Monday, June 18, 2012

Recent Weeks: The Bar 1

I went out to the bars. I don’t normally go out to the bars. When I’m in Portland, staying in is much easier. It’s the comfort of my childhood. So comfortable to stay in, if only for a day or two, and pretend to be a child. Pretend to not have a care in the world. I’m certain that it’s an immature feeling; perhaps overly nostalgic. It keeps me in anyways. I can be safe at these homes I know inside out and not worry about being in the cold or awkward interactions with people I don’t know or awkward interactions with people I’ve met before and they remember so much more about me than I ever will about them.

My memory is really bad when it comes to people.

But we were out. I felt comfortable going out, because Ciera and Olivia were with me. My cousins are not very good at keeping track of each other. It’s every man for himself. They say it and I know it. It doesn’t bother me; I can play that game. As I’ve grown older though, it feels like I have a harder time breaking out of my shell and just meeting someone. And saying yes to going out has become increasingly hard.

But when I have Ciera and O with me I feel better. Because they run interference. Guys are more at ease and girls don’t feel threatened. I can be me more. Or maybe not.

And my cousins run interference when they are paying attention. But their night has different motives than mine. Keeping track of them thus becomes a little bit harder.

We ended up at a bar rented out by one of Evan’s friends. It was loud and ‘chic’. I’ve been there before, somewhere in Spain? Or Boston? Or maybe Barcelona? Paris? New York? Seattle? London? There’s a similarity. Deafening music, numbing alcohol, and blinding lights. The senses are not so much stimulated as assaulted and systematically taken out. The world becomes surreal; the senses suddenly come to life in one moment and in the next they retreat into the far corners of the brain.

Moments flash. A bartender with tattooed sleeves, a faux hawk, and a tuxedo vest crushing the oranges into a glass of ice and whisky—a sidecar. Waiting by the bathroom door as my bladder screams out in pain, again. God it must be the third or fourth time in an hour that I’m pissing and it’s still streaming out like Niagara Falls. Sitting outside realizing that I’m smoking a cigarette and trying to savor the buzz while hoping I’ll not die of lung cancer. One cigarette won’t kill me. Will it? I hate smoking cigarettes; I always feel dirty afterward, but sometimes I do it because I’m too drunk to care and I’m young and everyone else is doing it and somehow it seems to help with that breeze that’s just a bit too cold.

Cold. I know that cold. That’s the vampire cold that washes over an urban landscape as the pavement loses its heat, the reasonable people sleep, and the neon lights up. It’s the cold of a thousand streetlamps still burning bright at three am and the yawns of a tired man driving home through the back roads to avoid cops.