It had been a while since I’d seen my oldest mate, so I was willing to go out wherever he wanted when he visited me for the weekend in London just before Christmas. He’s the same age as me but married with kids and envies my freedom, as you would if the nearest you came to late night action is answering a 2am call from a little person who thinks he’s seen the bogeyman and wants to sleep with the light on. Or between mummy and daddy in their bed.
Being a serious clubber in his heyday, of the dancing badly variety rather than the baby seal killing type, my buddy was adamant that we should re-live our youth and visit a hard house dance club. Okay... I promised to look for some white gloves and glowsticks, wondering if hardcore clubbers still suck dummies (pacifiers), to save them from chewing off their own lips? So long as they’re enjoying themselves, right?
We made our way to the Vauxhall area of London after my largely unsuccessful delaying tactics which included dragging him to a house party in the opposite direction and trying to make him overdose on mince pies. Upon entry, we walked around the club for a few minutes, gaining our bearings and covering our feet in indeterminate black detritus. Maybe it used to be a coal store in the war? Or more likely, it was never cleaned and no wonder, for the regulars there would barely notice as they attempted to flap their hands off, dancing to every beat of the 120 bpm tracks, off their rockers on God-knows-what drugs. And sweating. Profusely. Some with their tops off. No-one needs to see that shit.
And there were only about 5 women in the club. Not really the kind of night that I was looking for. But it got worse. “Lets score some pills.” Oh, sure. I really want to look like these sketchy guys too. I made a pretend effort to ask around, looking from side to side, and attracting a few strange looks in the process. My friend came back from his scouting mission empty-handed as well. Gutted mate, what a downer!
Feeling relieved, I followed my friend outside to the smoking area and we got chatting to some people. I noticed that a couple of wide-eyed pillheads had given me a strange look as they walked past. Weirdos. But then, out of nowhere, a man appeared: “Be careful with what you are saying. They’re police” he said to anyone nearby, gesticulating towards us. Oh, really, does that mean that I can claim these drinks back on an expense account? He didn’t get the irony… I realise now that our strange behaviour earlier on, when I was pretending to look for a dealer, must have alerted these ‘sleuths’.
I’d had the feeling that there was an uneasy vibe around us. I guess we really must have looked out of place and bored! “I know you’re game… Police!” Yes, alright, I know what conclusion your drug-addled brain has drawn from our behaviour. Give it a rest… That had to be a signal that it was time to go home.