Nights at the Disco, Pt.2

So that was just one time, just an example for you. I’d picked up a lot of girls like this, particularly around the Triangle. One weekend, though, I thought I’d give myself a challenge, so I took myself to Motion on a Saturday night to see if I could pick up a posh girl.

Motion is big – the capacity is about 1,300 people. It’s a warehouse, large and dark, and people lose themselves in there until I find them again.

I arrived at about 1am. It was a bit later than most people but then again I wasn’t really there for the music. I couldn’t even remember what night was on, though I did faintly identify what was booming out of the speakers as house music.

I did my first circuit. I wondered if I still hadn’t arrived a little too early; there was no one particularly wasted-looking. There was the odd body crouched in the corner of the smoking area, and I saw one guy being sick against the wall of one of the dancefloors, but no single girls as yet. But it was early. I merely had to wait for whatever drugs people had taken to hit. If I had to choose just one of my hard-learnt lessons in this game, it would be that patience is the most important virtue (or possibly invisibility).

For this evening I had taken a mere sampling of my favourite substances: I had begun with a sprinkling of two valiums, no-more-no-less (just to settle the nerves), a couple of joints, followed by exactly three and a half pints of Gem, a Bath Ale you can only buy in the West Country and which I find suits my needs exactly. Through experimentation I’ve found that two valiums plus precisely three and a half pints of Gem leaves me in such a place where I lose all my anxieties about just about everything, including taking more drugs. It allows me to plough on and have a fantastic night without worrying what is happening to my body. More than three and a half pints – say I stray into the territory of four pints – and I find I’ve crossed a threshold. I lose control of myself to these depressants a little too much, and I wave a little too slowly for the rest of the world to catch me. So I always keep it to two valiums and three and a half pints, then top up with the right amount of stimulants once I’m in the Good Place.

The Good Place is that place where everything is just fine. Nothing to worry about, no yesterday nor tomorrow aside from gorgeousness living etc. etc. Once I’m there I normally drop my 2C-B or LSD or MD or whatever it is I have for the night. Then once that’s taken its proper effect I wait to go up, enjoy my dizzy-dazzying high, then smoke up a couple of joints as I start to come down, just to even everything out. I plan my nights out to perfection – depressants (the perfect amount), stimulants (a good amount), depressants (whatever amount). Then I come tippy-toeing downwards with a beautiful girl in my inward clutches. Slap bang and simple.

I took a seat in the Motion smoking area at about 2am. I’d taken half a tab of acid and about 20mg of 2C-B, and I was pretty stoned, so I was tripping just ever so slightly. The sinewed mesh of reality was waving untowardly before my eyes as I watched the particled figures of people circling around in the smoking area. It was barmy. I was very much enjoying myself. I was in the Good Place. If you had tapped my body, it would have given no echo.

I like watching people in this state. Girl’s faces are treats that the devil has candied. My GOD, the shape of a woman! Do you think they know how attractive they are? Those itty-slidy legs, all sliding up to those great round in-and-out and the spaceful gorgeousness oh woooohoooo and then the more and more to the boobies and the shape of the stomach up to the boobies, I mean, WOW! Grrrrr I could just have to have one now, oh yes yes yes. I burnt like devils.

I know these girls though, you know these girls that are young that lose their minds in nightclubs. They’re the ones who are trying to hold on and know they are failing. Growing up is having society beat you repeatedly over the head until you finally give in. These girls are just trying to hold out in the face of knowing they will eventually lose. Insecurity, insecurity, insecurity. Insecure people are the slaughter of heaven.

The thing I recall the most at university though is the streets at night, absent of people, with the sodium orange of streetlights frothing in absolute stillness over clean, dry tarmac. And somewhere beyond it, the future… Every time I saw that image I heard the words saying, “Wait, because although we are empty now, you will find the secret in us eventually…”

Two girls were getting with each other to the side of the smoking area. I blinked in shock; looking again, there was no one there. Reality pulsed before me. I felt a little strange, so I looked in my wallet to see how many valiums I had left, just in case I thought I was going to freak out – the wallet was empty. I’d forgotten my valium. I took a long, deep breath and hoped that the two I’d already taken would keep me chilled out enough for the rest of the night.

The trip was getting a bit intense, so I just had to sit and ride it out.

Oooooohhh tiddle tiddle, keep smack smack smacking, I want a giiirrrll, a giiiiiiirrrrllll…

Just then, however, a girl sat down beside me.

I bolted upright like a leopard, though in reality I was absolutely still.

‘I know you,’ she said, and that really made me worry. ‘You do my course. You’re in my seminar on Shakespearean Tragedy.’

I blinked and stared at this person. Where had she come from? Why was she sitting here? She was evidently high on something. She was giving me that long, blank look of the person who is too involved in their own head to connect with the outside world. I couldn’t help but regard her queerly, having arrived during a bad few minutes for me.

I tried to shake out a few words and pretend I was vaguely normal.

‘What’s your name?’

‘Lola. You’re Charlie aren’t you?’

Suddenly the intense spell lifted and I felt all euphoric.

