I left my phone in an Uber and ended up at an underground, after-hours, queer club. But let’s start at the beginning…
Friday was Daria’s birthday so we met up for dinner (along with her boyfriend, our other best friend, her boyfriend’s uncle and her boyfriend’s uncle’s boyfriend – phew!) at a cute little thai place in Hell’s Kitchen, @Nine. We had a delicious dinner, a few glasses of prosecco and a healthy amount of Baked by Melissa cupcakes before moving on to Barrage, a gay bar a few blocks north, for some cocktails. Daria’s boyfriend’s uncle and his boyfriend seemed intent on getting us all drunk, so the cocktails were replaced and refilled faster than we could say “Oh no, I’ve had enough!” Around 11:30pm, we all decided to call it a night, but I was feeling good (and cute?) so I wanted to stay out.
I text my good friend JR, who was out with a friend at reBar, a gay bar in Chelsea that just opened last week. I decided to meet up with him and arrived to the insanely crowded bar around 12:00am. I got us each a drink and we hung out and laughed and drank and had a generally good time. I do this thing
when I drink sometimes where I develop strong crushes on guys I see at bars and like to stand near them, but don’t actually want to say hi. It’s really cool. Trust me. So, we did a little of that and then around 2:00am (I am guessing, because at this point, time meant nothing to me) JR and I decided to officially call it a night and have an old-fashioned sleepover.
We call an Uber and the second we get in and start moving, we both fall asleep. I wake up to the driver yelling “We’re here!” and we get out of the car. I key into my building, walk up the 2 floors and am about to open my door when I reach for my phone – and it’s not in my pocket. My entire life flashed before my eyes at this point and I shout “OH NO!” and run outside. The car is obviously gone so I run back inside and ask JR what to do. He was calm, cool and collected and said I should check the Uber website. I logged into my account and was able to connect to my last driver using my friend’s phone. Awesome. Problem solved, I thought.
Turns out, my Uber driver was a terrible person. After calling him three times to explain that I left my phone in his car (and being hung up on three times) I decided to try and use the Find My iPhone feature which I thankfully set up. I hit the button that makes it buzz and ring obnoxiously for a few minutes then called my number from JR’s phone.
Finally someone picks up!
And this is when we meet Timothy. The surprise antagonist of this story. Timothy was having a rough night. He’s a waiter and he lost all of his tips from that day and is not feeling too cheerful. But we’ll tackle this next chapter in order. So, Timothy answers my phone and asks me to stop the Find My iPhone ringing, which I promptly do. We then discuss how he is currently holding my phone and how I want it back and how the Uber driver keeps hanging up on me. We discuss multiple options for getting the phone back to me, mostly involving the driver coming back to my address after dropping Timothy and his friend off wherever they were going. The driver refused to do this as he was very busy and didn’t want to come all the way back to my place to give me my phone. This is where Timothy begins to get annoyed. He (and I quote) “doesn’t understand why he has to be responsible for this guy’s phone…” and “has had his night ruined by this.” Again, Timothy was having a bad day.
We finally decide that Timothy should just tell us the address of where he is going and we will get in a cab and come meet him so I can get my phone from him directly. He agrees to the plan adding: “You can just pay me $25 when you get here…” To which I respond, “Oh. Um.. Yeah. Sure. That’s fair…” because I want my phone back and basically am being blackmailed into paying a ransom… So, JR and I hop in a cab and head to the address Timothy gave us. And again, we use the opportunity of being in the backseat of a car to take a nap. I wake up as we are pulling up to this rather inconspicuous building with a few young, hipster, Brooklyn types hanging outside smoking cigarettes.
The boy who we discover is Timothy (Hero? Villain? You decide.) walks up to us and says “Here’s your damn phone now come in and buy me a drink…” A drink? I ask “Where are we and what is this place?”
Oh, it’s an underground, after-hours queer nightclub
Because of course it is. JR and I look at each other and shrug our shoulders and decide to check it out. As we are walking up to the door, Timothy decides to drop the “oh there is a $15 cover” bomb on us… I hand him a $10 from my wallet and tell him to buy himself a drink, because we are not paying $15 to get into this shady spot. He suggests we just try and walk in without paying and I think we were in that perfect mix of tired and intoxicated so we decided to give it a try. JR and I walk in and right past the bouncer. We turn the corner, get our wrists marked with an X and enter a large room filled with people, music and smoke. It was like a scene in a movie. The room seemed to be moving in slow motion. It was insane. People in all sorts of outfits, hairstyles and levels of intoxication were roaming, dancing and generally enjoying themselves. I decided I needed a drink to handle this level of “Brooklyn cool” *Mistake #3?* so we headed towards the bar, followed of course, by Timothy. I buy us a round of drinks and take in the space around me.
We were in a smaller side room with mismatched chairs and couches strewn about and a cigarette in everyone’s mouth led a smoky haze to everything in sight. I just looked around for awhile, to get my bearings and then we started to explore the space. We bumped into a guy who we chatted with for a while as we were all here for the first time. Timothy (who has been going back and forth between acting like a total dick to apologizing for acting like a total dick) decides he has had enough of us (and already got $10 and a drink out of me) and disappears into the crowd. We breath a sigh of relief and continue to chat with our new friend, Adam. The three of us laugh and joke about how ridiculous the night has been for us so far and how thankful we are that it ended up here. I, being quite the outsider in my Zara sweater, took pictures of people’s outfits and chatted with a few strangers about the party and their nights so far.
I also met a man who I will call Walter (his name was definitely not Walter) who was tall and sexy and had a mustache and we danced and I got his number and I may or may not have texted him on Sunday and he may or may not have read it and didn’t respond and I may or may not have a broken heart over it…
After what I could have sworn was maybe an hour (again – time means nothing after a few shots of whiskey) we decided that we had our fair share of impromptu fun for the evening and we should probably head home. We step out into the light of early morning. Yeah, it was 6:00am… The time when I am usually a good 5-6 hours into my sleep for the night. I could not believe it. While waiting for our cab back to my place, we made friends with Luis. I liked his sweater and said I wanted one just like it so we should become friends so I could borrow it. He agreed and we exchanged numbers. We’ll probably never hang out, but I was feeling friendly.
The cab ride back was yet another adventure, as we did a shared ride. A German woman named Gloria was our third passenger and she told us all about her night on a date with this guy who she didn’t really like, but by the end of it wanted to kiss. He didn’t kiss her so she was disappointed. (But thinking back, if her date went til 6am, she probably had a good time?) After going into detail about her bad date, she tells us it is ok, because her husband is home and he will kiss her when he wakes up.
Umm, Gloria! Does your husband know you were on a date tonight?!
“Yes of course he does!” she replied. Oh, Gloria. We finally get back to my place, collapse into bed and fall asleep. I am pretty sure that this will go down as the most ridiculous night of my life. Who knew I would end up experiencing so many firsts for me: Losing my phone. Getting blackmailed into buying someone drinks. Going to a secret club. Discussing extra-marital affairs with a German stranger named Gloria. Staying out til 6am.
I’m sure my mother will be proud.