It's Sunday night, and my girlfriend and I step out to hear a friends's band play at the Deluxe, a smallish club in the Haight section of San Francisco.
Music and sweat intermingle as the boys drive it home, sending frenzied beats of grinding rhythm careening into the eve.
To my left, hipster zombies feign indifference, too stoned or too cool to care (though I notice their eyes are glued to the screen...), a handful of stragglers park it on the right, seemingly oblivious to the picture, and to my left, a happy couple dances, blissfully unaware that just a few steps away, a small swarm of wannabe's gather each trying to outdo the other with varying degrees of showiness.
Players include a coquette with a striped power suit and fake laugh, a girl with a shrill voice barking orders for drinks, a tall bleached blond with heavy makeup, and a Gertrude Stein artist type who seems to be their den mother. The only apparently sincere one of the bunch is the drunk guy that stands in the middle and this, only because he is sincerely drunk.
I observe the scene from my cozy spot behind the half wall, a silent witness to the nasty bits of this adolescent soap opera.When it's time to go, my friend and I say our goodbyes and walk into the cool night air. On the way to the car, I chuckle to myself, recalling the motley cast of characters, and breath a sigh of relief that I'm not one of them (at least I hope). It hurt enough going through puberty once in high school, I wouldn't want to do it again. Hopefully, they'll get the memo, or grow up. Whichever comes first.