Our newest contributor Saxon hit up the latest installment of SHORTS!!!!!! not too long ago, and found himself at that very common crossroads that so often seems to hit at the least opportune moment. Perhaps by following the path on one side, you come out a little embittered by the idea that anyone even bothers to partake of these things that seem to exist for absolutely no reason whatever. But maybe on the other side you recognize a purpose in its very non-purpose. That maybe it can exist for the sake of existing, that it certainly doesn’t make it better or worse, but is simply one part of the ever-increasing sensory overload that we all have to wade through on our paths in figuring out what’s meaningful to us. Maybe it’s doing nothing with your friends just so you can look back on the memories and think, “god we were such asses back then.” Or maybe because you’ll find there is some kind of crazy connection to something real–whatever that may be. Who knows? At the end of the day, we are all allowed our own interpretations, and to take whatever time we need to arrive at exactly what we are hoping to find. But just remember that in the process, you are bound to piss someone off. Because to paraphrase Kat Williams, what do you think a hater’s job is? It’s to hate, so let them do their job. Enjoy.–ed.
It’s not even eleven and the place is already sweaty and packed. No door cover and a new local band that has been hyped via bloggers and the local weeklies for the last month is scheduled to play its first show. A DJ has the floor swirling with girls in their hot shorts, throwback to ’88 style shades and a number of poorly-shaven hipsters with faded cut-off jeans shorts with a v-necks to match. Everyone’s favorite Madonna track is bumping and we are just waiting for some hip-hop to change it up.
The scene described was what I walked into a couple weeks ago at the slowly becoming legendary Shorts IIIIII at Asylum. Every indication pointed towards an awesome night as I paid for my first Pabst and drank it down quickly. I found friends and we were soon on the dance floor surrounded by a super-stoked crowd.
Then it happened.
Something felt wrong. I knew the songs being spun but couldn’t move. My feet fell flat and heavy upon the slick wooden floor. Arms hung stiffly to my side. I felt countless eyes on me. I decided to buy another beer. Drank it too fast and hit the bathroom. I drank another one and still nothing changed. I went back to the dance floor where everyone was laughing, dancing, screaming, showing their teeth the flash of cameras. I finish my beer and went outside. A couple friends were engaged in a faux-argument about New York vs. Los Angeles. People dropped two-cent quips like rappers between laughter and smoke. I try to smile but couldn’t. I tried to think of something to add but still–nothing. I bummed a cigarette and still I couldn’t shake the mood.
I decide to go back in at watch the end of Exactly and as the last song ended, I desperately searched for what had happened to me during this pre-made night of perfection. Then from above, I heard a voice form a kid above me propose two questions to reveal where everything has gone completely awry:
“Is this all there is? Is this all there is to life?”
I have been diagnosed: an existential crisis while up in the club. There probably can’t be anything worse than self-reflection while out at a show or at a bar. We’ve all had this experience, though. Everything in the night was seemingly perfect but you, for some reason, felt like a seventh grader on the first day of junior high. Your thoughts begin to run beyond the obligatory: “This band sucks/rules.” or “Liquor or beer?” or “Should I go home with this person?” and suddenly you are in a drastic situation that will put you on the highway to bummer city. I suddenly realized while at Asylum that I had broken this unspoken decree to keep the night-time gauge at awesomeness: I asked “Why?”
Having diagnosed my sickness, I quickly attempted to remedy myself back to fun-mode by remembering that in end–there is no point. We go out to forget. We go out to dance and be entertained and drink and have fun. All of these are valid “becauses” but don’t provide a real reason–and that shouldn’t be a problem. If it is, then one shouldn’t go out.
The best nights are those when the bands or the bar or the DJ provide the music, space, and drinks to help us never think about the point. Shorts IIIIII did just that. It provided the perfect sights, sounds and space to kill my crisis and put me back out on to the dance floor. Even the slightly awkward transition from dancing to Gavin Holland to the haunted mid-tempo howls of Exactly somehow worked. The kids were out to have fun, not to think. That was for next semester, not the end of the summer. I drank my last beer of the night and avoided a near disaster by joining them on the dance floor with thoughtless abandonment. Shorts succeeds again.