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That One Night Of Life by Ray Printer Friendly

On the phone tonight, I hear, "You gotta listen to this--totally like a Batcave-night song." Made me remember:

The Batcave. Not what you're thinking, probably, unless you've been there. And if you haven't been there, you probably won't be, because from what I understand, it's no longer.

"What is it?" I'm new to New York, still jumping at shadows while trying to pounce life. Still scared of everything, whether I realize it or not.

"Goth club."

“I don’t know what that means.”

It’s called the Batcave, so of course I’m in. I don’t know what the hell to expect, but whatever. I’m in. I’m in.

“Just…look, just wear your black pants and your boots.”


“Yeah. You’re pale enough already.”

Slurping huge glasses of alcohol, pre-drinks, so you don’t have to buy as much expensive liquor once you get to the club.

What is this? Vodka? Tequila?

“Scotch. Take these.”

“What is it?”

“Allergy medicine. It’ll wire you up until the booze kicks in.”

‘I think I’m gonna puke.”

“Yeah, you’re not. Smoke another cigarette.”

Staggering to the subway station, the cold air heating my ears, I don’t have any idea what’s going on. In theory, sure, but what the hell. Laughing, I know that—a lot of laughing. Too many pre-drinks, not enough foresight.

“I don’t dance. I tol’ you guys that, right? I’m not gonna dance.”

She turns, laughing. “You don’t have to dance—nobody’s gonna make you dance. Just have fun.”

Fun? Shit.

Fun would be a thousand miles away, fucking familiar pussy on familiar back roads and dreaming familiar dreams of doing more.

Fun, it’s not actually doing more.

I signed up to talk about living life, not to actually try to live it.

But it’s too late for all of that, because here we are, staggering up stairs, sliding metro cards through too-bright terminals (oh jeez, what if someone tells my mom? wait, no, nobody here knows my mom), wanting to get up the next flight of stairs and into the night once more. Into the darkness where no one can see you afraid.

And then?

Then a long wait, a long train ride, and your bladder, it feels like it’s going to explode. What the hell? Not like it was beer, not like it was cups and cups of water. Just Scotch, with a ginger ale chaser.

BAM! At the club, don’t ask me how.

There are faded, fading memories of the train pulling to a stop, of walking, of turning corners and making jokes and laughing and trying not to throw up. Too many pre-drinks, man I could really use a huge thing of water and a good long sleep.

“You can get water at the club and you can sleep when you’re dead. Here we are.”

Into the building, and you can only hear the bass of the music, but you can feel it. This excitement, it’s like nothing I’ve ever felt. It’s harder, stronger, more alive.

I walk up the stairs, it’s like walking into the mouth of a beast.

Thrashing everything, and packed like I’ve never seen, this makes the clubs I’ve been to look like pretend.

All over, I don't know anything, thrashing bodies and loud music and a feeling of freedom that I never could have even imagined. I bump into someone, some girl, on accident, and I apologize profusely, but she doesn't care. She starts dancing with me, lifting my hands above my head and releasing them. I don't understand, but I like dancing more than I like apologizing, more than I like feeling like an idiot. So I do like she does, and when I realize that she has faded into the mass of moving bodies, I blow her an imaginary kiss, in thanks for maybe teaching me something.

Blur, then, so fast that it doesn't make sense, and doesn't have to, and we're on the streets, and I can't believe we aren't getting in trouble.

We're drunk, man, we're drunk, and we're just walking around. On the streets. Cops pass, they don't pull over and ask you what you're doing out so late, they don't ask you aren't you the guy who works out at the recycle center. They don't stop and ask about your mother, they don't ask if she knows what you're getting up to.

Home, back to the apartment, how the hell did we manage to make it here? But here we are, laughing, smelling like booze and sweat and smoke and freedom. We try to write a rap song for a while, but it doesn't work.

Bed, I'm in bed now, lots of those blurred moments, but it's okay, because there are still enough of the moments that aren't blurry. I want to reflect, I want to think about my adventures, I want to ponder.

I lean back against my pillow, and I look through the bare window, out at the buildings around me. I want to make up stories for every one of the windows, I want to name the occupants and love them.

I have a moment to think, "Is that the sun?" and then I am asleep.


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