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Queer Life - Gay and the City - Those are the dreams ...

by Borissov in Nightlife & Reports , 27 mei 2006

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

We planned a glamorous one-night trip to London. John, Jo and myself. The occasion (as if we needed one!) was the official premiere of Miss Nickie Nicole’s single “Magic and Miracles” at Salvation London. The plan came into being as soon as BasiqAir’s Monday-night special offer crashed into my inbox. We were going to fly from Rotterdam at 20.00, go straight to Salvation and all possible parties and after-hours following it, then catch the plane back to Amsterdam at 14.00 the next day. No hotel, no luggage, no nonsense! To further glamorize the trip, we’d ordered a limo to bring us from the airport to the club (the actual reason being that the price of the limo equaled the price of our train tickets from Stanstead to the City).

When I arrived at John’s that afternoon, all three of us were shaking with excitement. Which clubs were we going to, where should we hide the drugs...
A friend had generously offered to drive us to Rotterdam and soon we were comfortably seated in the car, ready to GO. Then the driver’s window broke. It simply collapsed down into its slot. And there we were, all three of us on the verge of an excitement-induced flu in a windowless car with the wind battering our faces, as if to discourage us. Being discouraged was the last thing we would allow, though! We covered the gaping window with bin bags, scotch-taping them from the outside. In our hearts we somehow knew what was going to happen. Halfway through, on the motor way, our pathetic bin-bag window was ripped apart by the raging wind.

Once on the plane, we realized how short the trip was actually going to be. Hardly longer than half an hour! We had no time to waste. The MDMA in John’s boots and the pills in my underpants had to be consumed timely. John was the first one to go. He took off his boot, produced the pocket with MDMA and started towards the toilet. We were following him with our eyes. Abruptly he turned and said rather audibly: “Have you got a key?” I gave him my house keys. Then he turned around again and grabbed a bottle of water. My keys in his left hand and a bottle of mineral water in his right, he was ready to visit the loo.

On arriving at Stanstead disaster after a little disaster plagued us. An XTC I had hidden in my chewing gum and completely forgotten about, suddenly leaked into my mouth, providing me with a bitterness so sublime that I wanted to scream with all my being. Then the so-called limo wouldn’t arrive and we were already late for Salvation.

At last a confused driver from Bangladesh came to pick us up with a Mercedes and a frightened look on his face. We told him we were dancers and were missing our performance, we were edgy and explosive and I’m sure he counted every second to Victoria Station where we were released into the warm and miraculous London night.

When at last we entered Pacha, currently the local temple of Salvation, time ceased to matter and we were sucked into the dream that was going to carry us on its wings through the night. You couldn’t miss the music! That electrifying London sound which goes through your body and sets it on fire.

Yet the party was almost ending and people were trying to figure out their next destination. We had missed Nickie’s performance and didn’t seem to notice her around. Through the blissful cloud I was in, I could see faces all around me, merging into enticing kaleidoscopic patterns, and everything was the way it should be: hopeful and appealing.

I glanced at the DJ booth and saw her, our miss Nickie Nicole. She looked dazzling. The garment she’d chosen for her London stage experience was an oriental one-sleeved pink dress. Abundant golden jewellery embellished her neck and wrists, and a massive golden chain made its way from her nose to her glitter-painted ear. She was thrilled to see us. For the first time I realized that we’d made it, we’d allowed our crazy idea to materialize and were actually living it. Then I opened my eyes and we were leaving for the next club.

We embraced each other in front of Pacha... John, Jo, JLo, Rene, Nickie and myself. The night was warm and so was the effect of the drugs on my skin. We were wrapped in a magical cocoon of pleasure, friendship, love, excitement, disbelief... The flashing lights of the solemn London cabs danced on our faces in slow motion.
“Those are the dreams I like,” said Nickie and the pink of her dress merged with our blissful smiles.

JLo invited us to freshen up and drink champagne at her hotel room which she shared with Rene. They were staying at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel in Mayfair. JLo at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel! How appropriate, I thought. After a short yet rejuvenating stop there, we took a cab to The Fridge where the White Party was held. No DTPM, we’d decided much to my regret. We would go to the White Party as everyone else was going there too. John’s connections and wits got us into the club in no time while a huge line was standing in front, hopelessly waiting to be admitted to a party completely sold-out.

