Indifference in The Small Hours: A Club Cure Fail

Good morning.

I wake up at an early noonish hour to many messages and reminders that the people in my life across the sea are also in need of my attention from time to time. After writing back I turn to clean out some of the junk accumulated on my phone in the form of unwanted or unused contact numbers.One by one they meet the virtual yet very real trash bin.

I did the same with the content of my closet last night, pieces of clothing once belonging to this or that now-irrelevant guy finally go inside a plastic bag and from there directly to the street where they truly belong.

Still morning, and I long to enter the bathroom for the usual morning stuff but am forced instead to wait patiently until both my flatmates, each in a different room: one in the toilet, the other in the ridiculously small kitchen, finish their respective businesses. I’m feeling a bit like I’m being punished, sitting in my room, phone in hand, trying to pass the time, and ignore basic human necessities.

Like every weekend one of them brings her boyfriend from outside of Berlin to occupy our small as it is flat, thus increasing the number of tenants from three to four, making the kitchen area redundant for me. Despite the fact my flatmate has the biggest room in the house, the couple’s favorite activity is cooking/baking in unison the entire three days of the weekend. Just another reason for me to go out.

So I go, to an inspirational reading/book signing by one of my favorite authors. Other attendees ask him to dedicate their copy of his book to one friend or the other. I ask him to dedicate it to me, a blessing if you may. A few hours later I “float” out of there, smiling so wide I could actually fly. It’s not every day a well-known author personally dedicates one of his books to me and wishes one day I will do the same for him.

I end up “floating” all the way to the club, one of the bigger ones on the south side of the city. My friend and I arrive there around 2am, dismayed to find that the queue is trailing almost all the way to the S-Bahn station. Immediately I think, no way, if this takes more than 30 minutes I’m going back to my overly-crowded flat. Out of the two options, I definitely prefer the second one.

With a little luck and more than a little working on the “connections”, our names are on the list for the shortened line which takes only 15 minutes of waiting. Honestly, it hurts to see all these people waiting for hours, clenched up together in an endless human millipede, only to be rejected at the door. It’s like something I saw in a movie once, cows being led to slaughter, completely unaware of what’s coming right up until that moment of truth.

Our turn finally arrives and, one by one, we enter the bags inspection and questionnaire “did you pack yourself?” Airport-style: Schönefeld’s got nothing on Berlin’s nightlife. The guy who checks my bag is extremely nice and the moment he hears me stumbling with my German suggests we switch to English. I affirm with a smile and take a sip from my water bottle as he instructs, wondering what’s the point of it anyway. Say its alcohol or drugs inside, I just need to demonstrate sufficient willingness to cooperate regardless of the content of what I’m consuming? Damn.

Ok, stamps and we’re in. But apparently there’s one more hurdle to clear before becoming a proud patron of this establishment for the night, and that’s the coats deposit. Yet another line to stand in: are we in fact in a well-disguised post branch??

But with that finished with, it’s time for some fun! Oh wait, is that Techno I hear? If I haven’t been drinking or imbibing any chemicals this means all I can do now is fidget from side to side until the DJ is kind enough to diversify the vibe.

Takes about three tracks before things improve. Meanwhile, on the smaller dance floor, I can’t tell if in fact music is coming out of the speakers or if it’s a flash-blinding scientific experiment with a group of zombies, all facing the DJ booth, dancing on top of each other.

Joining the “zombie crew” on the main floor (where the music is still bearable) we manage to enjoy ourselves somewhat, although the true experiment, beyond my understanding, is apparently to tally how many times per minute each person in the club can bump into my little backpack. Over 200 backpacking hipsters in this place and whenever I turn around with a question mark on my face it seems I’m the only one being bumped into by people who are half-drunk, drugged, or just rude, I guess.

Before leaving, we decided to check the courtyard, which isn’t that much smaller than the inside of the club. Absolutely amazing. If only it were summer, we’d probably be sitting on terrace benches amongst trees and quaint little pathways leading nowhere in particular. Instead, we huddle around a rusty bin which houses a little fire producing more smoke than actual heat, as if we don’t already smell like ashtrays by now…

Right before the exit, I stop at a postcard stand, a collection of monochromatic advertisements to the club we were in. I pick out several that I like. Nice souvenirs that I’m not convinced will remind me anything of this night. Jetzt nach Hause.

Walking to the train station, a rat crosses our way with the indifference of one who already knows the city in its smallest hours and isn’t interested in being afraid anymore. A bit like me in the clubbing scene. Not that there isn’t anyone left to fear, unfortunately, but it seems as if I’ve lost interest just the same. Truth is, the biggest rush of the evening was provided via that pale rat. I let out a thin squeal and we both move on, going our separate ways. I arrive home at 6am and dropped into bed. Hopefully tomorrow the bathroom will be free.

Good night.

By Inbar Dekel

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