Mónica Ferreira | Fri, 6 Mar 2020
You are in the forever filthy bathroom of a club you paid too much to get into. If you’re me, you’ve lost everyone – on purpose or accidentally – and you’ve come to find the point of it all. You’re not drunk enough to conquer the dance floor on your own, but enough to talk to the stranger re-applying lipstick next to you. She starts. Or you do. It doesn’t matter. It’s the alcohol talking, not any of you. She says you look beautiful. She doesn’t mean it, but you believe it because you need it like you’ll need the glass of water hours later that same night, dizzy in bed, makeup still on. If you’re me, you’ll recycle it the next day (save the planet, right?).
The girl in the bathroom will hug you – so will everyone else that night. And they all love you. You are the best. They wonder why you don’t do more stuff together. They miss you. They always have so much fun with you. They mean none of it, but you believe it again because here you are, tipsy and giddy, and under the bright fluorescent lights of the club where all the red flags just look like flags.
Here’s one: no one actually wants to be there. The dance floor is essentially an escape room. In a nutshell, clubbing is getting a drink at the bar, finishing it on the dance floor, and going back for more, again and again and again, until – at last – it is time to leave because the alcohol pooling in your stomach really wants to soak up a kebab or some chips and gravy.
There are more ways to escape. My personal favourite? When your friend, the one who just really loves you, turns to you and says, ‘I’m just gonna go look for person x, stay here’. Now, guess. Please guess. That’s right. They never come back. I bet you didn’t expect such a delightful plot twist.
There’s more. Some nights they want you to message when you get home, some nights it’s fine if you die. I suppose it depends on whether or not they’ve begun to sober up or not. I wish the correlation was the more sober, the more likely to check up on you, but I’m afraid the odds are against me.
In any case, the important thing is this, when you see them again, you get a hello as cold as our Scottish weather, and a ‘how are you?’ I am yet to figure out if I’m even supposed to answer or not. When they post the photos of that night, it will be the ones you’re not in, and you will never know why.
I don’t know why any of this is. I suppose the bottom line is, these are not friendships at all. Do you really love dancing if you only do it when you’re drunk? I think it’s probably the same for all this alcohol-induced love. The reality is that this is no kind of love at all. Or if it is, the question that follows is quite a distressing one: when did real friendships become something that needs disinhibition?
But then again, you’ll go out once more, eventually, and the bright fluorescent lights will all be there, and the alcohol – without which none of it would be possible of course – and in the end, there is only this: who doesn’t like pretty flags? Is it not true that people need people? Even when they seem to come only when the glass is full, and the lights are low.