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MONDAY, JULY 04, 2011



Creative Writing

Packed full of bodies, the place seems to surge - tides flowing in and out, the current carrying the slew of people from one dark corner into the center of the dance floor, where heads bob above the waves and arms flail to stay afloat. I like sitting here, in this forgotten shadow, on this bench. I still feel awkward, even though I’ve had a few drinks. Still feel like an outsider. My physical placement shows it too, but I feel safer here, on the outside. Sometimes, I like to walk through the rip tide and see if anyone notices this lone swimmer. I mean, we’ve put a lot of time into this goddamn appearance. I’ve already spent twenty bucks just to get here. Might as well see if I get any redemption for my efforts. Probably won’t, actually. I’ll probably just get self-aware and self-conscious and instead, I’ll bee-line it for the bathroom or find a friend to latch onto momentarily. I might be one to lurk on the outskirts, but I’m not a loner. Loners have a different kind of independent self unconsciousness than codependent people. I’m a codependent loner, maybe.

For now, I sit here and just watch. Maybe in my head I imagine some really dashing guy coming over and picking me out of the shadows, as if I’d be that magnetic that someone would notice me creeping on the sidelines. These guys here aren’t sleazy in the sense that they’re gonna talk to you and try to pick you up with some line right away. They’re sleazy in their appearance; subjects in a game my sister plays called “hipster? or homeless?” But this trendy sleaziness is generally a facade (of course, there are quite a few exceptions). They hope to seem more original than the kind of greaseball that would opt for the immediate pick-up line. They hope.

I wonder if everyone here is thinking the same cliche things at some point throughout the night. That is, if they’re enjoying themselves. Something like, “YEAH! This is the quintessential night out of a broke college student/struggling artist/fashion model/retail worker in their 20s!” Are they all taking pride and reveling in the grittiness of this particular scene? Feeling very “Lower East Side?” But maybe they’re having a bad time. Maybe they’re thinking that, “this is the same shit every time. It’s played out. I’m over it.” I wonder: are these people having an awful time looking for something more than just a good night out getting drunk and (subtly) meeting someone (without chancing a verbal approach), all while appearing to be edgy and removed from mainstream society? I look around at the familiar faces and notice that it’s the people who seem to be having the worst time that I repetitively see amidst the sea of drunken sailors.

That guy, for instance. I see him every time I go out. Sullen, depressed - but there every single time. I can tell he’s ‘researching’. Like Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, Hunter S. Thompson - all those trendy literary hipsters. Except they travelled, you know? Didn’t re-visit the same old haunt with the same old people every week. He comes and he hangs out in this circle, this small sphere of society, because these are the ‘eccentrics.’ Maybe this is as inspiring as it gets for him, this is all he’s got right now. This is his Haight and Ashbury, his North Beach, his SoHo, his London, for now. For now, you see… because everyone in this fucking bar is just “finishing something up” here, and then moving to Paris/LA/Barcelona/London to really start their lives. Or whatever. No one here really knows what they’re doing. So let’s sit in the corner and get another drink and maybe at some point, one of these nights, we’ll be able to ask ourselves:

Why can’t we get serious?

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