“I’m not going to westie.”
I’ve said this sentence many many times. Usually it is followed a few hour and many drinks later by me going to westlands, no in fact let’s just refer to it as westie. That’s it “fun” name. The speech marks aren’t there to signify that the name isn’t actually fun but because westie really isn’t. Not for me. I don’t like going to that place at night. Every time I do it I tell myself it’s my last time at least until my next time.
Why do I keep going? This isn’t a question I ask myself unless rhetorically. I know exactly why I go. It’s because alcohol massively aggravates my FOMO. This is a term I was introduced to last year, it means fear of missing out. Everyone has this lurking within them, it’s what makes us club-hop, it’s what makes us leave a place that’s fun to one that we only think is. Or a place that’s convenient for one that we believe may be a good time. It makes some people get into relationships, it makes some move, it makes some do certain courses, it makes many go to church (heaven would be the ultimate thing to miss out on after all.) everyone’s FOMO shows up in certain situations and for certain things. When I drink mine does.
I know what my perfect night out would be. I know exactly how I want my Saturday to look. Sit in a house somewhere with people whose company I enjoy, a house or a really quiet bar where I can afford to get drunk those are the options. If there’s music I may dance this depends on either how much fun everyone is having dancing or how hot the girl I want to dance with looks. At the end of this I want to sleep. Go home and sleep or fall in a bed nearby and not wake until the sun is well and truly up. This can be done if I have the willpower to tell people when they start making noises about leaving that I’m just going to go home.
Last Saturday I was at a party that’s really, really close to where I live. Ten minutes’ walk which is perfect. If people want to go out I can wave as they enter their cabs while I go in the opposite direction and wake up on Sunday with no hangover and/or money in my pocket. But then I drunk and my willpower broke down. Plus I was wingmanning for one of my pals who told me not to worry about how little money I had in my pocket because he would make sure I was ok. Now not having money of your own when you go out at night is usually a horrible idea. The reason people do it is because on the days it works out it works out amazingly well. I know one friend who on a whim went to carnivore with only enough money for a beer and lo and behold a surprise Morgan Heritage concert was being held on that evening. Its stories like this that makes it easy for me to say yes
Bouncers don’t seem to like me. I think sometimes it’s because I’m drunk sometimes I think they can read my mind. There have been many, many times when I hope to be frozen so that I can go home. Many, many times I have wondered why the hell I have to put up with the indignity of convincing someone that I am worthy of walking into a club and spending more money there. I try to keep this thought off my face but it’s always in my mind as soon as I stretch my arms. I don’t like being judged but in order to spend my own money I stand there and allow this guy to make decisions about my life that change its very course.
Anyway we get in the club and he, my friend not the bouncer, disappears with the girl because I can be a great wingman. I am separated from the other people I was with for some reason. All of a sudden the bouncer is talking to me, he’s asking me why I’m still inside. My immediate response to any situation I find myself in is to put a hand up and say “relax” over and over again as I give my most ingratiating smile but he doesn’t want to relax. He in fact wants to punch me in the stomach. As he is the man whose job it is to stop people from punching each other in the stomach when they are inside the club he can do as he pleases and so he punches me. Then he punches me again because all shitty things happen in twos. I felt those punches. It felt like a small sliver of heat entering my stomach I kept thinking how happy I was to be drunk because this would hurt otherwise. After the second punch I don’t even try to negotiate I just left. I’m still being accosted and I can’t tell you if it was the same person or he handed me over to his people on the outside. I was in a rush to leave you see. 2 more gut punches. They hurt and I can’t imagine what I did wrong but then I take off my jumper and offer it to him as appeasement. He was punching me and i didn’t want to be punched . He was big. He had a legitimate handle on violence plus he was surrounded by a lot of other people who understand just how difficult a bouncer’s life can be. I needed to appease him before any other bouncer decided I was in the wrong.
Now I’m in westie jumperless. I try to think of why I would be so rudely kicked out of the club I was in. I didn’t have a memory black out because I know how they feel. I know exactly how alcohol stealing time is, I know you only realise it because of the blurred edges between the last thing you remember and the first thing you experience. You can’t know what the last thing you remember is, it’s not a still photograph of darkness coming but a 5 minute video of time disappearing. It’s soft and fuzzy. That I didn’t feel. My first experience was not the bouncer hitting me, in fact walking backwards I can track what happened until that moment. I don’t know why this guy decided to gut me in the middle of the club and I couldn’t ask him why. So I walked.
I try to call my friend and his phone goes off. I look in my pocket and I definitely do not have enough for a cab. Life sucks when I go to westlands. I stand around and meet up with one person who’s had a worse night than me, losing his phone in fucking westie. We get separated too. I look at the time and I can’t imagine how long I have to wait for the morning. So I decide to walk.
I make bad decisions. In hindsight this was another one of them. I didn’t get robbed but the possibility of it happening existed. Instead I begin walking home. I use the westalnds-kile bypass as a shortcut. The night looks as reliably awesome as all nights do to me. The red lights of cars blinking past, the yellows of private security lights, the halos of street lighting. These contrasts are my thing. I take them in as I walk and I walk and I walk. Until I am at the place where I began the night and by this point the sun has come up, I feel pissed off at myself because I could have just began walking from here, I look at the party where the party was held and curse myself. One more thing needs to be cursed so…