Bodhi and I went out last night for a dance at The Imperial Hotel, here in my Big Gay Neighbourhood. If you're not from around these parts, or haven't heard me mention it before, The Imperial is a gay bar about 10 minutes walk from my house that has a front bar (video jukebox, pool tables), tiny cocktail lounge, 'Show Room' bar where there are good hourly drag shows between 10pm and 2am, and a downstairs dance bar. It's a cool venue, and only a $5 cover to get into all the other parts of the venue other than the front bar, which is free.
In general it was quite an enjoyable night, but also quite frustrating. The music downstairs in the dance bar was terrible, bar a couple of songs. The sort of pretentious trance-y stuff that would work well very late at night when the crowd has already been taken up to a level of energy. Instead the DJ opened with this and stuck in that groove all night. Normally the dancefloor is packed, but at around 2am (normally a peak) there were less than a half dozen brave souls shuffling around trying to make a silk purse out a sow's ear. The mixing was terrible, with the occaisonal unforgiveable 'dead air' between tracks or really long slow intro.
The drag shows were great, as always, although one of the downsides of the shows at the Imperial is that they often run the same show for a very long time. Consequently the performers sometimes seem to sleep walk through the routines. There was a bit of this last night, but they also deliberately tried to throw each other off, or make fun of stuff ups, so that added some spark back in.
I spent some of the night frustrated with the music, having wanted to dance, and feeling borderline crabby and a bit bored. Early in the night Bodes made a harmless remark about me being a music snob, which for some stupid reason really got under my skin. It wasn't his fault, I knew what he meant, but I let it get under my skin nonetheless.
Adding to the frustration, I got a few smiles from a few guys but I just felt paralysed by lack of confidence to go and talk to them. I was thinking to myself "I never used to be like this, what's going on?" Then it struck me.
This all would have been so much easier, and more fun, with alcohol.
Sad to admit, but true. I kind of missed the lowering of inhibitions that alcohol brings, the (false) confidence to approach guys and the dancefloor energy that comes from a little alcohol buzz. Dutch courage. Of course, this is precisely why I gave it up. I also gave it up because it adversly affects my skin condition (which has now just about gone away completely). Mostly I gave it up because it conflicts with mindfulness from a Buddhist perspective. From being able to think clearly, to think rationally, and to accurately observe my own motivations and actions.
Sadly, last night I could have done with a little less clarity.