The Party Epiphany — Club La Roxxy’s Mardi Gras Party 2010
In the year 2010, Fat Tuesday occurred February 23. Mardi Gras at La Roxxy occurred following weekend. Despite this anachronism, I still guaranteed Big J that this would be the greatest Mardi Gras Party he’d ever witnessed. After all, Mardi Gras never ends, it just goes into hibernation March through January.
Party Rule # 1 – be prepared to party according to the rules of the party…
Different parties have different rules. Pool parties require swim wear. Costume parties demand costumes. Mardi Gras requires impressive beads. Four years earlier, I’d road tripped to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2006, in the eclipse of Katrina (Read about the Katrina Mardi Gras). New Orleans had been cleared of buildings, lives, families, businesses, and even Wal-Marts, yet, in the wake of Katrina, the people came to party, promoting the city’s survival. I did my part, as did my four other party boy companions. Big J missed the journey down, yet the party, through its beads, found a way back to him on this evening and would now enlighten his spirit with the power of survival.
Created to support New Orleans’ renaissance, these beads had been wasting away their Earth-life in my closet, and beads, like humans, are built to party. Unlike humans, it is their sole purpose on Earth, which is not lurched by gathering dust.
Simple economics demand success – the demand is insanely high, at a Mardi Gras Party, for beads Supply for superior beads, on the other hand, at a Philadelphia Mardi Gras party, would be excruciantingly low.
As Darwinian chance would have it, the Philadelphia port, once the greatest trade center of the Americas, no longer enjoys such status, and therefore receives not massive shipments of Chinese-made toy beads, as does the Mississippi Delta. I blame Napolean. By selling the Mississippi to Jefferson, he screwed my city. Therefore, the best beads arrive via the I-10, I-85, I-95 dirty south route, which brings beads along with other, more potent, party supplies.
Basic human psychology states that when you have something that others want, people will break their normal boundaries for the prize — buyers remorse at the basest of levels. The whole point of a Mardi Gras party is to collect as many of the highest quality beads as possible. In life, understand the rules of the game, and you inevitably succeed with the right preparations.
The beads I gave Big J were sweet. His braided set of beads were thick and graspable, a dynamic strand of multitudinous colors, intermingling red, blue and green in chains and links, shining in distance, and would catapult Big J to a level of attention that an enlightened party boy, lacking Hollywood branded looks, deserves but rarely achieves at a superficial party. These beads would be his party manna ensuring admission to his greatest party fantasy; they cost nothing, yet would be invaluable – their veracity unmistakable. Bead theory holds that all beads are connected, but the thicker the beads the better. Size matters. One set of large beads is better than many small beads. Large beads centralize attention and draw in focus, and at a quasi-Mardi Gras Party would open the doors to your Universe. My approach was separate from Big J’s. While he relied on size, I relied upon numbers — I had many, many strands of small, independent beads in different colors. The loss of additional bead-strands, and I myself would risk losing bead gravitas. I was at bead-critical mass.
Put Simply, Big J, with merely a single set of braided beads, would be better prepared in his party endeavors than the competition.
…and don’t be subject to premature bead ejection…
Chugging craft beer in a white stucco Bucks County Rent-A-Mansion (a newly build McMansion avec movie theatre in the basement bay windowns an open living room which he could rent only because the housing market had collapsed), I proselytize, “The temptation is going to be to give these beads away. Whatever you do, even if the hottest girl you’ve ever seen comes up to you and asks you for those beads, such that seemingly the Creator itself wants you to give them away, and you’d have to cut off your hands, then cut your hands despite your ass. Those beads are hypnotic. The social pressure of getting the best set in the room will drive predictable human-beings to lessen themselves at you. Don’t do it.”
Partying, like anything else in life, takes patience and mystique. If you give in to the power of others prematurely you will lose your own power. I warn him of the dangers, however, of possessing that which others want, when not in a position to give away. “Others may attack, sarge, approach aggressively, or resort to trickery to obtain your power. Do not be led astray by their forces or magic. With those beads, go your verve, and you will be rendered useless as would Superman with kryptonite.”
