A Night on the Town

Written By: Will  Ehrenreich

Like a driving storm, thousands of people descend upon the east end for the Fourth of July, causing the beaches, roads, and businesses to swell to unusual extremes. It’s a time that’s probably best spent at home with friends or family, making only necessary trips to the store for food and other provisions. The thought of going out to a nightclub on this busy weekend would make even your impulsive cousin Danny who loves to party say “What are you thinking?” However, no one listens to Danny, and even though it’s against my better judgement, It’s Friday night on Fourth of July weekend, and I’m outside of the Southampton Social Club, waiting in line to socialize.

It’s 11:30pm and I’m part of a large unmoving crowd. People are eagerly craning their necks towards the club’s entrance where there is a well tanned hostess with dark hair. She is clutching a clipboard and standing on a gray porch that leads inside the club. Below her are the bouncers, who stand behind a velvet rope that separates them from the crowd. Each time the crowd inches forward the hostess shouts “Move back!” causing myself and everyone else in line to sway back and forth like a bed of seaweed on the ocean floor.

After about ten minutes, I come to the conclusion that white pants are definitely in this summer. I see a guy wearing a shirt that’s covered in animal print. He whispers to his friend, who is standing strategically close to to a group of tall, attractive women in shiny dresses. As I light a cigarette, a group of four guys stagger into one of the many makeshift lines lines behind me. “Looks like it’s boys night” say’s a large, pale, well dressed guy who appears to be in his early twenties. I’ve heard this line before, and it’s never funny, especially when you yourself have just added four boys to the night. To my surprise someone in the crowd openly responds to his remark and says “You’re four dudes.” It’s a commendable retort to a mood dampening sentence.  

I look at my watch and realize I’ve been in line for almost twenty minutes; too long, I think, when suddenly the doors open and a girl bursts out onto the porch. “Let me out!” she screams, flailing her arms wildly. She stumbles down the steps and pushes her way through the crowd as if she’s bushwhacking blindly through a jungle. As she disappears into the night, a pathetic camaraderie begins to form amongst the crowd. “Who wants to be in there anyways?” someone says. “Yeah!” someone else responds. I look at ground with mixed emotions.

It’s almost midnight and the line is spilling out onto the sidewalk and pushing itself forward, which is putting pressure on the hostess, who continues to lambast the crowd as they press lightly upon her velvet rope. “Move back! she screams, “Move back!” I’m now transfixed by a girl to my left who’s amusing herself by sticking her elbows into people as they try to make their way around her. Like a matador, she slyly directs a girl into a shrub, then quickly nails a guy in the ribs. She’s very attractive but I dare not approach her for fear of receiving a wounding upper body blow, or worse. After shaking my head around like one does to kick a disorienting state, I decide to leave. I part from the crowd and start walking home. As the noise from the club grows fainter, I begin to ruminate on my eventful night. As I pace the dark and quiet streets I think deeply about thoughts that have to do with forgetting that all of this ever happened.

As i’m nearing my house, I cross paths with a deer that’s chewing on a dewy patch of roadside grass. I know it’s normal for deer to graze at night but it still seems sort of strange to me. As it looks up at me calmly with its bulbous eyes and a mouthful of wet grass, I realize that there’s nothing strange about this deer’s behavior. What’s truly strange is that I just waited in a line for thirty minutes in an attempt to socialize.