It was a big, emptied out place that looked like an artist's studio with a big-arse main room with high ceilings... the dancing room. A DJ turntable booth. Two tiny B&W monitors played a Bettie Page video. There was a center room for smoking where practically everyone hung out... and the back room had a bored and pensive, angsty-looking bartendress who was waiting for her elusive boyfriend to show up. Off to the side of the bar was an Atari 2600 running on a tiny monitor. My theory? The crappier the monitor for old video games, the higher the novelty factor.
Lots of good music all night long, and a few interesting people, and yet there were/are/will always be some things that I find frustrating about the gothic crowd. They can be a bit limited at times... The activities for the night were primarily smoking, drinking, dancing, getting high, and looking good. Goths should flirt and f*ck more often.. really. Maybe I want more kink, fetish, and general debauchery in my goth.
Fortunately, this group was less clicque-y than most. That was a good thing. Still, it's hard to get past the hard candy shell to the milk chocolate center at times. I did in a few cases...
Went outside for a bit, chatted with some people walking down the street. This was in one of the southernmost neighborhoods in San Francisco, which are very Afro-centric -- relics of the old South San Francisco industrial region where Black workers were imported to work during WWII. (That's how Oakland and East Palo Alto came to be...) I talked to these two gorgeous black women walking through the street with their umbrellas. They were curious about what was going on inside. I said that it was a party in an encouraging manner... the doorman said it was a private party in an unencouraging manner. Gah. Since when are private parties publically advertised?
Here I am, in their neighborhood, indulging in some odd culture-based activity based upon a common interest in depressing music, depressive personalities, and fashion... and they can't come in, enjoy themselves, and maybe expand their horizons? Bleah, I say. I felt so white and privileged.
So, I stepped back inside, danced a bit, chatted with a guy named Dune ("Dude?! No... Dune.") who was a black artist who hung out in the gothic scene. And yet, I have to wonder why? Was he just a guy like me who was fascinated by strange, different music and strange design and strange fashion and strange... in general?!
What kind of cultural/social impact does being that much of an outsider from your own community have on you? I thought of Josephine Baker and wondered whether she went across the sea to find their home, in part to escape their reality and in part because it was the only place they could leave behind expectations about what she should be... and is that a bad thing? Not really.
I should probably be an expat myself, since I am neither just American or just British. Both are equally frustrating lately... but I don't have the money or the time -- only the ties that bind. I long for more, but isn't that always the case?!
I have a thing for outsiders, really. The further outside that which is normal for their own realm, the better, probably... so long as they have at least one foot on the ground. That, of course, is the conflict. I am attracted to the contradictions in people, and yet appreciate that which makes us all the same. I like the wild and uncontrolled... in safe, moderated doses. So, where do I get off?!!
Does that mean that I should aim to become what I admire/desire in order to attract such eccentrics and eccentricities to me? Perhaps yes, perhaps no... or maybe I just look at the world most of the time through the viewfinder and fail to really participate on some basic level at times. All comment, but no action. All smoke, but no fire... or at least very little fire for public consumption.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to this. I long to be and experience everything, and I could very happily live a thousand years and watch the world I know turn to dust, so long as there is a present to live in, a future to create, and something else to be. This, of course, is easier said than done.
I just want to be your everything.