“I won’t give these beads away! Not even if the hottest girl I’ve ever seen wants them!”
“Wants them? Big J – only if she takes you right then and there because, mystically, she needs them so badly that she will do anything.”
“YEAH! I WON’T – WON’T DO IT! UNLESS SHE WANTS TO DO IT!”
“Then you know what she’ll have?”
“Shitty beads and crabs!” We begin jumping up and down and laughing at the top of our lungs in excrement for our endeavors. His dog is amid the fray, jumping and wrestling with us, while we pound beers above her canine head.
This conversation sounding in bead theory and sprinkled with mysoginistic voyeuristic impulses that drive our desire to party in the first place, coupled with the alcohol induced oncoming haze, served as a distraction from the haunting existential revelation that Big J had just triggered. To understand the party epiphany, one must also understand the second rule of partying.
Party Rule # 2 – There’s no free will – so go with the party flow…
In preparing to party, existential argument keeps the mind flexible. Like most party-misfits, underneath the party sheen, Big J pushes the boundaries of the mind by whatever means necessary. His religion is atheism, yet his outlook reveals a fundamental faith in the universe. Challenge him on faith, and you may find that his eclipses yours. A unifying philosophy of burners globally is that of pronoia – that the universe conspires in your favor to bring you before amazing places, people and parties…
The conversation now focused on free will. Big J informed that free will was just an illusion. As a skeptic, my immediate response was bull shit.
Experientially, free will is witnessed as real through our perspectives, what makes us paranoid, and what we choose to believe in: conspiracies, extra-terrestrials, Jesus, environmental degradation, pre-marital sex, prohibition, the corporate capture of American Democrazy, and, more importantly, art and music.
“Look, I decide to move my arm, I move my arm. It moves, because my brain tells it to move.” “Yeah, but where does that impulse to tell your brain to move it come from?” “What are you talking about? I did.” “Haha,” he laughs at my ignorance.
“No, what causes that synapse to fire? We’ll agree, in the end, that your bran is just chemistry.” I nod my head. “Now, the chemistry that causes your movements, it’s just electricity moving in your head, as set in motion by the Big Bang.” “Agreed.” “Thus, in order to truly control your thoughts, you’d have to control electricity.”
“No, you don’t understand, I control which synapses to fire.”
“Exactly, you would have to control chemistry.” Hmm… “Either that, or it’s just the science in your brain playing out as set in motion by the creation of the universe. Scientists are now at a point where they’re not sure if they agree whether humans can control the science in their brain, or if it’s all just chemistry.”
“Surely you don’t believe that. If humans are placed in boxes their brains deteriorate and they do not evolve advanced minds.”
“Let me show you something.”
Big J, beer in hand, plays a YouTube Video of an example of Libet’s experiment, which examines the brain activity of a subject directed to do something randomly: pressing a button without pattern. The results indicate that the subject’s brain is activated up to six seconds before the moment he or she “randomly” presses the button.
“Yeah, well, that’s to be expected – the part of his brain that moves his finger is stimulated prior to pressing the button.”
“You’re missing the point, the decision to press enters his brain prior to what he perceives is the conscious decision of when to press. Thus, the decision to press and when enters his brain well before he actually presses the button, and we don’t know where this decision comes from or what triggers it. The decision is made for him, and the conscious mind is merely perceiving that decision after it takes place, believing it is making that decision, when in fact, there appears to be no freedom as to when the decision to press the button occurs.”
“So there’s no freedom of thought?”
“The existential problem presents two seemingly unacceptable realities. I do not claim to know which of the two is correct. Matter reacts to other matter. There are only so many elements. Carbon reacts with water given the same conditions every time. There is no secondary way carbon interacts with water. It is always the same. And it has been since the big bang. Your thoughts are grounded in this principle. Whether that actually matters is another discussion. Matter controls thoughts. That is option one. If this is true, there is no free will.
