I skim a text, as my Uber driver, I believe her name was Rolia, explains the incompetence of yellow cabs, “They have no care for other drivers,” her accent is thick and filled with despise. I murmur a sound of agreement, preoccupied. “No later than 10:25” the Promoter had ordered, I briefly glance at the time…it’s 10:40. But this is New York. Late is the new early? Honestly, I did attempt punctuality but at 10:25 I was naked, except for my EBY striped Alice and Olivia thong, with about ten dresses lying rejected on the floor. Rolia pulls up to Up & Down, the pre-game before Nick Jonas’s “private party” at Oak. “Dear God,” I mumble staring at the hoards of, mostly women, mostly underaged, teetering in too-tall heels and dresses so tight I can tell that they’re not wearing seamless undies. I stand hopelessly lost for about twenty minutes, imagining an alternate reality where I’m home, sprawled out on my couch, perhaps enjoying a re-run of Friends.
Two girls in front of me are pushing and jabbing their way through the crowd; suddenly, one of the girls yelps, “Ow! What the hell?” She is clutching her perfectly, pedicured foot which has clearly been pierced by an unforgiving stiletto. The offender spins around and stares at her dryly, seemingly unconcerned, “are you bleeding?” The girl replies with a shake of her head, “Then I don’t see the problem,” She retorts shrugging and turning away.
“Olivia!” The promoter yells in a tone reminiscent of the voice my father used the time I flooded the house with toilet water. I jostle my way towards him and he shoots me a scathing look. I seamlessly reach for my ID and he stares at me like I’ve sprouted a third eye, slowly shaking his head. I awkwardly place my ID back into the front of my wallet and the bouncer stamps my hand. Once inside, I hear an overexcited, “Hey Girl!” An short brunette and a tall blonde greet me as though we’re best friends, I’m fairly certain we’ve never met before but I play along (seamlessly). The promoter hands me a drink and then directs me to partake in a sufficiently awkward group photo (Do I smile? Do I not smile? It’s does not appear to be a smiling occasion, but then what do you do with your mouth?) I attempt a smize, as that appears to be the choice of the other girls.
He hands me the phone to appraise the picture and I discover I look more constipated than alluring. “Go dance,” he orders. The blonde and brunette grab my arms and begin humping the air. I honestly don’t know what’s worse: the dancing, the music, or their underwear lines.
I check my phone, relieved to see a text (from a friend(ish)) inviting me to “come chill”. “I’m going to go to the bathroom,” I lie seamlessly to the girls, eager to break away from their uncomfortable dancing. “Oh we’ll come!” The brunette announces grinning ear to ear.
We walk towards the direction of the bathroom, me: leading the way, them: trailing behind like lost ducklings. We enter the bathroom, which appears twice as crowded as the club, and then I sprint, making a seamless breakaway! I race towards the door, up the stairs, eat shit, get up again, and find the exit. Two girls are pushing on the door, one is crying, “It won’t open!” I press the bar and push, it opens. Hallelujah. Disregarding the scraped knee, and bruised pride, I silently praise myself for my seamless(ish) escape from the misogynistic, claustrophobic club. I hail a yellow cab and prepare myself for his/her careless driving Rolia warned me of.