And sold-out it was! It was so busy inside we could hardly move. Muscles, white feathers and white powders were clouding the view. It was so not London, I thought. So much like good old fun on “the continent,” where Style and Class do not matter. Yet this hardly bothered us at the time. All we wanted was to dance... without being suffocated.

Finally we found a comfortable niche to dance in, undisturbed by the maddening crowds. A little stage at the back of the dance floor. It was cozy in there. John, Jo, my friend Roy whom I’d unexpectedly bumped into and myself dancing above a sea of sedated snowflakes. JLo and her friend Rene joined in and from JLo I got a fat (and probably my tenth so far) line of K.

It was good stuff as I remember how it burned my nose, then filled it completely with something dense and strong, something which took hold of me and virtually flew me to the bar where I was supposed to get four diet cokes. I don’t remember ordering them but there they were sitting on the counter robust and threatening, daring me to pick them up. I tried to collect my change but my hands wouldn’t listen to me.

They would glide over the coins and the fingers would start twitching grotesquely, like the hand in The Adams Family. I pulled all my strength together and extended my hands to grab the diet cokes, as if they were some holy symbol that was not meant to be touched in a casual manner. I was oozing sweat, my hands were shaking in the air, only a few centimeters away from the craved tin cans - undoubtedly rather a comical appearance for the onlookers.

I clenched my teeth and... yes, I had them at last! I could feel their divine cold weight against my chest, I had them, I had them, I had them! Slowly I started walking towards the dance floor with the sensation of mortar being poured into my feet. They were becoming heavier and heavier. An American standing next to the bar was studying me with apparent curiosity. Judging from his words and the amused look on his face, he had witnessed the whole episode in its unabridged splendor. He glanced at me and said: “WOW! That was impressive!”

Then we had to play this game. I was supposed to walk John and Jo through the crowd and every time I saw a good-looking guy I had to say “Stop.” John’s words were coming to me through a thick electronic mist, penetrating it strenuously, and then clumsily entering my mind. I could understand their meaning but I was questioning their necessity. And what was the point of playing this game when I couldn’t tell ugly from beautiful anyway?! All the men looked the same to me, faceless gaunt silhouettes, moving in cadence to the sound of hollow beats. I wanted to tell my friends that something was the matter, but every time I opened my mouth the words somehow transformed themselves into triangles and squares and then I’d lose interest in what I was going to say.

At last I’d figured out how to attract their attention. I opened my mouth and one big fat “Stop” rolled out of it. It was my way of telling them to fucking stop and give me some coke, sugar, more drugs, whatever, something that was going to help me actually enjoy the surroundings and not make me feel as if I was sliding down into an abyss, beyond the point of no return. John and Jo looked at each other flabbergasted. Obviously the boy I’d acknowledged with the magical word “Stop” was the farthest from beautiful. We moved away. I had failed to convey my message.

When we reached the end of the dance floor and climbed to one of the lounges, I completely sank into myself. People were talking to me and by the expression on their faces I was trying to make out what was the general idea of what they were saying. Then without thinking of how odd it might appear, I sat on the floor, right in the middle of the circular platform where all my friends were standing chatting and drifting away. John and Jo were alarmed, they brought me tonnes of coke and there I was again soaring above the darkness and into the Light. Funny enough my first conscious and rational thought was: “Oh my God, have I really wasted all those bucketfuls of drugs now that I’m becoming sober?!” Then I saw JLo who’d just had a strikingly similar experience. We embraced each other happily. We were saved and that was not even the end.

The after-hours were beckoning us. The word “Orange” (name of the after-hours club) was glowing in my mind with an enticing psychedelic light and before I knew we were in a cab on our way to Vauxhall.

Orange was surreal. Together with hundreds of lads we waited in a fat line in front of the Colosseum, where Orange was held, admiring the bright sunshine and eager to experience our early morning downfall. We had barely recovered from the waiting, when we were confronted with the arresting beauty of it all.

