male cleavage must be in, because most guys have t-shirts with necks deeper than the hole I’m going to crawl into once I get out of here. One guy is wearing jeggings, making it the first time I’ve ever seen them on anything other than a 3am infomercial. Lots of guys have their hair in a bun. I realise my conservative button up is about as cool as having your mum pick you up from a rap battle. I undo it a little.
Waiting in line for a drink is like solving a rubix cube. I barely move for about 20 minutes. I assume the instructions for getting a drink quickly are hidden on the inside of the baggies everyone has. They’re all fucking ninjas. No matter how far in front of them I am, they’ll get a drink before me. I’m like a first grader in the tuck shop line, except no one feels sorry for me.
By 2am I reach undercover cop status, weaseling my way through the nightclub version of the popular kids at school. Everyone’s smoked enough and drunk enough and eaten enough to not really give a fuck about whether or not I’m trying to arrest them for snorting pingers off the toilet seat. My friend’s also finally got his hand inside that vagina he was hunting on the dance floor.
I creep outside, hail a taxi and lie to the driver about how crazy my night was.