Another equally interesting possibility exists. Thought controls matter. If that is the case, then we are all God…”
He takes it a step further, “We are all matter. There is nothing special about our bodies. It is just carbon, water, elements. And the decisions we think we perceive are automated. Water always boils at 212 degrees. Always. Unless you change it and add salt. Then is boils slightly higher. Every time. It’s always the same. And if thought is an illusion, and thought is as automatic as the boiling degree of water, then there is a much bigger problem we still have not addressed.”
“There is no I. The system which makes every decision you think you make is so much larger than you. There is no you. It’s all the Big Bang. Boom! You are the big bang. So is every piece of all matter. The very fabric of existence is all the same. You are not part of it. You are it. There is no individual I. There is no differentiation between “living” and “inanimate” It is all matter. Matter is one. We are all one. “
“You’re freaking me out. Of course I exist as an individual and can make my own decisions.”
“Can you, or is that just an illusion? Do you really think you are making those decisions, or it’s dictated by the big bang and the system naturally created by it?”
“I think I’m starting to understand. The heart beats naturally, and we don’t think that we are controlling our heart – even though it is controlled by the synapses in our brain. Why do we think that we can consciously control the synapses that don’t fire uniformly and control our actions? But then what about laws? If you can’t change people’s actions with laws, if they’re all purely reactionary, then what’s the point to laws?”
“Look, this creates many problems with the way humans have created society, if everything is merely reactive to the natural course of events. But you’re forgetting that decision-making is situational, therefore situation seems to dictate how events unfold, but put yourself in a given situation, and you will react with the same reaction in every circumstance.”
“So then let’s just do away with everything – all social rules and laws that is. Those who are programmed to follow the laws would do it anyway, based upon moral reflection, and those that are programmed not to follow the laws, won’t follow them anyway – so what’s the point?”
He shrugs, “There is none.”
Then it all started to unravel, perceived reality. A sense of panic crept into my being, and I clung for control. “Hold on, you’re an atheist. You’re promoting predestination, the most rigid of all theistic philosophies, one that promotes hierarchy and denounces social justice. How can you believe in predestination, if you don’t believe in God?”
“I put my faith in science, the science that was set into motion during the big bang. Ironic, isn’t it, that atheists and the most fundamental of religious thinkers essentially believe the same thing?”
“Well, then you just believe in God, don’t you? If Creation made everything happen, and it’s all happening just as it’s supposed to, you believe in the same order that fundamentalists are talking about when they talk about God.”
“I don’t really believe that there is a puppet master pulling strings. It’s all put into order, and the order is undeniable. As a single human do you believe that you can alter that order in any way? Then you yourself are a god.”
“But really, we’re all a part of God in the end, right, because we’re all part of the same ordered fabric we’re talking about. That is the whole point of meditation and mindfulness – that your mind can change your own surroundings. With the proper focus and meditative thought, you can hone in on the positive thoughts that fly into your brain and ignore the negative ones. Train your brain to be a magnet to the positive impulses – thereby connecting with the greater rationality of the universe. Because you believe in this order, however, this greater system in which electricity springs into our brain from an unknown source, and our perception is simply what follows, I would also go to say that you believe in God.”
“Well, if that’s what you think God is, if that’s what you’re describing, then yes, I suppose I believe in God.”
“Snap! I got you to believe in God, you dirty Satan-worshipping atheist. I’m sick of this conversation. Let’s get drunk. You will believe in God when you see all these hot women revealing themselves to you in the next hour. And you will feel like an Egyptian God because of those sweet beads I gave you.”
Party Rule #3 – Always take a cab, because money is no object when partying…
Money has no intrinsic value anyway, and it is most valuable when partying, because it grants complete access to your party. This does not mean that one should be wasteful with money while partying. Purchasing bottles of Grey Goose v. Skyy Vodka makes no difference, there’s no point in spending hundreds of dollars extra on Grey Goose to impress others. I propose: if you’re hanging out with individuals that you need to impress by wasting money on Grey Goose, where you need to be buying bottles of alcohol in order to party, then you’re not doing a good job of partying in the first place.
