This Content Is Only For Subscribers
The over-prepared evening always ends up in a disaster! There was a time that those under 20 cannot know. Me, P., and N., we were single or not yet tied down by eager matrons longing for family life in a suburban house. P. already has a kid. N. just met the love of his life. As for me, poor Z. the party girl I met, is starting to bear a resemblance to Ebba Bush (leader of the Christian Democrats party in Sweden), and our parties are no longer wild: “Take a walk to the Christian Side.” Truth be told, when the Champions League or the World Cup in Qatar become significant events for you, you realize you’ve had your time. Yes, my shift is over.
Our wild nights in Stockholm, stumbling down the snowy boulevards of the city, they’re over, now it’s dinner, SPA, and Netflix. So, P. sends us a group message on Monday, proposing a concert at Debaser. My first reaction is to ask about the average age in this club that hosts big stars like RZA, who will be coming to the club soon. The band in question is HVOB! A thrilling group. We meet at 6 p.m. at N.’s place and commit to leaving the women behind for an evening: Back In the Dayz.
That week was my “cooking week.” I live in a collective in Stockholm, and every 6 weeks, I get to showcase my many culinary skills to the locals. This time, I was forced to make a vegetarian mushroom pasta recipe. I had a “world-renowned” disappointment. So, I cooked and left around 5 p.m.
I arrived at N.’s place at 6:20 p.m. As usual, the troublemaker wasn’t ready, not even showered yet. So, I had a blast playing with his dog while waiting. He showed up at 7 p.m., just as P. did. We drank and talked about our successes and misfortunes, reminded of that saying by a certain Kipling:
“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same.”
We continued until 10 p.m., and then we headed to the club. N. had an amazing sound system. As for me, I left the race for gear and the search for the perfect sound since a studio settled its debts with me by giving me its NS. Since discovering the purity of NS, everything else is just frills. But P. and N. are still on the hunt for equipment on the local classifieds known as “Blocket.” For three hours, we danced to the tunes of HVOB. We took an Uber and arrived in front of the club.
A few meters from our destination, I saw groups of old folks leaving the club. And there I exclaimed, “Damn, it’s over.” The others tried to reassure themselves before realizing it was indeed over. The bouncer didn’t even want to look at our 30 euro tickets; he let us in as if we were victorious.
P. used positive thinking to rally the troops. And despite being prisoners of life, we decided not to waste our night out. Two Argentine girls approached N. One of them pulled the “My friend has a crush on you” move. It felt like we were back in high school, and even though N. was deeply in love and faithful, he engaged in a conversation. Then, out of the shadows, S, N.’s girlfriend, appeared with a blonde friend. We couldn’t believe it. She set N. straight, and he hurried back to his table, getting a scolding like a kid who had picked a fight at school.
P. is sincere, and sometimes it gets him into trouble. S. is completely drunk. So, P. calls out to her and gives an incomprehensible speech about the “Back in The Days” party where “women are not supposed to come.” N. tries to handle the situation with P. Meanwhile, S. is nearly losing consciousness and asks me if N. truly loves her. I assure her that he does and reassure her.
N. leaves with S. to accompany her back home and come back. We wait for N. at Time Bar in Stockholm, a refuge for night owls, one of the few clubs in Stockholm that closes at 3 a.m. We wait until N. arrives from Gamalstan.
I barely have time to win 600 kr at Blackjack when N., overcome with sudden emotion, wants to introduce us to his father who is in the neighborhood. We go there! But he has already left. N.’s younger brother invites us to his place. He’s 20 years old. We have a typical 20-year-old guys’ night in his studio. At 3 a.m., A. calls me, reminding me of my marital duty. I have to leave. Before leaving, N. calls me and asks for the cash I won at Blackjack. The Uber is already waiting. N. rushes toward me, and I hand him the money before getting into the Uber. The driver gives me a nod, thinking I’m some kind of cocaine dealer.