I was probably staring at this girl quite a lot, but that’s alright. Both of us were high as a blue moon. I thought she must have come over to me because I’m very good looking (that’s a very important thing about me), and all the girls I ever meet fancy me because I’m very good looking. Makes me fed up. But I looked at her face some more and I really liked it very much. Mm yes, very much indeed, made me feel much better. She was one of those girls I suspected kept a deep anxiety dwelling inside her, but learnt to drown it with intoxicants and silence. Very good looking though. In fact, she was gorgeousness made flesh. I could have eaten her up in two swallows. She was clear as an azure sky, and her words seemed to swing about from deep distances.

‘Lola,’ I said, repeating her name with interest. ‘Lola, Lola, Lola. What are you on tonight Lola?’

‘Half a tab of acid and 2C-B,’ she replied matter-of-factly.

‘Why!’ I exclaimed. ‘That’s exactly what I’m on!’

‘I’ve also dabbed some MD,’ she went on. ‘Got a little bit of a buzz right now. And I saw you and I thought, why not come over to the good-looking boy?’

So she said it. It’s not often that they said it. I hated that she said it.

‘Who are you here with?’ I asked.

‘Some girls from my halls last year. But I’ve lost them. I don’t really care about them. I prefer being by myself.’

‘Are you by yourself a lot?’

‘Yes. So are you. I know you are because I never see you with people, ever. I find that intriguing.’

‘That’s not intriguing, that’s tragic. Why are you by yourself a lot?’

‘Because I feel more comfortable by myself.’

A group of lads suddenly started cheering loudly in front of us, interrupting our conversation. We watched them thoughtfully for a moment. Suddenly she turned to me and said:

‘Do you want to go?’

‘Go? Onto the dancefloor?’

‘No. Back to mine. We can have a joint.’

‘Well…’ I glanced around the smoking area once more, but I was too far lost in the lace of the moment to disagree. ‘Okay. Let’s go.’

We stood up and made our way to the exit. It was a weird occurrence, sure, but I thought I might be about to sleep with her. It had never happened like this before but it was welcome because it made things easier.

We waved and wambled our way out to the street, passing the bouncers with that strange air of self-consciousness as you wonder whether they know what you’re doing. ‘Evening! Good night! Ta-ra!’

I was very confused as we walked down the soft downy streets of night. Down down down. The thing is that LSD usually has the effect of making one extraordinarily sensitive to the matter of reality, so that your sense perception imbues somewhat delightfully the colourful incarceration of one’s own being unto thine own mind-body phenomena/complex. But shaken-and-stirred with marijuana, and of course sautéed with 20mg of 2C-B, and the effect becomes rather confusing. In fact, if I may be allowed to speak so candidly on so sensitive a matter – cough – I’d go so far as to say that I didn’t know what the fuck was happening.

This girl was good looking though – I think. I wasn’t sure. Maybe I just thought she was in the moment. I realised that it had taken her less than two minutes to invite me to come back to her house. I wondered how high she was exactly.

I’m not sure how much of our walk I remember. I remember crossing Bond Street and Portland Square, and maybe Stokes Croft. Her house was in Redland so we must have crossed Stokes Croft. I don’t remember what we talked about either. The only thing I was really sure of was that her name was Lola.

We got to her house on the steep hill of Clarendon Road, and the next thing I know I was sitting on a chair in her bedroom while she sat cross-legged on the bed.

The desire to have her came to me in waves. One moment I wanted her; I wanted to pin her down right there and then and get it over with, such was the burning in my skin. Her sweet waist seemed to be asking me to encircle it, and I envisaged tearing her clothes off and seeing what she made of it. But then the next moment it eluded me, and I didn’t want anything other than to sit there and watch her as if she was painted on the wall.

‘Joint?’ she asked, offering me the spliff I suddenly realised she’d been smoking. I took it without a word and took several long, deep drags on it, letting the smoke roll in the bottom of my lungs before escaping it back out again. ‘You know,’ she said, ‘I think you’re special.’

‘Special?’ I asked.

‘Yes, special,’ she said.

‘Why am I special?’ I continued.

‘Because,’ she continued, ‘I think you are. I don’t know why, exactly. I think because you’re different. I don’t know many boys like you.’

I leaned forward with that deceitful fascination you have when someone is talking about you. I love hearing things about myself, so long as they’re good.

‘You’re obviously a thinker, aren’t you? Don’t you spend a lot of time thinking?’

‘I suppose I do.’

‘Yes, I know you do. I can see it. You’re a thinker; you spend time by yourself because you’re at pains with the world. I bet you could be a writer, or an artist. I bet girls fall in love with you all the time. I bet that makes you feel special. Don’t you feel special? Isn’t everything about you?’

I passed the joint back to her.

‘No – I don’t know – why are you asking me this?’

‘I’ve seen you around the place, and I think you’re amazing. My question is, do you feel it?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘So you don’t?’

‘I don’t know!’

‘Ssh. Don’t you want to feel special?’

Things were getting strange. I was experiencing things blowing in and out of my ears like that beatific tumult that love grants its subjects; but there was no love, and I don’t know why that word came to mind. The walls were beating like the sea.

