Clubs were a thing of my 20th year, horribly outmoded now that I am a whole 3 years older. But last night I did something irresponsible.
Instead of continuing to write I went to a skeezy student bar with some friends “just to watch the hockey game”. As fortune had it, I was halfway through a beer when the game ended, and as often happens when people try to coordinate finishing up a pint, it took one or two more pints to get it right.
The skeezy bar had been chosen by one of my acquaintances, whose amazing self-centredness and inability to read social cues makes him the butt monkey who does not realize he is a monkey. He recently got a girlfriend, and said girlfriend had been planning to go a FOAM PARTY at a nearby club after the hockey game, with her friends in tow.
I had been in Kingston 5 years without going to that club. Earlier I had said quite adamantly that I would never go to that club (a sentiment shared by my more socially erudite friends).
As you can probably tell, I was about to eat those words and discover what a foam party actually was.
The monkey, the girlfriend, and her friends went ahead to the club (which was just across the street). The three of us still at the bar drank on, and at length the person who I will call “the adventurous one” admitted that he was curious about the foam party.
That was all it took. The adventurous one and “the one on the lookout” got me across the street with token protests. My serious protests are reserved for anything to do with cheese or condiments, or getting very cold or very messy. Since this met none of those criteria my refusals were not credible (meaning that I was really tipsy and really curious too).
$5 cover was all it took for me to feel momentarily like an old stick in the mud. When we walked in and took in the scene my jaw probably dropped – I had been imagining one of those sandbox things full of balls that kids play in, but full of foam blocks instead. Now I understood why one of the girlfriend’s friends had been repeatedly flashing her bathing suit at us from under her shirt.
Two machines hanging from the ceiling were constantly dumping streams of soapy foam into the dance pit, which I could tell was one deep puddle under all the bubbles. And the girls – everywhere they lined railings and danced, wearing sandals, crop tops, and bikini tops, some in shorts and at least one in bikini bottoms.
I was certainly older than the average person in the room. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans and Keds. I could not understand why people were wearing so little and getting soaked in foam when it was still chilly outside.
Fast forward ten or fifteen minutes and I realized, “I know these songs!”, and the adventurous one and the one on the lookout coaxed me knee-deep into the foam. At that point there was little left to lose.
I did eschew further drinks at the club. I did resist dancing directly beneath the cascades of foam, which burned the eyes, my evasion skills being increased tenfold by how slippery I (and everyone else) was. I did breeze around the efforts of a few boys-turned-octopi as they so often turn in clubs.
But I would argue that I wasn’t being a stick in the mud any more! I was more like a child in this place where there happened to be loud music and foam, getting delightfully soapy. My pants, socks, and shoes are still soaked over 12 hours later, and I played with bubbles and danced where I had at first felt very out of place.
The foam in my shoes made every step a funky affair and I think a few buttons came down. We were there long past the monkey and his girlfriend. The one on the lookout didn’t find anybody that night, but I think all three of us were satisfied by the time we checked out. An added bonus was that when I went to bed I dreamed of having a hedgehog and roaming rosy cobblestone streets, where confetti and droves of pastel bouncy balls were a regular feature.
I am minded of Elizabeth Bennet saying, “I think I can safely promise you, madam, never to dance with Mr. Darcy!” I ended up at Stages just as she ended up dancing with Darcy, and it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.