What better way to really test how my inner emotional framework has changed than drunk at a music club surrounded by hot girls?
Amanda never called me yesterday, so at 8:00 I was already deep into the nightly weekend routine: drinking alone, listening to music, watching various TV programs, this particular night finishing up my 4th or 5th viewing of Band of Brothers. I was right in the middle of the bonus documentary when my phone rang and to my surprise it was Oliver. He was calling to invite me to the music club “Bei Chéz Heinz” in Linden where supposedly a very good band was playing tonight. As much as I was already enjoying myself, I knew that it was high time I went out for some genuine social interaction, so I agreed to meet up with him and his friends there between 10:00 and 11:00. That gave me plenty of time to myself anyway, so during the portion of the night that I would normally be listening to music in my headphones, this night I would instead be listening to live music with other people.
It was a long walk to the club, but walking through the light rain with my I-pod on made it a very pleasant journey. I’d never been to the club before but to my surprise I found it quite easily, and to my even more pleasant surprise I spotted Oliver as soon as I got near the entrance, as he and Lena and a German friend of his were sitting outside and talking. I gave Lena and Oliver a warm hello and met his friend, then we spent the next 20 minutes or so outside chatting. It was great to see them again, particularly Lena whom I haven’t seen in almost two months, and we had a pleasant little chat.
When we heard the live music starting we went down into the club to see the band. It was a very unique band—some kind of 50s revival outfit only not really. The band consisted of about 10 people all dressed in 50s attire, although the lead singer had long black hair and while dressed like it was 1955, didn’t look at all like he was from that time period. There were two female singers who looked very much like they were plucked from some 50s billboard, both with very pretty pasty white faces but hips far too wide for my interest. The band played a mixture of old German folk songs and hits from the 1950s (like The Twist, only with German lyrics) but in a modern style, complete with heavy bass and kick-ass electric guitar solos. I’m not a big fan of either German folk songs or 1950s Top 40 hits, but they actually made most of the songs sound pretty good.
Having just finished Band of Brothers added a nice extra dimension to my perception of the event, as I imagined that had it been the 1940s, all of us would have been soldiers on opposite sides of the war, and the people I was now dancing with would be shooting at me. And yet only a short decade later, the one being “revived” that night, we’d have all been friends again. History is strange.
But it was on the dance floor that I first noticed The Girl™ of the evening, standing right in front of me and dancing ever-so-reservedly next to her friend. She was average height, thin for a German girl, hair shorter than mine and pulled back into a pony-tail, and a cute little face that looked a little like Tina Fey, especially due to those adorable glasses. She was quite plain and unremarkable for a girl at a club, which I suppose is one of the reasons she caught my eye—there were no guys trying to hit on her or ask her to dance, and she was obviously there without any male accompaniment, as opposed to most of the attractive women there. This combination of factors leads to a whole, “You actually might have a chance with this one” mentality that grabs ahold of my brain and won’t let go, in spite of any and all inner resolutions about how I no longer have any real desire for female companionship.
Before I knew it the band was finished and I was being ushered outside to join the others for a cigarette, which I gladly did, at that point not completely focused on the girl but just enjoying the experience. It wasn’t until later that I noticed her again. In the meantime, though the music was now solely pre-recorded, there was lots of dancing on the dance floor, of which I floated around the edges like a satellite in orbit. The pretty singers from the band were both out there dancing and getting hit on like mad by the guys there, and there was one particularly hot, black-haired girl in a blood-red shirt that was “sex-dancing” (not a real term, I suppose, but I assume everyone must know what that means) with another guy there and allowing me to reflect on the fact that I felt not a twinge of jealousy as I used to feel not long ago when observing that phenomenon.
Occasionally, the music would get a little louder and everyone’s attention would be directed back at the stage, where a girl performer, I assume connected in some way with the band, would do a 50s-style strip-dance. One began in a nun costume and gradually stripped down to nothing but panties and heart-shaped stickers covering her nipples. I watched merely with vague interest, far more out of simple curiosity than any sexual desire. The women were too…I don’t know…typical for my taste I suppose? It may have something to do with the emotional-deadening, but I just don’t find anything exciting about a woman in her late 20s stripping her clothes off. It’s nothing I haven’t seen a million times in films and TV programs—this was only entertaining because it was happening live a few feet away from me.
But soon after there came a time where we were all standing near the back of the club and I noticed the girl in the glasses across the room. A half-naked chick stripping down on stage does nothing for me apparently, but a fully-clothed average-looking girl with glasses just standing around talking to her friend was mesmerizing. I kept waiting for her to look in my direction and notice me blatantly staring at her, but she never did. So I ended up staring at her for what must have been a good 20 minutes before I was invited out for one last smoke.
As Oliver and his German friend, a really nice guy I managed to chat with a little bit throughout the evening, were finishing their smoke, lots of people kept pouring outside to sit and talk with their friends, and I kept eying the door waiting for The Girl to come. Just a moment before we were all about to leave, she came and sat a few feet from where we were standing. Oliver’s friend said farewell to us and said he’d probably see me next week, as we are both invited to a party next Friday celebrating the combined birthdays of Lena and a friend of hers. It’s a costume party, and Oliver and Lena suggested I just wear a white sheet and come as Jesus, since my long blonde hair and beard put me half-way there already.