‘Why do you think I’m special?’

‘Because everything is about you, isn’t it? Don’t you believe that?’

‘I don’t understand – no, it isn’t-‘

‘Why do you do it?’

She looked at me now over the end of her smoking joint.

‘What?’ I said, though I confess I don’t know how I said it.

‘Girls. Why do you do it?’

‘I don’t know what you mean.’

For all she knew I didn’t know what she meant; and if she didn’t know then I didn’t know. You know, you know, fluid reality and all that.

‘You sleep with girls a lot. I know you do.’

I stayed silent. She passed the spliff over to me and I sucked needfully on its end.

‘Do you know how I know?’

‘Did I sleep with one of your friends?’

‘No, Charlie. You slept with me.’

The next thing I knew I was staring into my wallet at where my valiums should have been. They still weren’t there.

‘Oh.’ I said. ‘When did that happen?’ I dragged more and more on the spliff, perhaps believing that if I got high enough I would be able to escape through the ceiling.

‘Don’t you remember?’

I thought I was going to panic. Still no valium.

‘No. I don’t. Sorry.’

‘It was in first year. We met outside Bunker on a Monday night. Do you remember that? It was in October. In fact I think I must have been one of your first. I knew who you were because I’d seen you in lectures. My course friends all knew you as the good looking guy. So when we met outside Bunker at 3am I thought, ‘why not? He’s good looking’. So I went back with you. Do you remember this, Charlie?’

‘Yes. I do.’ I had suddenly realised who this girl was.

‘And how did I seem to you?’

‘You were drunk.’

‘How drunk?’

‘Wasted. You were completely black-out drunk.’

‘No I wasn’t. I was completely sober. I was pretending.’

‘What? No you weren’t, you were almost paralytic-‘

‘No I wasn’t, Charlie. I was acting. Looking back on it I’m embarrassed, but it’s true. It was a complete act.’

‘But why did you-‘

‘Because I didn’t think you’d sleep with me if I was sober.’

This made me feel deeply uncomfortable, and in fact I felt a bit sick. She was completely correct. I wouldn’t have slept with her if I’d known she was sober.

‘So what? You pretended to be drunk but you weren’t. What difference does that make?’

‘The difference is that I remember everything.’

My head had started spinning like a hurricane.

‘Yes, but so what? Remember what? What’s the point of this!?’

‘I know exactly what you’re like, Charlie. I know exactly what you get up to. You want to control everything, don’t you? That’s why you like them to be drunk. You’re scared of intimacy.’

At this point I flew up on my feet, knocking the chair over backwards.

‘I don’t know who you are,’ I said urgently, my eyes flying uncontrollably over the room. ‘Let me out – I feel sick – let me out of here!’

‘Don’t you want to sleep with me?’

I stared at her harsh, blank face, and felt so sensitive that if she had blinked I would have flinched.

Did I? Did I!?

‘Well,’ she said, extracting a cigarette from her bag. ‘Don’t you?’

I stared and stared at her, wondering what to do. I had never felt so strange in my entire life.

‘Don’t you?’

Without a word I flung myself bungling for the door, and crashed as fast as I possibly could out of the house. Out, out, out! No! I didn’t want this! No, no, no!

I sprinted out the house and down the road, my heart thumping like chaos in a way that made me think I was about to die. I couldn’t deal with this, not this, this hideous incarnation of something I couldn’t put my finger on, and suddenly I was thinking about the past, and suddenly I was thinking about the future, and OH GOD it was all coming crashing down now like a great spiralling inferno out of a hellish grey sky, firing and firing and dying and dying and the end the end the end! I could see nothing up ahead but darkness, horror, death OH GOOOODDD WHERE WAS I GOING, WHAT WAS I DOING, this was it, this was death, the end of all humanity, the end of my life, the end of time itself, THE END OF TIME ITSELF!

 Those were police sirens coming up behind me, they were coming for me at last, I knew it!! AaaaaAAAAAAAahahahahahahaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!




But then all was still. It was morning, and I was alone. Completely, completely alone.


4 thoughts on “Nights at the Disco, Pt.2

  1. Very good piece of writing Ben. I agree with Jacobo; don’t take it down. I can see why women who may have had experience of men like the protagonist in this piece would find it uncomfortable reading, but then you pretty much admit that yourself.


  2. I picked up this post via Spiked. And I am glad I did. Plese don’t take it down – you are an amazing writer.

    It is a cautionary tale for young women of today, and should be seen as such. Your protagonist is exceedingly well drawn, and his attitude to drunk and drugged girls exactly true. The sad thing is that such behaviour – on the part of both sexes – is nothing new. What is new is the apparent superficial acceptability of it all.

    It is many years since I went to the sort of venues described. The antics are familiar, as are the dangers. The outcomes are as sad and empty as they ever were.

    Those who cannot see this piece of writing for what it is – awful, unvarnished, but beautifully written truth either haven’t read it properly or cannot cope with the realisation that they have been seen for what they truly are.

    Truth often hurts.


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