Saturday, February 02, 2008

Adventures in Sobriety Part Trois: Temptation and Dancing With My-se-elf*

And lead us not into temptation...

In clubs and at parties, not having a drink is not particularly a problem, but throw in a rainy friday and the type of bars where the only thing to do is have a reasonably priced drink and there you have a recipe for temptation. Small quiet bars certainly offer more reasons to suck from the sweet nectar of jack daniels. I was alternately slightly repelled by the liquory sweet smell and drawn to partake of its goodness. Not to mention that week one didn't provide as much challenge as week two, when the craving to involve myself in some sort of debauchery finally started to overwhelm me. Plus it always strikes me that NYC was almost designed with the drinker in mind, there is hardly a place you can go that doesn't at least offer wine and 90% of all the people I know are in a constant state of partaking.

* * *

The dancing part took place at a small dance. club that a few of my friends and I occasionally frequent. The last few times I went out was with a group of girls, which was sort of different being that usually in their various stages of drinking, from beginning to end they're usually still a little ready to dance. Where as the fellas were a little more willing to post up on the wall and gawk at the fly girls on the floor (and they were fly). The problem was that I suddenly became aware of myself when it seemed that I was dancing alone in the corner of the room, standing next to girls who looked like they had just stepped out of magazines. Usually this sense of self doesn't strike me in a club setting, if it strikes me at all, but last night was a little different without anything else to focus on (besides my sober bust a move) I turned inward. I did eventually venture out onto the large part of the dance floor, but it was so hot and crowded that there was barely room to move amidst the wriggling bodies leaving me after a few songs slightly uncomfortable (especially with random guys pawing me) and drenched with sweat.

It reminded me of a passage I recently read in Alain de Botton's On Love in the chapter titled "Mind over Body" about the corrolation between thinking in clubs and during sex:
If the mind has traditionally been condemned, it is for its refusal to surrender control to causes supposedly beyond analysis; the philosopher in the bedroom is as ludicrous a figure as the philosopher in the nightclub. In both cases, the body is predominant and vulnerable, so the mind becomes an instrument of silent uninvolved judgment.
I did in retrospect attribute this to the battle of the sexes (hanging with guys vs. girls) but I think that it was just having people around who were occasionally willing to indulge you and join in OR having a place that was sensible for solo sober dancing i.e. somewhere that your nuts didn't start sweating the second you entered the room. I say this because my first crew was comprised almost entirely of persons of the male variety and while I usually preferred for them to indulge me a bit (there was one guy who was always and is still always down to shake his grove thing); I was also okay with the singular dancing. Maybe also I should consider the order in which it happened, it usually tended to be that we ALL started dancing together and then they got tired and left me to my own devices, by which time I was usually so comfortable it didn't matter that I was dancing alone.
Plus I hate to attribute too much of my enjoyment on others which (it seems unfair and lacks personal accountability), though I do believe sans drink I'm much more likely to feed off other people's energy.

Whatever the case, I did have fun while it lasted even if I felt slightly removed from the scene.

*My favorite song to grove it alone to.



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