Monday, December 17, 2007

When I could dance

I'm talking to Chris about how I get nervous when I decide to go out, like yesterday I walked back and forth around this one scenester bar, but there were too many people smoking outside -- I couldn't deal with walking through the crowd and what if someone wanted to talk to me, then I'd be standing still in the middle of all that smoke. But that's a logical reason to get nervous, sometimes I just get nervous about the idea of going out and then I have to shit three times in a row. Or I'll get to the door of some club and I'll get that sinking stomach drama I mean I've always had that but there used to be more of a chance that once I got inside there'd be something to send me to the sky, I could walk into the music my eyes would eyes would close just for a second oh yes.

Tonight I'm thinking of going to this disco revival night, even though I hate disco, mostly because it's taking place in the basement of 1015 Folsom and years ago I went to a club in that basement every Tuesday so I remember it kind of fondly, not like the rest of the club all fancy just a basement not unfinished but finished in a kind of unfinished way, with a pretty low ceiling like maybe you could touch the pipes if you reached your hands up and everyone would dance like crazy, it was a Tuesday night so it was people who were really dedicated to going out -- all types though -- and I’d get that crazy calm rush from dancing and I remember one time standing outside around 4 a.m. after they closed and all these people were getting into fancy cars and I was trying to get a ride, no one would give me a ride.

Then, just a few months ago, this guy on the bus was asking me if I went out to clubs a lot, I used to, then it turned out that he remembered me from Together -- he started going on and on about how it used to be all about the dancing you could be anybody and just dance it didn't matter whether you were straight or gay, who you knew or what you looked like, what kind of clothes you wore it was all about the dancing. He's wrong about the club, but maybe he's right about what it meant for me and him, that's how he remembered me I think I can remember him too if I let my eyelids flutter a bit, he had beady eyes and he used to spin around a lot and jump up and down he was a straight guy who wasn't afraid of me.

But then there's that certain kind of nostalgia so specific to club life, like you can take any horrible place and suddenly it was the place where everyone got along when the drugs were great when there were no drugs when the drugs were actually fun when everyone was different when everyone was the same before the straight people the yuppies the suburbanites the tweakers the tourists the tall people the short people the wrong people took it over when the music was amazing because it was all about the vibe when the music actually built it hit you over the head it went somewhere it would change all the time when the DJs actually knew how to spin when two hours was a warm-up not a whole set when DJs would spin for the music not for the crowd when DJs would actually spin for the crowd when DJs would actually spin records when people would actually make out when everyone wasn't just interested in sex when there wasn't so much attitude when everything wasn't about labels when there were freaks when there was attitude when people were interesting when the music was actually good when it wasn't about who you knew when everything was cheap when everything wasn't tacky when you knew everyone when people actually dressed up when everyone wasn't so dressed up when you could have a conversation when the music wasn't so loud when clubs actually had good sound when people would stand in line when there wasn't a line around the corner when they didn't frisk you when things were safer when everyone wasn't worried about safety when people would talk to one another when people had fun when everyone got along. The other day I was reading someone's blog and he said something about how he missed the big gay clubs like Universe, when all different kinds of gay people danced together, and if someone mythologizes the ‘70s or the ‘80s in San Francisco than I can question what they're saying but I can't be sure, but I'm certain that Universe was an awful gaystream catastrophe of sameness, the only problem is that maybe clubs are worse now I mean there aren't really gay clubs like that in San Francisco right now, the big ones where you can walk around and look up at the lights and try to imagine that you're somewhere in the sky.

But anyway I'm thinking of going to this disco revival night tonight, even though I hate disco I kind of like that it's in the basement of 1015, which I’ve just heard was originally the Sutro Baths, one of the big sex clubs in the ‘70s so I'd like to look for evidence, why not -- I mean I need something to get me excited -- plus, there probably won't be smoke, 1015’s a big club they probably wouldn't risk that -- then, even though the other time I went to one of these events it was terrible, that was a DJ from out of town and I've heard these DJs can actually spin, now you see where I fall in the club mythology continuum I can deal with almost anything if it's mixed well. But I was talking about my nerves, and the problem now is that I can't even get over the nerves with dancing, so if there's no sex and I don't like the music than what am I there for?

Of course, I'm not there yet. Chris wants to know why all the nervousness, it’s strange because I’m actually a very social person but now my life is kind of contained and insulated even, public events end up draining me too much either I can't engage and I end up feeling claustrophobic, or I get too excited and then as soon as I'm out of the public eye I can't function I'm my head blasted. I wish there was another option -- I wish I could dance I wish I could dance I wish I could dance, Kid Koala’s on now in my house and when Chris goes to the bathroom I try a few moves and when she comes back out she's looking at me with a mixture of excitement and sadness, I'm sad too it's because even just a few spins and twirls the look in my eyes it's that space I miss I mean maybe this music is maudlin but oh how I can picture the stage the runway the dance floor the head side to side hands flinging I mean I'm feeling it and then just when I'm about to joke that I'll probably hurt something just from these few moves, I notice a pain in my side I don't want to say anything because it'll make me feel even more hopeless.


nixwilliams said...

that certain kind of nostalgia so specific to club life

this is my favourite sentence of the day. i love it. it's a club in itself - i could dance to that.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Oh let's do it -- let's start that club let's dance let's dance let's dance...

Love --