Naturally, the next topic of discussion was mode of transport. I suggest to Big J that he drive. I don’t have a car. He protests. Only three beers deep, and he complains that if he drives; he’ll stop drinking and won’t have fun. “Well then you’re not a very sophisticated individual if you can’t have fun unless intoxicated.”
His voice booms, “Well if you can have so much fun, why don’t you just drive my car?” He lives about 20 miles from the club, and I have no desire to drive his car. “How much would a cab cost?” “A cab costs 50 dollars.” The sinking feeling that maybe we won’t make it out to the post-Mardi Gras Mardi Gras Party begins to set in, and paranoia, the anti-party force begins to creep up. Suddenly: inspiration. “Well, if we’re all slaves anyway to the universe, and this is exactly what we’re supposed to be doing, fuck it! Let’s get fucked up and take a cab!” “Yeah!” “Vodka shots!”
A $50 cab ride will not ruin your party; it will make your party. Better to spend $50 on a cab than to risk death, arrest, or injury while driving intoxicated. The round trip average cost of cab fare is worth maintaining a worry-free and safe mode d’emlploi, as the whole purpose of partying is not to enjoy and continue existence. If your life is not worth 50 dollars, then you’re not attending the right parties. A party goal is to keep the party going as long as possible and live to party another day. Besides, treating yourself to a driver is one of the greatest luxuries in the world, standard procedure for a party person, and by partying in-style, you increase party enjoyment.
The shots are poured and they are large. Warm Smirnoff vodka is the poison. The purpose is to ingest enough of this heavy neurotoxin, so that the sense of self dissipates into the reptilian brain, until all action is merely reaction, no thought, no hesitation. Large shots are key. “Dude!” he grimaces after a large swig. “I can’t drink all of this.” “Do you want to party, or do you want to party?” Vodka, 3 beers, then oneness begins to set in: we are exactly where we should be at this exact moment in time. “This is what we should be doing. There’s no other option, so just drink the shit out of some vodka!”
Minutes after shots, the cabbie arrives in an American car, resembling a Buick or an Oldsmobile, with fancy GPS and tracking devices on the front dash. We scurry over snow piles to get in. He is in his late 20s, most likely African, amused by the sight of two intoxicated white dudes, necks full of beads, scurrying over snow. “You boys gong to party?” “Yeah we’re going to party.” “Haha- me too – later tonight.” “If you gotta better party…Fuckin-A you’d better tell us about it…unless you think we would get messed up at your party, in case us white boys aren’t encouraged.” “Ha-ha! You’d be fine, but it might be a little quiet for you.” “Screw that, we want to party!”
We chit-chat with the cabbie about his rental fees, how he pays 100 bucks per day to rent the cab, how he can’t pick-up people in the city and drop them off, that he can only drive to and from Bensalem. “My boss, he got so much money because he has the medallions, and he make money everyday guaranteed. Man, sometimes I lose money when I get no fares, I work 12 hour day, seven days a week.” “Man, that’s crazy…you can’t even pick someone up when you drop us off, then take them somewhere in Philly?” “No man…the city controls all of that. Otherwise there would be cabs picking people up left and right.” “It’s to control competition. You gotta love this country – where capitalism is discouraged when it might actually help the working man. Shit man, you don’t take a day off?” “That’s a violation of federal employment laws,” says Big J, an employment lawyer, who is fired up. “They have to pay you overtime if you’re working over 40 hours a week!” “No man, I’m, uhh, independent contract…” “Yeah, what if he’s an independent contractor?” “Doesn’t matter. It’s not so clear. If he takes a portion of his pay, and advertises the cab service, he can be considered an employee. You deserve overtime man.”