Topless boys incessantly scurrying through labyrinthal corridors in search of someone or something, a lounge which looked like a setting for an Oscar ceremony for the mentally ill, a drug dealer in drag inconspicuously propped against a wall... We moved around, back and forth, inside-out and outside-in and wondered.

And then there was Steve. There was something about his subtle way of moving through the crowd and the shameless innocence with which he was unbuttoning my trousers (only to be buttoned back by my prudish hands) that intrigued me. He was swimming in the waters of GHB and was already reaching the bottom, so at times I virtually had to hold him together which I did with great pleasure.

Every now and then he would start swooning and right in the middle of it, he would wake up with a startle and say a quick: “Sorry!,” giving me a radiant, crystal-clear smile. I smiled back, disarmed. Soon enough we were dancing entangled in each other. “Nice ass,” I heard myself saying.

The exquisite object was difficult to miss as it was virtually on the dance floor, unsuggestively revealed by the extremely low-waist pants. “Yeah,” Steve beamed at me, “it’s the best ass in London!” We snogged over and over again and from the corner of my eye I could see John looking at me approvingly. Through the incessant snail-crushing sound of our kisses Steve was chanting in my ear: “Guapo, guapo, guapo... guapo, guapo.” Then after a while the roughness of the kisses gave way to an intimacy, soft and accommodating, a comfortable niche we had both landed in.
“How do you feel?,” Steve asked me. “Happy,” I said, without thinking. “And you?”
“Happy,” he repeated. His bleached hair was glowing in the neon lights. He gave me a long loving look and said: “Very happy.”

Into the main room, back into the small one, flashing images, euphoric eyes, my tongue bitter and dry in my mouth and acquiring a rusty metal taste every time I sniffed K (as if my house keys from which we all sniffed it somehow transmitted their taste to my palate). The queue in front of the toilets was always huge, but if you were smart enough to go straight to the cubicles, the waiting wouldn’t notice. They were all and invariably so trashed that they had forgotten they were standing in the line while doing it. Anyway, they were happy socializing on their planet.

I found myself dancing with JLo in the small room. She was digging into her pockets, an expression of amused bewilderment on her face. Then, goggle-eyed, she shouted: “OH MY GOD! I’ve spent all my money on drugs! I’m broke! I’m broke!” Her own words seemed to be amusing her tremendously and she went on screaming them to me through hysterical peals of laughter, crouching on the dance floor. Somehow the music seemed awfully funny as well! As JLo kept on laughing and screaming, I joined in, first hesitantly, then laughing as hard as I could. Our laughters united into a happy cacophony, endlessly echoing in my mind.

At last tattered, battered and lost, we found ourselves back in the big room or in what seemed like one of the big rooms. We were moving slowly and lightly like shadows. Reality had become all soft and liquid and... there was music in the air. They were playing “How did you know” and all of sudden a sensation so divine and unaccountable took hold of me that I simply let go of myself and the world (no matter how real or surreal) around me. The dulcet words of the song were flowing into my ear like honey dew. “How did you know... I can’t believe it’s real.” People all around us were moving their shoulders blissfully to the left, to the right, grateful smiles on their faces. Arms were waving in the air like celestial ribbons.

While I was lying on one of the stages with my eyes half-closed, John was standing firmly on it looming up in front of me like a monument. Like the last hero on Earth, he was waving a clenched fist in the air, shouting: “This is the moment! It can’t go any further than that!”
And this made perfect sense. This is the moment, I thought...
Thirty minutes later we would be walking into the sunshine with our sunglasses on and John would be blurting out to this couple outside the club: “I love your country, I love your country!”
This is the moment...
Two hours later I would wake up on a bus to Luton airport, right in the middle of the countryside and blinded by the sun, knowing in my heart we were missing our plane, while John and Jo were sleeping peacefully in the seat behind me, their heads resting on each other, their mouths open and curved into a half smile.

This is the moment... and those are the dreams, the dreams we like and the dreams we build brick by brick out of love, desire, friendship, excitement, disbelief... They make us young and powerful and lead us to glorious exploits that in turn become glorious moments in time. The glorious moments in time that keep on shining with the purest light. Like the glitters of yesterday’s party that simply cannot be washed away.



In the New Issue of Gay News, 327, November 2018

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