To see me off from Sydney in style Christof and I planned to hit the town hard. We were going to a club on Oxford Street that was famous for pelting out the best dance, trance and house music. The place was heaving with bodies, mostly bare chested muscular bodies. Julia heaven maybe? Sadly not, this was a gay club, although some of the men were so macho you’d never have guessed, while others were, well, as camp as Christmas. There were a large number of small Asian men, sprinkled with a dusting of sparkling drag queens and lots of Aussie hotties. Most were friendly and welcoming.
We hit the floor dancing like crazy, before the sweat and claustrophobia became too much. Christof grabbed my hand and dragged me along to the upper floor. A balcony ran around the top of the main dance area and we had spectacular view of the rhythmic bodies below as laser beams illuminated the club. With more freedom to move, we both let our inhibitions go and I felt the music pulsate through my body.
Christof, as I mentioned, was extremely camp. He strongly denied it, but most people presumed he was gay. The way he moved, the way he talked, I guess he was just very fancy, but what I loved about Christof was that he never tried to change. He was always himself and confident enough not to care what anyone else thought. However this trait meant he was pursued by an army of admirers throughout the night. Once they realised he was straight most turned and walked away. Others came up to me, to congratulate me on my catch or to tell me to send this “Gorgeous piece of arse” their way if I ever got bored.
But he wasn’t the only one getting attention. I jumped as two hairy arms wrapped around my waist. Grasping hold of me, my assailant spun me around. It happened so fast I can’t even tell you what he looked like, but he first took a glimpse of my face, then at my full and obviously real breasts, made a loud ‘humph’ noise and disappeared into the throng. He had obviously mistaken me for a transvestite. With my tight dress and long hair I guess it was an easy error to make, but most of the men in stilettos had much better legs than I did.
During the night several drag shows took place on a stage in the centre of the dance floor. A perfectly manicured man in a gold leotard mimed along to music while performing moves that would put Britney Spears to shame. The drag queens did seem to have the most attitude, occasionally taking the female persona too far, incorporating a vast amount of bitchiness. While accompanying Christof for a cigarette, I apologised as I squeezed past a body clad in a tight pink mini dress.
‘What’s wrong honey, God give you the wrong thingy between your legs, huh?’ he/ she said sarcastically as I moved away.
I was tempted to point out the irony of her comment, but figuring it would probably result in an uneven cat fight, I kept my mouth shut. I have always loved being around the gay community but as within most human circles there is always one who has to spoil it for the rest.
I wasn’t the only female in the club; there were a few of us about, so I didn’t feel totally out of place. As for straight men, well it was hard to tell. Generally the crowd were fantastically open, friendly and fabulous. The vibe was exhilarating. However we did encounter one more bout of nastiness. Christof and I hadn’t had much physical contact the whole evening, too distracted by all the dancing, but suddenly he grabbed me, pulled me tight and kissed me. Our romantic moment was rudely interrupted by the very same drag queen.
‘You two are disgusting, people like you should be barred. Get the fuck out.’
Was she stalking us? Again not wanting to aggravate we moved off into the crowd ignoring her advice. I wasn’t going to let an ego in a dress ruin my night. What a waste. She looked stunning in her glittering attire and glamorous make-up but with a mouth like that it was all undone in an instant.
I danced my heart out watching Christof work his way through the crowd of admirers when a very attractive guy started to dance with me. I didn’t mind having fun and I knew Christof didn’t care, but this guy was getting a bit full on. Attempting to teach me some moves he began grinding and writhing his half naked perfect torso against me. I was beginning to hope this wasn’t some slime ball using the ‘I’m gay’ card as an attempt to get into my knickers. I played along for a while eventually freeing myself for some air. As I did so my dance instructor turned around and started tonguing a little Asian man behind us. Maybe the Drag Queen wasn’t the only one whose ego had gotten too big. Had I been single and he had been straight I’d have been overwhelmed by the sexualness of a moment like that. Oh well I thought as I turned to watch Christof jumping around like a fairy, at least my man was sweet and lovable.
