Sunday, May 31, 2009

A very strange night out

With this post I'm doing two things:

First, sharing some things that many of you will not like. I think I've written that before, but this time I'm confident that disapproval will be vast. Nonetheless, this is reality! Second, this will solidify that my new roommates will never learn of this blog.

I think my new roommates are great and I feel much more alive in my new locale thanks to all that's in walking distance. For the sake of this blog, let's call them roommate #1 and #2. Although #2 is who I communicated with during the process of getting this place and who I share a bathroom with, he's always at work or with his boyfriend so I barely see him. #1 and I are becoming fast friends; I got him an audition for the musical festival and he's taken me hiking in the Hollywood hills.

This weekend #1 has his closest hetero male friend in town for a visit. He got here this afternoon and they invited me to hang out with them at the nearby park. They chatted about old friends and I tried to get a tan. Back at our apartment #1 cooked a fantastic supper for the three of us prior to going clubbing. At first, of course, the friend and I exchanged pleasantries. Then he asked #1 if he could call #2 "fag." WHAT? They kind of joked and I said, "well, if the f-word is fair game, then I'm going to start asking for wardrobe advise... I didn't realize it was cool like that..." Later during supper their friendship baffled me more. He also uses the words homo and "so gay;" we discussed racism, sexism and stereotypes.

On one hand it's great to have discussions like that. On the other hand, this friend was totally crossing the line, in my opinion. He says homosexuality doesn't bother him, that his band plays at a gay club twice a week and that he loves #1 (as a friend). But he also said he knows he's a little bit racist and sexist; even #1 agreed with him, saying "all stereotypes come from somewhere." I found myself reminding my roommate, "you're a minority too, so you have to know that you can't believe every stereotype 100%." To that he replied, "I'm not a minority, I'm a white male." "YOU'RE GAY!" I said.

There's a very thin line between proactively using humor to point out the ridiculousness of stereotypes and using humor to excuse your belief in stereotypes. Although our supper conversation never got heated and nor did it make me dislike either one of them, I felt like they thought they were doing the first, but to me they were actually participating in the later. I used to have black friends with whom inappropriately race jokes were made but everyone involved knew the comedic intent and parameters; tonight felt different. I think the friend actually thinks the words he used are alright to use all the time and #1 tolerates it for some reason.

Anyway, long before supper was prepared, we figured out the logistics of the evening. Though I do enjoy the effects of alcohol, I am ingrained with the anit-substance abuse lessons of my youth and have no tolerance for substance use and driving. We agreed that since #1 likes to drink wine while he cooks that he would "pre-game" and I would drive his car over the hill to West Hollywood where he would not consume anything, but I would. The estimated time spent at the clubs would be more than enough to render him capable of driving us back.

On the drive to West Hollywood, where all the trendy gay clubs are, they smoked a bowl. Or is it bull? It sounds like bull when people say it, but I think it's "a bowl" when it's out of the small glass thing. I've only been around weed a half dozen times in my life, so I'm familiar, but not well versed. I know some of you are gasping. How could I allow myself to be in a vehicle where illegal activity was going on?! The thing is, I was raised in a sheltered rural community, to believe that marijuana was something that only ethnic gang-bangers did in scary urban centers. I've come to learn that could not be farther from the truth. I now know people from every walk of life who have or do smoke pot. Period. Reality. To some, it can definitely lead their lives a stray and to others it seems to be no different than a nicotine fix. At my new sales job there are a handful of guys who are openly pot heads. Lucky for them, there's no drug testing and somehow they still sell there asses off.

I'm not saying I condone smoking weed; I don't entirely understand it and I don't have an addictive personality, so it's presence is of no consequence to me. I rarely drink alcohol due to its expense and calorie count, so my talking about weed is of absolutely no concern... What I am saying is that I've come to recognize that it's a reality in life and much different and less horrible than it was initially presented to me in my youth. While I had a couple friends who smoked in college, it is only now becoming something that I encounter more frequently. Is it irony that I now have a roommate that smokes and coworkers who aren't guarded about it? Or is it a California thing? I have no idea...

Anyway, I have witnessed fully functional, yet stoned individuals, including roommate #1. This evening, however, was different. Once we parked the car and headed to the clubs, he and his friend were clearly unsober. Thankfully, we were in West Hollywood. There were gay men as far as the eye could see, with the occasional lesbian and hag, like me, so I at no point felt unsafe. The company of #1 and his friend was no longer enjoyable though. The first club we waited in line for wouldn't let us in, telling my roommates, "you look like you've had enough, you'd be a liability."

We kept texting roommate #2, who claims he's always out in WeHo on the weekends, but he never responded. So, I was stuck with super high roommate #1 and his hetero friend who kept saying, "look at all the gay dudes... but I'm okay with it..." Sometimes drunk or high people can be fun but this had crossed to the embarrassing.

Prior to having a drink myself, I was waiting to see my roommate begin to sober. It was a sight that never came. Rather, he was ready to go home surprisingly soon. The friend, who wasn't as affected, and I pressed on to a dance club. For a while it was fun; I hadn't been dancing in a long time. A go-go dancer up on a platform looked like Brittney Spears and the music was good. Then #1 dismissed himself to the bathroom and never came back. By this time the friend was getting drunk, so I insisted he and I find #1. I received a text from him that he was around the corner at a coffee shop. What the fuck?

Although the club right next door is literally called my name, we didn't make it there. We retrieved #1 from the coffee shop and headed back to the car. I, obviously, drove back to the Valley. #1 seemed to be back to normal on the way home while his friend passed out in the back seat.

Did I have fun tonight? No, not really. It was strange. I don't need to drink to have a good time, but it is a let down when your night out turns into a baby sitting trip. I don't mind that I was able to give two friends a safe night out, but I question if they had much fun either. I understand drunkness and drunk people, but I'm still trying to figure stoners out.

The strangest part happened between the two of them at the coffee shop and back at our apartment; they had rather rough exchanges. They'd share a pissy look and say "fuck you dude, seriously..." I had no idea where it came from. It was so random! Was it the pot or had I missed something? Back at our apartment the friend even said, "I hate this guy." I joked, "you have mood swings, two hours ago you loved him." I wish I could transcribe the specific lines, but I don't remember. I'm now on my second glass of very deserved wine. Much like the supper conversation, it was littered with inappropriate words and half jokes, half truths. At one point the friend remarked, "why did you invite me out here?" I quickly said, "good night guys, I'm going to bed." Just as quickly #1 said "____ sandwich" (insert my name) and they did a joking Night at the Roxberry thing from that popular old Saturday Night Live sketch.

It was all SO weird. Are they mad at each other? How can you call someone your close friend when they use derogatory terms about who you are? And moreover, will they remember any of it tomorrow...? Unfortunately, I will.

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