LETS GO HARDER!

by

He shouted in my ear.

I smiled and danced away.

Twirled away, closed my eyes and watched the music smash against my eyelids.

The gentleman, it was his birthday, then approached my darling friend Bonne, “let’s go harder!”

“Let’s just pace ourselves,” said Bonne and smiled.

Bahahahahaha.

This from a lady who had a bowl of chicken soup before the dance-a-thon and the previous response not a response from the little old lady with bad knees who had a cup of herbal tea at a cafe before meeting up with my friend to go to the End Up.

Oh yes, that bastion of drugs, house music, and late night parties all San Franciscan.

The End Up serving San Francisco’s after hour scene since 1973.

The End Up

The End Up

Where I have ended up frequently in the past, but not so much in the last few years.

The idea to go was Bonne’s a few weeks back she texted me and another lady friend who had cut a rug, literally, at a house party back in December and we had all vowed that we would find time to do this thing called dancing once again.

And we did.

I still cannot believe that we did.

We got there at 9p.m.

“You ladies are the first ones here.”

The bouncer said checking out ids and bags, no drugs here sir, promise.

Not even any caffeine.

Well, not for me anyway, my friend had gone over to the Shell Station across the street and scored a Red Bull.

Oh, back in the day.

I have bought cigarettes there, gum, Red Bull, and most importantly, sunglasses.

Yup.

Nothing better than rolling, literally and figuratively out of the End Up into the bright morning sun.

Our birthday friend was sporting his sunglasses inside.

At 10 o’clock at night.

I had almost talked myself out of going out tonight.

But I didn’t want to disappoint my friend and in an effort to get out and do things, I had said to a number of folks, that yes, I will take your suggestion and have some fun.

I had fun today.

I did.

I slept until 9:30 a.m.

That is fun and quite unusual for me.

I took the morning easy, mellow, slow.

Wrote.

Ate breakfast.

Meditated.

Then took a bike ride along the ocean.

When I came back for lunch the back yard was calling my name, so I ate lunch al fresco, ensconced in an Adirondack chair facing into the sun and read my book.

Then I drank some tea and sat outside for almost an hour reading.

When I finished my book I did the unthinkable.

I had a nap.

Craziness!

I napped on a Sunday.

I am surprised the word did not come crashing to an end.

After the luxurious 45 minutes of snoozing I had in the middle of the afternoon, I rode my bicycle up to Cole Valley and dealt with my playa bike that has been needing attention since, well, since I was at Burning Man in, uh, September.

I got it over to American Cyclery and the owner happily took her in.

He even tagged it for his own private project.

I was actually quite flattered.

It was sweet.

I had a bit of time on my hands and ducked into Free Gold Watch.

Pinball!

Free Gold Watch

Free Gold Watch

The Machine

Bride of Pin Bot

Play Boy

Play Boy Pinball

I have walked past Free Gold Watch a number of times on Waller Street, but never actually went in.

I had been under the impression that they were just a t-shirt printing shop, not really an arcade.  But arcade they are.

They even had a Ms. Pacman.

I played The Machine for a while, getting back into my groove from so long ago when I used to play pinball down at Challenges on State Street in Madison.

I dated a manager there and knew loads of the guys running the place.

In fact, I believe I dated two guys that used to work there.

Yeah, I just admitted that I dated arcade dorks.

Fuck off.

They were both cute though, in their little brown polyester pants and striped referee shirts.

Sigh.

Oh, memories.

The Ms. Pacman cracked me up too, I noticed as I was dropping a quarter into the slot, the sticker that says, “she swallows!”

Holy crow, batman, what the hell.

I have never seen that before, but it was original signage on the game.

Ha.

She swallows indeed.

I spent about an hour playing games then headed off to Church and Market for my commitment, after that, a cup of tea at Church Street Cafe.

Because, yeah, that’s what I do before going out dancing, I have some herbal tea.

Bonne laughed at me when she came to the cafe and saw me all curled up in a big leather chair with my tea and the newspaper.

“You look so cozy.”

Indeed, I felt cozy and I did not feel much like getting up, but I did, I did and I rallied and we went.

She caught a cab and I rode my trusty steed down to 6th and Harrison.

I thought it would be amusing to take some shots of my bike while I was there.

The Whip

The whip

I was given lighting instruction by a man with a very large parrot on his shoulder who was bouncing along to the music seeping through the door and smoking a cigarette at the curb.

We had a fun little chat and then it was time to go in.

The music was great, but much to both our chagrin, the coat check was closed down for the night.

Fortunately it was not as busy as either one of us had suspected it would be and we were able to keep an eye on our things.

Feck.

I had my messenger bag with me, I was not about to let that out of my sight.

All our things stayed on the dance floor, occasionally nudged out-of-the-way of the birthday boy or the two Asian couples that were so obviously on E it was adorable to watch.

I mean, at one point the four of them were all in a circle holding hands and swaying to the music.

It was really too cute.

Addled, absolutely, but sweetly so.

Bonne and I also had us a little photo shoot, because, come on, why not?

We’re at the End Up and we are not drinking or going HARD, we are just dancing and smiling and hugging and having an awesome time getting down to some old school House music.

We played tourist at the End Up.

It was hysterical.

Bon Bon

Bon Bon

41 at the End Up

Three Day Weekend Work it Out

Water Fall/End UP

The Famous Water Fall

I remember once meeting a woman who was 40 and she went dancing every weekend at the End Up and it was her life and her exercise and her all.

“Shoot me dead,” I told a friend, “if I am ever 40 and still dancing at the End Up.”

Well, lucky for me, tonight I was 41.

Ha.

Never say never.

And as the morning winds its way into the wee hours just before dawn, I think, I am really lucky to have such a good girlfriend and such an awesome experience.

Really lucky.

And to then hop on my bike and cut through the crisp night air, plunge through pockets of cold magnolia blooms scenting the air in the Upper Haight, to the spice of eucalyptus in the Pan Handle, and the fresh pine evergreens as I flew, really, there was no traffic, down the center of Lincoln Avenue, and turn my steed faithfully home.

Because, yes Virginia.

Fun was officially had.

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