Club La Roxxy – Philadelphia’s Premier Party Location
We arrive at the destination – Club La Roxxy, Philadelphia’s premier party location – one of the best party spots on the North East in general, featuring a hundred-thousand dollar light system, with lasers, speakers, stages, screens, strobe lights, HUGE disco balls, and sexy bartenders in lingerie serving 2 dollar Bud Lights all night long. In the summertime, the party moves outside to the bamboo deck and pool.
There’s like a line halfway down the block on N. Delaware Ave. We jump out the car accross the median, dodging snow drifts in make-shift Mardi Gras uniforms, traversing over the piles to right in front of the line.
Random crowd members scream. “Hey man – I know Mikey-W.” “It’s Mikey-P now, he just got married,” chuckles the head bouncer at the front of the line. “He took her name.”
Mikey-W is the promoter for Club La Roxxy, modest and unimposing if you meet the man in the flesh. Most big city promoters feature flamboyant clothing, outspoken hyperactivity, and are loathe to males not on the VIP list. Mikey-W on the other hand is friendly, calmly smokes Camels, and encourages all comers to La Roxxy through daily text messages and weekly emails. If you email Mikey-W, to “get on his list,” you get free admission on Saturday nights and free well drinks from 9 to 11.
There’s a large, black bouncer scouring the line. He’s nice, with a few gold crowns and big smile. “What’s up guys. Nice beads. You gotta get in line.” “Alright, I gotta listen to this guy, he’s scary…” “Hey man,” he chuckles, “No reason to be scared o’ me. Those ladies is who you gotta watch out for.”
Party Rule # 4 – Always be nice to bouncers….They can make or break your party…
These guys get paid to get yelled at by kids, prevent rowdy drunks from starting fights, and protect underdressed female bartenders. They have to give an appearance of order and authority at the club, so that utter chaos doesn’t break out. Be nice to the bouncers, listen to them, and joke with them, they have to be outside all night, they don’t care if you get in or not. The fate of your evening is in their hands, so if you’re nice they may let you in without waiting.
An inebriated white kid, with spikey hair and a fancy long-sleeve, printed shirt, while getting kicked out is yelling at the bouncers. “Man, that’s bullshit. I’m not that drunk.” He’s pointing, not good. “All my friends are inside.” The bouncer with gold teeth starts yelling, “You! You gotta go.” Arms extended, he is walking towards him. His friend is now dragging him away as the bouncer is stepping towards him with his arms out, signaling expulsion, pushing the kinda drunk white kid away from his goal, “Youttahere!”
Towards the front of the line now, in front of a large group of white kids. Bouncers step in front of us, and tell the group they can’t get in, they have to wait in the long line. It’s not important that the line is sprinkled with girls in skimpy clothing; it’s a really long line. The group of white line jumpers forfeit their party-attempt. Again, paranoia, the sense that it’s never going to happen, sets in…drunken ramblings, I bemoan, “J, man, let’s get out of here and get some cigarettes or something. This sucks…” To my surprise, however, Big J is no longer behind me nor listening; he’s approached the line keepers and they are frisking him, which precedes admission into the club. I step behind him quickly, smiling at the line kings. They smile back, nodding, giving quiet embrace, the greatest acknowledgment one can give to another, acceptance – “Nice beads” an intimidating bouncer with a shaved head admits, “Thanks, I brought them up from Mardi Gras.” “I approve!” Time to party.
To access the club, one waits on a small set of stairs before paying the cashier. Between two beautiful women, and Big J is ahead of me. They’re reposed and poignant in the dark stairwell, with tight clothes highlighting their forms. Big J arrives to pay and says he’s on Mikey W’s list, “or Mikey-P, that’s what they said outside.” I get up and say, “I’m on Mikey P’s list or Mikey W’s list – whatever he’s going by these days,” and the cashier, American by birth but European by descent, smiles and respects the irony of a white male taking the name of his female counterpart.