I was quite drunk at this point, having drank for hours on my own beforehand and then drinking several beers while there, so my inhibitions were low enough to try the old “how would my friends react to this?” move in which I very subtly let it be known that I am staring at a girl I find beautiful and I’m hesitant to leave because then I’ll never see her again. They asked me who it was and I explained that it was the girl in the glasses sitting right over there.
Before I had time to stop him, Oliver went right up to her and introduced himself, then pulled me over right in front of her to introduce me to her, making absolutely no bones about the obvious fact that I was interested in her. So there I was standing directly in front of this girl and forced to actually interact with her, under the less-than-ideal circumstances of both of us knowing that I was only talking to her because I’d had on my eyes on her for some time. We exchanged names though I promptly forgot hers, and I asked her if she spoke any English but she answered quite hesitantly that she only spoke a little bit. I was being sized up by her and her friends and found myself extremely uncomfortable. I glanced at Oliver, whose eyes were encouraging me to go at it, as though hitting on women came as naturally to me as it seems to do for every other guy in the universe. I said something ridiculous like, “You’re the most beautiful girl in the whole club” at which she just smiled while her friend said, “Oh, you’re so sweet,” but from there I was completely out of material. I guess my thinking has been that maybe this was a girl too plain to get hit on very often and who would therefore appreciate the idea that at least one guy thought she was the most beautiful girl in the club, but that was probably a silly assumption. All girls get hit on. This was nothing special for her.
Anyway, there I am standing up in front of these three girls, having no idea what to say, my legs shaking from the coldness and nervousness (I took note of the fact that I was, in fact, nervous) and all I could do was look to Oliver and Lena who proceeded to converse with them in German, thus bringing me off the hook of having to talk anymore. The beautiful one never said another word to me. We left a few minutes later.
As we walked back towards the city center, I decided that since I’d already opened up to Oliver and Lena by revealing my little attraction back there, I might as well get explicit about it and just put the question to them that had been on my mind all day: If I’m perfectly happy being alone, should I not bother trying to find someone?
Perhaps it’s pointless to put that question to a couple, because the answer I got from both of them was “Of course you should” and that it was actually much better to look for someone when you know you don’t need anyone and being alone doesn’t bother you, because then you don’t come off as desperate. I think I probably came off as desperate to that girl at the club anyway, but there is a definite logic to that. They both agreed that there’s definitely something nice about being alone, but that trying for a relationship is something everyone should do just to have that experience, particularly in a case like mine where I’ve never experienced it before. It wasn’t the answer I really wanted, but it was an honest answer that made sense and I appreciated it.
What followed, naturally, was a lot of advice on how to go about getting a girl, basically a whole lot of sentences beginning with the phrase, “You just have to…” and then all the standard things that everybody knows about how to approach women but I can never seem to put into practice. But thankfully Oliver expressed a definite understanding of how difficult it was, especially with German girls whom he believes are among the hardest to approach in the world. The language barrier, both acknowledged, made it very difficult in my case, but there’s also the matter of the clique-centric nature of German girls, whereby they don’t really want to talk to anyone outside their circle of friends and thus tend to only respond to the advances of guys whom they’ve already met and are comfortable with. I really had no chance with that girl at the club, both because of the language and the fact that we were complete strangers. But they said I might have better luck at the party next Friday, especially if I’m dressed as Jesus. I’m quite looking forward to that, actually, as another sort-of experiment. Can Jesus pick up German girls? We’ll find out shortly.
Anyway, when it came time for us to part ways I walked back home alone, reflecting on what was indeed a complete lack of strong emotions within me. It was barely even a month ago that I was breaking down and shouting about killing myself at that music club in Prague, but here under quite similar circumstances it didn’t seem to affect me at all. Pining for that girl was more of a habit than a manifestation of some deep emotional need, and getting softly rejected by her as I did left absolutely no stinging sensation or even feeling of disappointment within me. It’s a good thing she wasn’t interested in me. If she had been, my life would have suddenly gotten exponentially more complicated.
Arriving home, there was no breaking down in tears, no throwing on of dark music and brooding out my desperation. I just busted out the computer porn and fucked the living shit out of myself, knowing full well that I can give myself more pleasure than almost any woman probably could.
So that was last night’s experience, which served as further evidence to support my whole “soul is dead” hypothesis, but at the same time was a nice comfortable reminder that I can still pine over beautiful girls at dance clubs, thus providing a kind of poetic continuity to my life that stretches all the way back to 6th grade and my first middle-school dances. The emotions have all dried up, but the behavior remains. I’ll most likely never successfully find a girl to have a relationship with, but if I drew any conclusions last night it’s that there’s no reason for me to stop looking, especially now that I’m apparently no longer capable of experiencing emotional pain when I fail.