29 May 2016

Teenagers Through the Lens of Alcohol

In grade 10, there was a noticeable peak in my peer's likeliness to going out. Innocent nights ending at 11 became promiscuous, alcohol-fueled jeopardous hours of darkness ending at the dawn of a new day. Clubs became popular; firstly those closer to one's homes and then further and further away. People would arrive at school on Monday and spew out their  latest revelations which their weekend had allowed them with reports of the influx, or lack thereof, of eye-candy and booze.

I never quite caught onto this trend of jolling. I felt like an airplane taking off in the wrong direction for a long time- my  friends were taking lift and I stood static on the ground. Years went by and still Monday would arrive trumpeting a new bout of  stories with an increasingly prominent theme of danger, booze and boys.

Eventually, I caught the bug- not the booze,boys and brawl bug but a curious bug. A sense of excitement, nervousness and intrigue arose within me as I stood in front of my double-doored, silver knobed wooden cupboard; what was I going to wear to one of the most notorious drug-filled and dangerously located clubs in my near-by vicinity? I had skipped comfort of the more eloquent and safer spots-I was going straight in for the kill; Clad in black leggings with a small faux gold zip down the left side, black boots with a small heel, a long green, oval-necked stretchy top and a black leather jacket I set off...Steph was going to Gwigwi Mrwebi Street.

The wide alleyway, at midnight, was as dark as a street would be without the natural fullness of the moon watching over it, littered with the orange-glow of artificial light from the odd street lamp which worked. Smoke rose from the 24-hour industrial workshops which lined the street. Outside the club stood three large bouncers which seemingly, at the flash of a note let the profit-providing underage patrons inside.

The thud,thud,thud and boom, boom,boom of the latest remixed house music (or was it drum and base?) sent the room into a continuous shake- similar to what I imagine a never-ending 7.5 magnitude earthquake would be like. I met people who I had heard about from my friends deranged fables- tall boys who oozed confidence, with slick 'perfect' hair and dream-like smiles.There I was, inside the 'dream' I had always imagined. I finally put faces to names I had heard about for years and I have come to a conclusion-It's all an idealized lie.

Firstly, grade ten Steph forgot about opinions. People whom my friends swooned over were only worth a passing glance in my opinion. I hated the music at this club. My friends accounts of their nights entailed a type of music unlike any other. I was mezmorized by the 'fun' narrated to me by friends in grade 10 at these clubs, unbeknownst to me that I would absolutely dread it.

The week after my little adventure passed and by Wednesday the central narrator in a large collection of the stories recalled to me over the past two years said  "I can't wait to be excited and blissful". I didn't understand this; was my friend not happy? Was something wrong? I further asked "What do you mean, B" and she replied "Steph, I can't wait to get drunk". Folks, that is when the missing piece of this 720 piece puzzle was put into place. People are dependent on alcohol for fun.

I was briefed on accounts of raucous nights ending in anarchy but through the lens of alcohol. Characters in these portrayals of a 'successful' night out were always so happy because of the infiltration of chemicals to their brains. Upon reflection, a 'good night out' never came from not being intoxicated. I felt like my peers had hyped their nights up so drastically that they morphed into an illusion so far removed from reality.

This incident made me realize a couple of things: Firstly, don't take everything at face value. Secondly, other people are going to have opinions that you won't necessarily agree with. Thirdly, NEVER GO TO GWIGWI MREWBI STREET AGAIN!

Till next time-
Steph

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