The club was open until 9am, but after hours on the dance floor I needed a break. This was the one bar I had found in Sydney which didn’t have a 2am lock out, so we decided to go for a walk. As we headed to the exit I noticed that my knee hurt. It felt bruised and swollen. I was fairly intoxicated so I brushed the worries aside. I’d probably just knocked it on something. We burst out onto the street and I took a deep breath of fresh, non-sweat filled air. Hand in hand we took a stroll around the block, gossiping about the events of the night so far. We both agreed the club was amazing, the music up lifting and the people entertaining. It certainly beat watching backpackers OD on goon.
Eventually returning we were headed back down the red carpet, when the doorman stopped me. ‘You can’t come in wearing thongs.’
Now remember we are on Aussie lingo, he was talking about my flip flops not checking my underwear. If that had been the case then at least half the club would have been refused entry. When we arrived the first time I had started up a bit of banter with the security guy and we’d shared a few laughs. He’d never made an issue of my foot wear and obviously didn’t remember me.
‘Behave yourself young man or I’m going to shove your metal detector in a very naughty place,’ I retorted turning around.
Unfortunately it turned out to be a different guy and this new one wasn’t looking too happy. Within seconds we were trudging back to the hostel for a change of footwear.
It was a good twenty minute walk back to The Cross and my knee was really starting to hurt. I didn’t want to kill the night so I kept quiet and decided it was nothing a few more vodkas wouldn’t cure. At the hostel we took ten minutes to enjoy a cup of goon with the Irish, before returning for a few more hours of partying.
By 7am I couldn’t take any more. The club had emptied out and those who were left were either too ugly or too wasted to pick up. The place looked a mess, bodies slumped in chairs, against the bar, in the toilets and only a few hard-core dancers were left on the floor. It was time to call it a night, or a day as the case now was.
Not ready for bed, we decided to wind down and popped around the corner for a nice cup of tea. Sitting watching the world wake up reminded me of my days working in the Spanish Islands, finishing my bar shifts just as everyone else was heading off to the office. I was no stranger to all-nighters. The tea went down a treat, although how far it went towards counteracting all the alcohol I’m not really sure.
Feeling slightly refreshed we set off for The Cross. I was becoming more and more concerned about the pain in my knee and decided that I should get a second opinion. ‘Christof, does my knee look weird to you?’
He looked down and his eyes widened. His face told me everything I needed to know. My knee was now at least double its normal size. There was something seriously wrong. I took a deep breath and tried to calm the rising panic. It was day light; I was in a mini dress and stupidly high heels. I was also extremely drunk. There was no way I wanted to see a doctor right now.
I agreed to hobble off to the Kings Cross chemist. They wouldn’t batter an eyelid, our state was relatively normal in a place that saw overdoses on a regular basis. With Christof’s help I made it along Darlinghurst road and into the brightly lit shop. The man behind the counter touched my knee and it made a squeaky sound. I felt sick. It seemed my knee was inflamed and filled with fluid. He prescribed tablets which I would have to take with food. Armed with my drugs we set off towards another cafe with the intention of getting something to eat. However as I stared at the menu I began to realise that mixing drugs with alcohol might not be the best idea. I would leave the pills until I had slept off the booze.
It had turned into a glorious day and the sun was shining. Christof suggested getting changed and spending the day sleeping in the park. Why not? I thought. Well in hindsight I would have to say, because my knee was too painful to walk on, we would probably get sunburned and it would be too hot to sleep anyway. But drunken Julia knows no limits. The park Christof assured me was just around the corner. Ten corners and a whole lot of pain later we were finally there.
Most parks have play grounds, but Sydney being a fitness fanatic city, has outside gyms. Muscular men were doing pull ups on metal bars and toned woman performed so many sit ups that it made my stomach hurt just watching. A new mother jogged past pushing a pram and walking her dog. Now that’s what I call multi-tasking. The lot of them made me feel ill. I realised it was time to call it a day and after less than an hour in the park I was hopping back up the hill and safely into bed.