YESTERDAY ended with a night out on the town. You can only read and watch documentaries but so much before you start to go a little stir crazy. Besides, as per the suggestions of my new sleep plan, I wouldn’t be able to hit the sack until I was absolutely sleepy and at 10 p.m, that wasn’t happening. So the idea was to shower, get a little fresh to death as they say, and hit the road with an open mind and with intentions of mingling and proving to myself that I could go out again, alone, and have a fairly decent time.
It’s crazy how the memories popped into my mind as I cruised down Morris Avenue, aka, ” The Strip”, in Elizabeth. The scene of many a good time and quite a bit of debauchery. Man, some of that shit I’d like to forget for forever and a day. These were my old stomping grounds so to speak. The row of local hangout spots, mostly Colombian bars and lounges, that played host to nights spent dancing, drinking cheap shots of free house Vodka, and drunken antics, jumped out into view, one after the other. Pick your poison. Shit hole, reasonably tolerable dive bar, tacky club, or relatively upscale lounge, keyword, RELATIVELY.
I set my sights on a place that resides in an old train station, now called La Vecindad. Again, the goal, as someone with the plan of exiting from a state of depression, was to simply get out of the damn house and spend some time around other human beings. The rest, if there was to be more, would be icing on the cake. I walked in, the bouncer didn’t bother to even pat me down, and made my way to the nearest available seat. It was that time of night still when the place is pretty empty and they have the TVs on. I fucken hate seeing TVs on in bars and clubs! Sort of defeats the purpose in my opinion. We’re anti-social enough as it is for crying out loud. But the football game was on and it actually provided quite a bit of entertainment before the “party animals” arrived.
There was a group of twenty something year olds next to me and a small battalion of waitresses and Hookah purveyors flitting about, preparing for the night. The smell of Hookah is so unmistakable, isn’t it? Almost musty in a sweet way. After the game ended, go Cowboys, and the damn TVs were shut off, the DJ began his auditory assault on the growing crowd and I made my way to the bar for my first indulgence. I was pleasantly greeted by the prettiest face I’d lay eyes on in that place. She was the bartender of course. Fawn like eyes, the widest smile, Caribbean skin, and a very welcoming disposition. I asked her for a Ciroc Coconut on the rocks. With drink in hand, I quickly returned to my seat within arm’s reach of the bar and began my people watching.
I never got it and I still don’t. You get dressed to the nines, put on a shit load of make-up, spend money on over priced drinks, and compromise a little bit more of your hearing so that you can sit your ass in a chair all night and Snapchat away til the cows come home. Jeez. I watched a couple of women nearly make love to their iPhones, putting on their best duck faces, rocking seductively back and forth with tongues lashing out at the screens in front of them. Filters on, smoke behind them. The epitome of the social media era for me to observe and critique. After I had enough of the soft porn session before my eyes, I decided, let me ask one of these lovely individuals for a dance. DENIED!!!! Who was I to think that I could compete with smart devices and status updates? Stupid boy indeed. But hey, I still had mademoiselle behind the bar to glance at from time to time.
Two more Cirocs on the rocks would make it down the gullet before I surrendered to boredom and a desire to head back home and call it a wrap. I also wasn’t feeling too hot. My body just doesn’t seem to tolerate alcohol, especially hard liquor, the way it used to. I had a nice buzz but at the same time, my body felt off. My stomache wasn’t too happy and eventually, even the buzz started to annoy me. Mind you, someone who’s dealing with depression should stay away from drinking to any extent that goes beyond one drink or two. What starts off as a relatively euphoric feeling begins to degenerate into melancholy and you end up thinking about things that sadden you. Like the people or person that you would rather be with in that moment.
I put on my blazer and headed off to the parking lot. I came, saw, conquered, and it was time to go. As I drove back down Morris Avenue, I was quickly reminded why these kind of nights came to an end to begin with. They just lost their allure and became void of any redeeming qualities. I put on a little John Mayer and fantasized about not trying to fit the world inside a picture frame. That was a reference to my favorite song of his, 3X5, by the way. I arrived back home and embraced the restored quiet……
As I end this recap let me start by saying I’m glad I went out last night. Regardless of the shenanigans I witnessed and the old memories and the reality of it all, I’m proud of myself. I struck out alone, had a bit of fun initially, and prepped myself for future endeavors involving “normal” things. Normal things such as socializing, being active, being less home centered, being the curious, adventurous person that I am. And I didn’t get drunk! Yaaaaaaaaas! Moving forward, I will be keeping an even more vigilant eye on any drinking that I partake in. A nice craft beer or glass of delicious vino and I’m good to go. Anything more is only a mistake in waiting….
As for today? It went okay once the yuck of last night’s drinking dissolved. Yoga really put me back in a good space and the sun made an appearance for a little while! All was well again and I feel even better equipped for the future after my experience yesterday. If I may, I’ll leave you with this. Little by little, as you start to feel better, more capable of re-immersing yourself into the world, do so. But stick to places that will nurture your process and don’t be too hard on yourselves. Going out is going to feel a bit forced and burdensome at first but you’ll get back into your groove eventually. What’s paramount is the ATTEMPT. Be mindful of any drinking that you do and cognizant of the potential consequences, psychologically speaking.
Have a great end to your weekend. Be safe, remain in good spirits, and be grateful for the people in your lives that will accept your invitation to the dance floor….. Palante, palate, como un elefante……..