Now we’re ready to party. To the right, there is the Bamboo Deck, coat-check, and side club that is usually empty but is currently bustling with other party-goers in fanciful clothing, shiny colors, sequins, and more Mardi Gras beads. Night at the Roxxy is Night at the Roxbury on steroids and ecstasy. Others are walking down the stairs, smiling and nodding at our appearance as our eyes point upwards to the orgiastic vortex awaiting. We turn up the stairs and enter the Thunderdome.
The club’s mainfloor is like a bowl.
Two bar areas surround the perimeter such that onlookers can observe the large and fluid group dance below — where individual identity is secondary to the party’s flashing vortex of lasers and strobe-lights. A young female party-goer approaches us at the periphery. Her smile reveals that she is clearly intoxicated on sexual empowerment. She immediately flashes me. An amazing and shocking experience despite encouraging a transgression from an underaged stranger exceeding her normal social limits, revealing intimate parts of her body to a complete stranger, only to be obliged with a cheap set of beads. She waives at Big J, flashes him too. “HAHAHA!” he smiles “Yes!” They immediately are shirt dancing with one another, grinding. Young and attractive, within seconds this party girl has made his week, month, year. It is beer time, so that he may have this moment with this party girl. Through the middle of the crowd, surfing towards the back-bar, with the goal of re-upping and further losing myself into this spectacle, we are all actors, the entertainment, main characters, yet extras merely secondary to the identity of the party.
At a good party the collective identity transcends everyone into a greater mutually amenable being – a higher plane of perception. Dudes bumping into me, I don’t care – I’m not bothered. Guys bumping into girls; they don’t care. They’re not bothered. The music pushes them into each other, reminding that they are merely forces on earth who move with the waves of time and music.
What’s a Whiskey Neat?
“Barkeep, could I trouble you for a whiskey neat?”
The Back Bar is a quiet, yellow bar that connects to a suspended path overlooking the bamboo patio and shallow pool. It features a small stage featuring a stripper pole.
The bartender, a young, sandy-haired chap with Buddy Holly glasses, asks innocently, “What’s a whiskey neat?”
“WHAT DUDE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Whiskey neat is the simplest, purest of all drinks. Simple whiskey poured into a glass. It’s neat because there’s nothing except whiskey. Barkeep, you want a shot of Crown Royal neat?”
“Deal! 2 Crown Royals – neat! And a beer…”
The bartenders is confused. “You going to pour or not? Let’s do this!” He abides. “Dude – do you want this shot or not?”
Haha, shaking his head, no…I know who will…
One shot – down. The second shot in a left hand, accompanied by a beer in the right. Time to find Big J and give him this other shot. Time to enter the bowl but a large bouncer stops me. “No drinks on the dance floor on Friday / 18 and up nights!” On Friday nights, underage kids are permitted in the club. Apparently they don’t want degenerates in their late twenties plying minors with booze. How unfortunate that I understand what he’s sayin’, nod my head in acceptance, he nods back. Around the periphery of the Yellow Bar, and there is Big J, beer in hand. Shot of whiskey? He protests, “No way man – if I drink that I’ll puke.” When it is time to down the second, demand a chaser, and yell at your friend for being such a pussy. Another party-going female approaches us, a neck full of beads – “Nice, what you have to do for all of those?” She smiles and points to the stage, “I was up there!” Partiers are dancing on the stage, and the crowd and DJ are throwing beads at them. We frown, disappointed.
One party-goer approaches me and compliments my beads. She’s got an id around her neck. I insult her beads for not being as sweet as mine. “You want to get some more beads?” “Haha – no way! I’m married and I have a six year old at home.” “Nice! Congratulations – she’ll be out here sooner than you can imagine. Decades fly by.” “I don’t like the sound of that. I’m from Q102. We promote this party. What do you think?” “I think it’s awesome!”
Big J, on the other hand, is avoiding slightly awkward conversations with radio disc jockeys, instead enjoying a never-ending party, continuously dancing with young women grabbing his neck without hesitation.
