*Call me a self-loathing hypocrite, but living in the city, I've really begun to detest suburbanites and city-dwelling suburban wannabes. Which is worse, I don’t know. Both spend most of their time hibernating, living vicariously through their television sets. I guess when you live in the suburbs, you have an excuse, but what’s with the suburban-wannabe downtowners? Why spend your nights watching reality TV when you could quite literally walk out your door into some real action? I’ll never get these people. If you’re single, born before 1986, and your Saturday-night “parties” involve place settings and charades, downtown really isn’t the place for you. Some sound advice: move back west of the Gardiner, buy some cats, and get yourself a Lava Life account; it’s a waste of time hitting a club to pretend like you’re the “fun, adventurous” type. It’s a waste of your time, and it’s a waste of mine – hell, there could be an actual fun/adventurous girl/guy out in that lineup, waiting to get in because you had nothing better to do than show up at 10pm to beat the line. You might as well have just gone to Blockbuster and rented Twilight, because that’s the closest you’re going to get to romance.
1:40 a.m. Saturday 20**
Fuck it. A boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do.
1:05 a.m. Saturday 20**
“Do you know this power-starved jerk-off?” Patrick asks me, clearly frustrated.
“No and this isn't really my scene. I sort of know the owner but not well enough to call him. I don't think we're gonna get in,” I say to Patrick as I scan the hour-long line up.
“Let me see what I can do,” he replies.
He walks over to the bouncer and begins talking to him a way reminiscent of one of his nightly conquests – duplicitously attempting to get his way. I know that, one way or another, he will manage to get us in. Patrick always gets his way. I'm not quite sure how. Physically, he resembles a human being just like the rest of us (only shorter). In fact he frequently plays one (again, only shorter). But he's a secretive, diabolical sociopath who always wears lifts in his shoes. You wouldn’t characterize him as egocentric… At first. But beneath his innocent-disguised charm he has an unseen, silicone-embellished ego which makes him seemingly harmless and in turn that much craftier.
I'm not quite sure if Patrick and I are friends. I guess if I had one word to describe my relationship with him, it would be 'accomplice'. That label might not be justified, but it's the first that comes to mind. Half of me envies him, but I'm pretty sure the other half genuinely despises him.
I met Patrick a couple of years ago during my first stint with corporate America. He represented what I imagined at the time was a better version of myself. He worked on the 30th floor, I worked on the 29th. He dealt with clients, I wrote up documents. He went out on weeknights, I played World of Warcraft. He banged models, I lusted after them.
I was new to the city then, not yet privy to back door entrances and 6 a.m. last calls. My days were filled with spreadsheets and my nights were fueled by TV dinners. Some might say my life was boring, but I prefer the term 'uncomplicated', at least in comparison to how it is now. This life, really, is all a result of my deciding to hit a work party in lieu of my usual Wednesday night Lost-and-takeout tradition (it was a rerun); Patrick and I spent the night bonding over strangely similar stories of past conquests and our love of the opposite sex. That night was like the fork in the road that caused my life to take a complete one hundred eighty degree Hunter S. Thompson-like turn. Although my nights are far more exciting than I had ever imagined, I have yet to conclude if my current adventures will yield anything sustainable and/or anything positive. But I do have to admit that being associated with Patrick does have its benefits. Well, benefits might not be the right word, but it's the first that comes to mind.
“Okay this guy says he'll let us in for a twenty each,” Patrick says to me as he reaches his hand out expecting my share.
“Why don't we just go elsewhere? I hate these posh clubs anyways” I ask him, being that I am fully biased against places that stipulate what I can and cannot wear (give me regulations and my style completely falters; dress codes are nothing but fashion tyranny).
“Because it's past 1 a.m. Plus, we're already here,” he answers decisively, hand still outstretched.
“Dude, this place is like a screenshot from an episode of Miami Vice-meets- Jersey Shore. It’s filled with a mix of over-dressed 905ers and city-dwelling suburban wannabes.” I'm not impressed. Everyone in line seems to have acquired their wardrobe (and lifestyle) advice exclusively from MTV reality shows.
