"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

18 April 2011

Neon Night

The building had stood for a very long time. It was unlikely anyone knew what it was originally used for. In the years of chaos and renewal, it served many functions. Its current incarnation was that of a juke joint.

As he stepped through the front door he was greeted by a wave of industrial war beats with a melodic undertow. Multi-colored lights strobed across his vision, making it difficult for his eyes to adjust to the overall darkness of the club.

Next came the smells; liquore and smoke. False fog and vinyl. Leather and lace. Perfumes and hairspray. Pheromones and sweat. Sometimes, the familiar scents were of comfort to him, a touchstone in the shifting of flashing light and shadow. On other occasions, it was a stench, making him wonder if the creatures the smells emanated from knew how to bathe.

"There's a cover, man," the doorman, a brain-damage case, who's voice was slurred by bad wiring and a few drinks, said.

His eyes narrowed and something, which might have sounded like a growl, rumbled in the back of his throat. He fished a few paper bills from his pocket and all but threw them at doorman. Something that might have been a greeting or goodbye came from his lips, but it was too inaudible to tell.

Once inside, he purchased a beer. A mild intoxicant. Part of him thought it was amazing that water and fermented grains could produce the effect they did. It was a trivial thought, a distraction, which occupied his mind until he turned his gaze on the crowd.

Vampire children and death-rock kabuki dolls pranced and cavorted to the music. Their movements reminiscent of a knotted ball of serpents in mating season, or some long-lost and half-forgotten tribal shuffle. His eyes would settle on one dancer, with somewhat interesting plumage, if for only a heartbeat, before moving on to another.

He was looking for something, but he wasn't sure what exactly. His coming to to the juke joint had been done half on impulse. Sometimes, he joked, gods spoke to him. Disjointed whispers. Sometimes, he rationalized, he was given riddles and puzzles to keep him Holmes-like interested in the world around him.

It was one of those disjointed whispers that brought him here. He knew he was looking for something. Part of him wondered what it was or why he was there in the first place, unless it was to alleviate a sense of boredom. He reminded himself he was called to the establishment, as it were. It was either that, or he was playing a nasty mindgame on himself.