my head hurts... last night I witnessed things that were both comedy and drama

my head hurts
last night I witnessed things that were both comedy and drama

it was friday night and my family was in pittsburgh visiting my wife's parents... the grandparents
I had wanted to go on this trip with the family... because a trip to kennywood was set to be part of the weekend agenda
but... the plan was to head up early friday am... which was not possible for me... as I had to be at work on friday

so I missed the family trip to pittsburgh
in an effort to balance the scale of missing the fun at kennywood I made plans to go out with some old friends on friday night
sure I had gone up to the strip in Mount Pleasant and filled my head with Mojitos at Marx Cafe the night prior with a neighbor
but this gathering of old friends involved an old friend in town from San Franciso and another old friend's birthday
so when I started to get tired and started feeling like a home body I realized I had to rally
so I jumped in the shower before getting dressed
ah... just what the doctor ordered... rinse and repeat
then gathered, lights, lock, and helmet for a short ride from Mount Pleasant to Columbia Heights to meet up with these friends at the Wonderland Ballroom

as I got on my bike I played through my head my final words to superdave before hanging up the phone
"lets go to wonderland... it is a young crowd... and we are not as old as we look"

I weaved an awkward series of one-ways to get myself to the corner of 11th and Kenyon
there was all sorts of action and activity
a variety of bicycles locked to each and every post available
the patio filled with people surviving bar culture in a land where smoking in bar has recently become illegal
I joined a few bikes on the rail over the grate to the basement window

with the lock out of the bag and on the bike my phone went off
it was a text message
I hate text messages
partially because I have a Blackberry as well as a phone
mainly because I hate the shortage of keyboard like keys
partially because I think it is just easier to call someone on the phone rather than to type something
little did I know I was getting a lesson in how the youth of today communicates
even if that lesson was being offered by someone my own age
as well as the young folks with blue lights shining on their faces

the phone rang again
this time it was the phone
it was johnny ray... reception was not good... the bar was loud... I had no idea what he was trying to say... he had no idea what I was trying to say
his text message that read: we are upstairs at wonderland was clearly a better way to communicate than shouting into a phone

once inside I worked through the crowded bar towards the upstars
trying to be considerate that my miniture pedros messenger bag with VELO NEWS stictched into it was not colliding with everone I passed
once upstairs I was met with a strong hung from an old friend... johnny ray aka mickey was in the house
johnny was flanked with two other old friends.... superdave and tony
johnny was in town for the funeral of his younger brother... a somber event
but this was a gathering of friends and tony's birthday
so we focused on the postitive aspects of the gathering

I was razed for my selection of red wine
but no one complained when I suggested Jagermeister
I was trying to take it easy after the mojito filled evening the night before
the jagermeister started things in a drunken direction

we all caught up as our conversation bounced from person to person from top to topic
these three men are single so half their attention was focused on the hunt

a dj was playing some random dance music with a dance-able groove
mickey was itching to dance
no one was really dancing as it was still early
people were drinking and mixing about
well... almost no one was dancing
there was one man dancing with a safety circle around him
his age was unclear to me
there was a buzz of chatter that he was an imigrant from africa
what country I do not recall
his clothing had an awkward fit
his pants a little too tight and a little too short
but I figured that to be his style
cause his socks were well worth seeing

I did not follow the build up
in fact I did not really catch notice of it until things started to reach an explosive climate

it seems that the dangerous dancing which melded James Brown and Mick Jagger on some strange twisted bender that involved way too much cocaine and crystal meth with a touch of voodoo mixed in which went will with this man's somewhat buckwheat-esque style hair
the wild dancing may have clipped one to many innocent bystanders on the sidelines
or maybe the aggressive stomping on the old wood floors in this hundred year old building caused the dj's record to skip
either way it was a very awkward situation
the dj stopped spinning and used his mic to correct this wild man's behavior
it did not go well
there were threats over the mike which caused the testosterone levels to rise

the back and forth took long enough that johnny was able to go downstairs then back upstairs with a tray filled with shots AND drinks... yes... everyone was having another shot of jager and another round of drinks

the music has still not started playing again
the testosterone levels has still not dropped
the mc was still on the mic and the wild dancer was still on the floor
not sure what words were said over the mic
but these words took things to the next level
the man with the tight pants and the wild dance moves dropped his pants and motioned for the dj to kiss his ass
then things got silly... as it was a bluff calling a bluff
the dj came out from behind the turntables and came forward in that classic hold me back... hold me back sort of way
sure enough someone held him back
I grew awkward
here I was joining an old friend who was in town for the funeral of his younger brother who had just died in a gun related incident
I was fearful of the gun related incident

there was no bouncer breaking anything up
but things did eventually discipate
I thought that the dancer should be asked to leave
or at least bought a drink
I feared someone leaving and returning with a gun

the music started back up and we were doing another round of shots

the night went past
we changed scenery to the outside smoking area... even if none of us smoke
we all went downstairs to see if we preferred that setting
the shots tasted the same, but the thought of dancing sounded more appealing than dancing

so we went back upstairs
once back upstairs I saw that there was a substitution of wild dancers
a man who had been dancing earlier was back on the floor
this man similar to the first man was just not right
there was something about him that was a miss
this young man was also a bit wild with his moves
also a bit dangerous steps
he also required a large circle of safetly

during his time on the floor his not only elbowed a few people in the back
this man who was a somewhat diminutive man took it upon himself to dance with any woman who tried to dance
or any woman who happened to be on the periferal of the safety circle
but when he danced with these women he looked like a jack russell terrier trying to relieve himself on someone's knee

earlier in the evening this dancer may have been disciplined over the loud speaker by the dj become kindegarten teacher

well... as it turns out he would have to put down the records and pic up the mic again

this dance had attracted the attention of another dancer and they had some sort of break off
mind you... neither of these guys could really break dance... neither one of these guys was under forty
I am not sure, but I am guessing that these guys did some break dancing back in the day
but that is not the point
the point was that these guys were not working in well with the setting/scene
the dj become mc hazed these guys pretty good
mocked their break dancing efforts and got some cheering from the crowd

the tone changed
some more jager shots were comsumed
by this time we had toasted everyone in johnny ray's family that I could name
we had toasted tony's birthday
we toasted the gathering of the evening
soon I ran out of toasts and ran out of steam
not sure if it was the night prior was a factor
or if it was the hundred miles on the bike the weekend prior
but I did not have the legs for the dance floor
a few songs on the floor and a few too many drinks two nights in a row
there was a good bye and then back on the bike

unlocking the bike I chanced on a situation that was moderately awkward
I could not tell if the bianchi pista next to my jamis exile was locked or unlocked
I could not tell if the person who was lifting the bike when I stepped up was the owner or not
being a stranger in a strange camp I gave the people beside me from space
there was some talk about bikes and bike weight
drunk and confused I unlocked my bike, put on my helmet and gloves as I spoke to these gentlemen
trying to be friendly and trying to read the situation
enough time passed and I was on my bike and off the curb

leaving this situation behind me
as I am not columbo
I am also not bruce lee
I was drunk and tired
a quick stop at 7-11 for a microwave burrito
then home to the comfort of my bed


IF Chicks said...

Sounds like high drama on the dance floor..a break-off. I never go anywhere that something like that might happen these days. Last time I witnessed some bar fights like incident was about 6 years ago at McSorley's in NYC..
we only have coworkers getting drunk occaisonally at happy hr and throwing up in the sink type of stuff.

Mark said...


crumbs said...

i smell like stale cigarettes and the room is spinning after reading that tale.