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[whitespace] Of Philosophers and free drinks

By J. David

Day and night move quickly here. Until this modest semi-monthly income was secured I wasn't drinking much. But it was Tuesday, so I called a friend. We met at Storyville. Darklit in speakeasy fashion, the front room was filled with the deep hip-hop of Shortkut and Vin Roc. We ordered beers and grabbed a table by the fireplace to catch the Beat Lounge. Young punks lined the front, mesmerized by the duo's mad scratch acumen. The place started filling up, bodies jostling bodies, so we split.

We walked to the Top, thinking we might get our drunk on coverless. "Jack doesn't work here anymore," the doorman said. I handed over the $5 and walked in. We ordered beers. I took a few long drinks, glanced around. I ordered another. "What happened to Jack?" I asked the bartender. "He got a different job," she called back.

One girl on the dance floor threw her arms wildly into the air. They were strong moves, lean East-meets-West-Coast battle maneuvers. "A maenad," I thought. The place was full of them. We drank and danced until the bar closed. We left with three women, walked to Dolores Park.

"I'm not caught up by some antiquated, historico-capitalistic paradigm," one said, hunting for response. "Neither am I," said her friend. "I think Hegel must have been a thoroughly contemptible creature." There were sections in her sighs wherein peninsulas are obliterated. "Fuck all that shit. Whatever the arrangements are, we're gonna go through," the third said, paraphrasing Dr. Doom with a keen rage, devastating in its undertones.

I was up all night, er, writing.

Much respect and many thanks to the Vertigo and Stress Collective crews for perhaps the most brilliant party of the month. We gathered in celebration of the full moon on a bluff at the ocean. I arrived late, to the sounds of groundbreaking hardcore. We danced. The silver bending moon destroyed the state. Someone was burning sage. There were junkyard sounds and a junglist throwing hard invisible rhythms. We witnessed the summer structure of a forest oracle. I saw the green flash, Push spun the universe into a pre-dawn, and my friends and I, imbued with a power to create something not manifest before, regrouped. "In the light," one quoted Camus, "the earth remains our first and our last love." "Mostly I stared at the moon," I said. "Was that Jupiter or Saturn?" asked another.

I arrived home to the cries and groans of the fortunate woman who lives below me. Often, the invincibly sensuous rhythms she and her lover create keep me awake. I had no trouble falling asleep that morning.

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From the November 22, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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