Sunday, 16 May 2010

March Madness

"It's not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or when the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt

Wise words, Teddy. You make me feel kind of better about myself- that no matter how many monumental fuckups I can create, no matter how many times I can make a total spoon out of myself, at least I was trying to do the right thing. I was making an effort. Unfortunately, despite this, March has been a very weird and broken month.

The first fracture occurred outside a house music club called Venus. The club, on Blackfriars Rd in Manchester, is seemingly the same outfit that ran a night called 'Venus' in Club V, another club in Manchester, some months ago. When I turned up, my friends were already inside. I had driven down sober. I was dressed in All Saints, which isn't cheap and isn't chavvy- generally not a brand any club would have a problem with- and I had a fair wad of money in my pocket. However, the doormen wouldn't let me in because he “didn't recognise me.” What the fuck. A friend, one of a group of girls I was meeting, was already inside. She tried to have a word with this ridiculous doorman, but no. He was being an arsehole. I even showed him my members card for Club V, which would surely hint that I'd been to this “night” before. But as it's a different club, he brushed it off. So I'd like to give a big proverbial FUCK YOU to the organisers of Venus. There are other, far superior house music clubs in the city- and that's where I'd rather be.

The fracture turned into a gaping fissure not long after this, when I went on an internet date. I was going to meet a girl who had added me on Facebook. She looked pretty fit in her pictures, but unfortunately Facebook can be deceiving. When she turned up with her friend, four hours late and both utterly steaming, I realised she was also ridiculously fat. I stayed for one drink and then told her I had “shit to do.” I then went to get the night bus back to Oldham. But my evening was to get weirder still...

The sign in the bus station told me that my bus now ran from a stop a few streets down. So I trekked to the appropriate stop, only to find that there was no indication that there was a bus leaving any time soon- in fact the next bus was due at about 6am...

Two girls and another guy were waiting for the same bus. We chipped in for a taxi, assuming that the bus wasn't running after all, as we were all heading the same way. I got a phone number off one of the girls, who was fit, and everything looked to be working out- until the guy decided to rip us off and flee the taxi. He would have a monumental bounty on his head if I could remember what he looked like.

A week later, I decided to break the mould and try speed dating. Picture a line of men facing a line of women, on two rows of facing chairs. You get two minutes with each member of the opposite sex. To talk to them, I mean. Well. That's the theory. I found out about the event online, and booked on. When I arrived a week later, the building was closed. I emailed the organisers, and they said an email had gone out explaining that the event had been cancelled through lack of interest. I checked my inbox and junk- I'd definitely not got it. Fucking hell. How hard can it be?

Then I had an idea. In 2006 I attended a salsa class in Che Bar in Manchester. It was pretty good fun, but it got too crowded and there were too many men. Undeniably, I went to meet women, but Salsa is a dance for a man and a woman. So if there aren't enough women, you've got to wait your turn. Also, I was working in the city at the time. When I moved jobs, it wasn't as easy to keep up. But recently I figured it could be good to get back into it- just to do something different. And undeniably, to meet people. So I Googled a few clubs. Copacabana was the first that I visited- this was similarly cramped, the instructor didn't teach in time to the music, which is confusing, and, still, there were too many men.

Next club in line- Salsology, on Oldham Street. Much better. Male/female ratio is slightly more even, the teaching is more specific, there's more space on the floor and beginners get one-to-one tuition to get up to speed. They use a range of music with various tempos, so you can pick things up slowly. And if the music leaves you behind, it's no big deal. You pick it up over time. The group normally go for drinks afterwards, ironically... at Copacabana. I'll keep you posted on developments, if you know what I mean.

Aside from doing the above, the majority of March was spent writing my arse off. As in, writing a lot. Not smashing myself to a pulp and selling myself for scrap. That would never happen. But for now, I need to wipe off this dust and sweat and blood and get off. I might stumble a lot, but coldness and timidity are not on the agenda, Teddy.

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