Generally I’d have to say that the age of 23 is like being on a foggy mountain peak, where suddenly you don’t even know anymore whether going forward leads up or down. I’ve started to suspect that even looking forward too eagerly might be somehow indecent, wasting the best years of life by enslaving yourself to a future that won’t, that probably can’t, be as good. Under such circumstances, although it wasn’t by my choice it was nonetheless a great reassurance as to the evolutionary trajectory of my life to go last night to a bar dedicated to a motley array of house, punk, karaoke and what I imagine to be various other musical preferences of the early hominids.
It was the kind of shitty music and dancing that could only appeal to people who have actually had holes eaten into their not overly capacious brains by taking too much ecstasy. As such, in combination with the fact that I’m home right now on vacation, it fished out all kinds of lurid memories of high school. I thought it might just be a subjective hallucination, that the place might not be any more objectively lashed to the year 1999 than the madeleine was to Proust’s childhood–and then they started playing a Limp Bizkit cover of Rage Against the Machine, courtesy of a DJ whose mustache looked like it could double as a scarlet letter of pedophilia.
The dance floor resembled the scene I envision after the end of Batman Begins, when they release the insanity-inducing poison gas over the whole city. In the other room, by the bar, they had a stage where what I can only hope, for the sake of the honor of Colorado’s womankind, were actually a couple of overweight transvestites were singing pop songs not so much in a single key as on a single note, and since in front there was a sign saying “No customers beyond this point,” I was briefly terrified by the prospect that this was the hired act. The place cunningly outflanked and outschemed any attempt to caricature it: just as I had finished estimating how many girls in the bar had been roofied in the last 20 minutes and was sizing up the probability of the clientèle joining a fascist youth group at some point I saw on the wall several pictures of Hitler’s head attached to the bodies of fat naked women. My view was that the bodies were probably new and the heads were art left over from the last tenants of the building. Such is southern downtown Denver. When I fly east back to school the time change will feel like more than just a couple of hours forwards.