Party Rule #5 – Become One With The Party…
Party one-ness is the act of connection with every living being in the room: the dj, the dancers, the bouncers, the bartenders, and intoxication allows individuals to lose their protective layers. Freud coined this: the greater oceanic feeling, also called the collective unconscious. Party-oneness requires simply reacting to the forces and energies in the room, not fighting it.
Although sexual at the outset of the night, my goal becomes party-oneness. Attending a party simply for sexual encounters leaves the seeker unsatisfied and frustrated, or emotionally cheapened by the physical obsession and objectification. Freud understood that humans are inevitably sexual creatures, especially at the party, so sex is always on the table, but it shouldn’t be the objective, for it separates one from the collective whole by shifting the focus to individual desires. The key to party-oneness is feeling the strings in the room and letting the party take you where it will, not imposing one’s sexualized will onto the party. One who parties for the party itself never departs unsatisfied. Unrejected, the party soul remains pure.
I’m dancing with a cute blonde and a Bouncer asks me to move on. The girl doesn’t seem to mind, but I’m in the bouncer’s way and blocking his view, so I oblige. Further into the bowl, dancing low now, bending like a surfer, at face level with people’s waistlines in the midst of a group dance. A brunette screams at me – “What are you doing!” and slinks away, feeling intruded by the dancing face level with her thighs. The posture, however, gives me a sense of barbarism, like the African Savannah, recently descended from the trees. I probe further. A brunette with bomb-bomb senses I’m getting away with too much leeway and decides to punish me by backing that thang up, pushing me backwards into a crowd. We’re dancing to Akon’s second verse of David Guetta’s Sexy Bitch, a club classic – DAMN GIRL!!! Once I brace myself, I push back, and to my surprise, her slinky moves and waist provide a provocative dance counterpart.
Sweat is now pouring through, it is late, and the experience is nearing a close. There is a shorter male with my scarf on. It must have fallen to the floor while dancing. He looks Latin. I am concerned if I ask for it back he may try to fight me due to the insult to his masculinity. I entreat, “Hey man – that’s my scarf. Give it back to me if I buy you a beer?” “Okay okay – you go, go.” He points to the bar. I shake my head – “No, no, you have to come with me.” He nods, obliges, and removes the scarf after I procure him a bud light. We cheers and all is well.
At 2 AM the lights come on like a spot light from the heavens, indicating, sadly, that the party is over… On the walk out of the club, Big J is asking people “Anyone going back to Bensalem? Anyone can give us a ride to Bensalem?” This is Northern Liberties, aka No Lies, and Big J feels secure enough to ask random strangers for a ride home. He clearly is still partying. Two young lovers compliment his beads. She’s in a tight white tank and beige leather jacket, and her man is in a shiny-long sleeved shirt, hair impeccable. Asking for the set, Big J obliges. I chastise for breaking the cardinal bead rule of giving away large beads for nothing.
He giddily explains:
“Look man, I’m wasted and I had the time of my life! Definitely the most fun I’ve had in months! Maybe the most fun since I’ve had since Phish Halloweens. You need to understand, however, those beads were broken. All night I walked up to girls, and they would see my beads and get stoked and literally grab me! They were totally mesmerized and obsessed with the notion of obtaining my beads. I would nod in agreement, and they would show themselves! I’ve never experienced anything like that in my entire life! Hot girls coming up to me and showing off their boobies! This worked really well until just before we left, a girl came up to me and flashed me, but just in her bra. I pretended like I would give them to her –“ he motions, as if he’s taking them off – “then I put them back on myself, instead. She didn’t appreciate the trickery, and grabbed my beads and pulled down, ripping the strand. I gave them away to that couple because they were nice. They complimented us and joked with us, assuming we’d had one helluva time based upon our showing of neck accoutrements.”
His reasoning holds up. Besides, he says, there’s no more use for a broken set of beads.
We throw down again for another cab, ensuring safe delivery back to Big J’s house. Safe delivery is a bargain at 30 dollars per head. Upon arrival, he passes out, and I proceed to raid his fridge.