It was a very dull Friday night. Well, at least that’s what my flatmate, and a good friend, Mikey thought of at that particular time of the day, or night.
“Let’s go to Soho!!!” he exclaimed like a pre-pubescent teenage girl about to be deflowered by a hung 21-year-school football hunk.
His shriek reverberated throughout the entire flat but the responses of everyone in the house sounds unequivocally, uhm, flat. No one responded, even the crickets would be appalled by the deafening silence.
And then I got that stare. That piercing stare which screams, “you better move that a** off or I am going to drag you out and skin you alive.”
You see, in Manila, it would take me 7 days of advance booking, or at least a memo, if you would want to invite me to go out, go to a party, spend a night out with a friend, or commence with a friendly, or even prurient, sleep-over.
Yes, I am that prude.
I am freaking twenty-eight years old, thank you very much.
But here, all it took was as knife-like stare. And perhaps, a dint of pity.
Reservedly, I took a quick shower. Picked a black shirt. Took my Oyster card, my debit card, the flat keys, and a few coins.
We went down the apartment building at a speed of 250 km/hour, dropped by One Stop to pick up some crisps and soda (we were starving), and rode bus 176. Tottenham Court Road, it says.
In less than twenty minutes, we reached Leicester Square. Even the traffic gods seem to assent to my friend’s whim.
“We should go to Ku!” he enthusiastically averred as we traverse our way along the jampacked alleys of Soho square.
At 14 degrees Celsius and without a coat on, all in my mind was, “Please Lord, let me live.”
As soon as we reached Ku, it suddenly felt like home.
Expect that at home, I would never see topless naked men serving overpriced, diluted drinks worth at least £4 a pint.
We talked and talked and talked and danced and danced and danced while peacocking to a lot of virile men in shrunken shirts and trousers. Until it reached midnight and the bouncers began to start emptying the place. Yeah, majority of the bars here closes at 12; 1 at the most.
A quick freezing walk and a lot of ogling with delicious men later, we reached the end of the queue to G. A. Y. Late. A pretentious bar that closes at 3.
After a quick one hour wait and a £2 entrance fee, we were in.
Like a true blue Madonna fan, we gyrated (yes, we still use that term) to the sounds of our past.
Cher. Madonna. Geri Halliwell. Whitney. Rihanna. Some Britney. Some Christina. Some Katy.
And in the midst of all that alcohol, the murky sticky dancefloor, with men of all sort of sizes, colours, levels of hairiness and varieties of accents, I have found my youth.
And as I got lost in the rhythm, suddenly, everything becomes clear to me.
I feel lonely.
(To be continued…)