January 21, 2014 by Manny Wordsmith
Loud clubs used to be my lair.
Lots of eye contact and dancing. Blinking lights shimmering off of bright dresses and jewelry. Speechless body language and misinterpreted attractions. The more cloudy the things were the better. I loved falling into the vat of glitter and random make-out sessions. Blind one night stands and dressing up to be in the dark for five hours. It was breathtaking.
Now, I’m a dive bar guy.
Old music and the smell of stale cigarettes. The feeling of lost hope lingers in the air. It’s quiet enough to listen as a woman’s guard goes down and grimy enough to taste the cheap whiskey before you even start drinking it. The bar moms wear jean jackets and scrunchies. Their gravely voices have been molded by 20 years of smoking and arguing with the father of their children. The bartender can either be the guy that was first there when the bar was first opened in 1979 or a young girl moving up on the ladder from strip club shot girl and intravenous drug user to yoga pants sex vixen and DUI ticket collector. Dive bars are truly magical places.
Now, when I do stumble into a club, I feel like an angry father coming home to his teenage daughter having a house party. I just want all the young people to put their clothes on, and get out. “What are they wearing? What are they doing? Where am I? Who’s grabbing my ass? ANOTHER PITBULL SONG!?” I’m a mess. I can’t talk to anyone. I can’t dance. I just stand there sipping my drink with disapproval.
So I let the kids play and I party in the bars of broken dreams. A place where love can creep up, find you and then leave you with nothing but the taste of Royal Canadian and Marlboro Reds in your mouth. A place where karaoke is the highlight of the week and the guy who looks just like Kid Rock decides to do a duet of Prince’s “Purple Rain” with you. A place where you can watch an old man get hit in the head with a bottle and an old woman’s hairy beaver in the same night.
I will continue to take that over loud, obnoxious, fake and shiny. The bright lights hurt my eyes anyway. And my age isn’t making the consumption of all this crap any easier. Color me old fash…. or wait…just old, well for now.