“Are you serious? Get over yourself. Didn't you grow up in Mississauga? I think you're just worried about what you're wearing. I swear you're worse than a girl,” he says to me, half mocking, half aggravated.
He's right. Not only did I grow up in the suburbs, I do spend way too much time putting together my outfits; over an hour more than the socially-acceptable norm for a straight guy… Hence his “worse than a girl” comment. But can you really blame me? Goddamn King West clubs and their lame dress codes. There might as well be a sign in the front of the club that reads, “no admittance without uniformed pointy, shiny shoes – the pointier the better”. I look like a leprechaun business man.
I hand Patrick a twenty and in mere minutes, we're in – fully bypassing the hour-long line up and I'm quickly being reminded of why I loathe the blazer-jeans combo outfit. *Reference: Hate-filled rant above
As soon as we get in, Patrick immediately makes his way to the bar and I follow. He doesn’t waste time, and I don't blame him – last call is fast approaching, and this is the only reason I'm wearing my shiny Leprechaun-like shoes. Realistically, no guy comes here “to dance”; if you did, you're on the wrong street – the street you're searching for is a lot holier in name. I'm here, just like every single (straight) guy in this place, in search for my pot of gold, only it's not gold. It's pink. Patrick orders four gin and tonics – one for him, one for me, and presumably one for each of the two girls standing together, just to our left.
We make our advance. Patrick turns to both of them and cunningly says, “I like your style.”
Ironic. He’s obviously lying. Even for this place's standards, they are tackily dressed - I didn't even think that was possible, but these two are single-handedly keeping Ed Hardy in business.
The slimmer one, who almost looked classy (if only she hadn't decided to accessorize à-la Lil John) says to Patrick, “Thanks. I like your blazer.”
Of course she does! I don't know how or why she would assume that compliment was directed towards her but she did. Honestly, someone should have told her not to spend her entire Claire's gift certificate all at once.
“My name is Patrick and this is Lorenzo”, Patrick says as he hands them each a drink.
Patrick's lie and free beverages appear to have worked. She smiles and flirtatiously says, “My name is Jen and this is...”
But before she could finish, the heftier one, wearing a red leopard-print dress that showed way too much skin for a girl her size interrupts, “My name is Shaniqua”.
Of course it is! She's a white girl that has that very name spelled out on her gold-plated necklace. How nineties-rap-video of her. While the two of them are distracted by their free drinks, Patrick – the little shit, my accomplice/friend in question – leans over to me and whispers, “Dude which one do you want?”
In fear of my life and with a shred of self-respect, I respond, “Honestly, neither. I see two girls by the bar who look much more interesting.”
In typical Patrick fashion, he persuasively says to me, “Interesting? Are you kidding me? It's almost last call. We don't have time for interesting!”
I don't know why I listen to him, nor do I know why I continuously put myself through these nightly escapades. Right about now I'm pretty sure I genuinely despise him. Patrick, who I used to believe represented everything I wanted out of life, is currently in the midst of coercing me – like he does everyone – into getting his way. Knowing Patrick, I'm about to dive into a sweaty jungle with this cheetah-costume-wearing-rhino, who I'm pretty sure skipped a couple of meals to – and I use this term extremely loosely – “fit” into that dress.
“Shaniqua” flashes me a look of hunger. Patrick takes note of her hungry hungry hippo behavior and continuous to whisper in my ear, “Okay. I'm pretty sure Rosie O over here is feeling you. She's all yours. Man up.”
Begrudgingly, I do. Fat girls need loving too; at least that's what I tell myself. Romance is definitely not in the cards for me tonight, but they might be at the bottom of a couple more drinks. I'd like to say that this is the first time I've done anything like this. I'd like to say that the only problem with this girl is her style and her dress size, but it’s so much more than that. I'd like to say that my nightly adventures with Patrick have gotten me closer to finding my future Mrs. I'd like to say all of these things, but I'd be lying. This life seemed a lot better from a distance. When I first met Patrick, I was certain he was a better me. Now, after all these years, I'm really not sure. Tonight, I'd rather be watching teenage vampire angst, eating out of a greasy take out container. I definitely should have just made it a Blockbuster night. I don't know if “taking one for the team” is the optimal terminology but it's the first that comes to mind.