It’s the smell that hits you first. A stale petrol-ly stench of booze and sweat. The musk of 1000 miserable nights spent flapping your pastey limbs in some bizarre, humiliating mating ritual. Beneath that pungent aroma is the heady smells of sick and sadness. A stinking tribute to human failure.
Welcome to Ocean.
Well, I say that. Not your Ocean. Your ocean is a mystical wonderland of music and laughter. The culmination of a week’s hard graft in a crazed orgy of hedonistic drunken laddishness. Your Ocean is not my Ocean. This Ocean is seen sober.
Clubbing sober hurts. You feel the blows of the elbows, the crashing waves of people forcing you to the floor and the eye burning power of Lynx Africa. It’s a cliché but that stuff really is like pepper spray. It’s also the closest thing a reeking teenage boy has to pheromones.
Those are just the obvious, physical pains. The trial of the soul comes next. Every song anyone has ever loved is forced through the meat grinder of dance pop. Robbie Williams’ Angels gains a baffling bass drop. “And through it….WUB!…ALLL!!” Jesus…what were they thinking?!
Thinking might be the wrong word. Ocean’s final trial is to destroy your mind. Without the bracing power of Glenn’s your brain just isn’t built to hear a Pitbull song. I mean who the fuck yells ‘timber’ when they’re going down on someone? “Is it too late now to say sorry?” Well, the gesture would be appreciated you massive bastard. Manners maketh the man.
You feel desperate. You can’t cope. You drift to one of the bars. Fall into a cloud of spotty oiks and pray that you get that gin before you die. Each step is a nightmare, the floor sticks to the inappropriate but stylish shoes. If you’re a girl you lose a flat or two.
You fall onto the fake granite counter. Look desperately at the man behind the counter. Your broken gaze meets his and for a moment you understand. It isn’t just you.
He’s here too. Hell, he works here. You can leave but he can’t.
He is in this to the bitter end.
“VODKA AND COKE” you bellow if you lack taste buds.
“RUM AND COKE” if you have them.
The first taste of alcohol brings you back. You’re alive. It’s not so bad. Yes, the dance floor is like one of those insect traps. Yes, you can’t breathe through your nose without heaving. Yes, it looks like it has been past its prime since the mid 80’s. But…but your friends are here.
They are all dicks, but that’s the whole of Uni really.
Image: Elliot Brown via Flickr