Clubland is the last of ten short stories published as a collection by writer and filmmaker Christopher J. Aran in his book entitled, Awake While Dreaming.
At a nightclub where the young can’t wait to be older, they meet a woman who wants to be young again.
Clubland. No sign. No advertising. A dirty little red light above a dirty little door and a Bouncer keeping watch. From across the street you wouldn’t know what this place was. Gateway to a four floor building with a basement just under the bridge. The place was dark and smelled like week old rotting trash. By 10 pm the line snaked around the block with people waiting to get in. 16 year olds running from their parents looking for a night to party. 20 year olds looking to prey on the 16 year olds. Black lipstick. Purple hair. Torn fishnets. Lots of metal in the face. In the chest. In wherever they could stick it to have a good kind of pain. Some looked like they didn’t fit the crowd. Clean cut and Khaki’s. Square frame glasses. Some kid was wearing the burgundy corduroy pants. Didn’t matter. Something they all had in common. They were all young. One by one they pull out their fake ID’s. The bouncer knows better. He pushes them in anyway. He knows the deal. He’s not paid to keep the kids out. He’s paid to keep adults out. Turn the cops away. Anyone who’s a little too curious.
Inside the 17 year old girl with the black, purple, pink hair, she pays a $20 dollar cover. Under the twenty is a little extra that comes with an eye bat. A lip lick. The unspoken words of lets fuck. The chick behind the desk rubs her clit and hands over a ticket with a pill taped underneath. They’ll see each other in the bathroom later to finish this conversation. The strobes flash images of underage sex. Kids rubbing on each other. Tongue’s crossing necks everywhere. They came here to get high. They came here to get away. They came here for each other. 20 years old. Asian wearing an air filter mask like he’s at the airport during the bird flu epidemic. His yellow stained, sweat soaked tank shirt hangs from the skin that hangs from his bones. The youngest horror show you’ll see tonight. He doesn’t need a dancing partner. The shit he’s on, he believes the room is dancing with him. A room of tweaking horny youth. Everyone of them his partner.
Outside, a woman reaches the front of the line. She rocks a black hood and hides her eyes. Hides her hair. Anything that would give the truth away. The Bouncer stops her. He asks for ID. She shows him a fake.. This one says 17. Law says you have to be 21. He lays down the facts waiting for another one. So she pulls another ID apologizing. Saying that was her old one. Same photo, different age. The Bouncer asks her to pull the hood back so he can take a better look. Her hair is salt and pepper. Her eyes have crows feet. She wanted to be the Milf at the club she tells him, so her friend put on some FX make up. He doesn’t buy the story. So she gets closer to take the ID back. She grabs his dick and touches his chest. The bouncer gets high on her touch. The line of kids cheers. The guys all want a piece. She sucks his earlobe and the bouncer falls into his little seat. A toothpick supporting the boulder of his frame. His eyes are looking off somewhere else. Nowhere near this line, this club. Nowhere near reality. She walks in blows a little kiss then locks the door.
Salt and pepper glides towards the counter. She pulls a fifty. The girl leans over to take it. Salt and pepper pulls it back closer to her own face. Baiting. With a smile the girl pulls her moist hand from out of her panties and takes the bait. She leans in. Closer. Closer. Salt and pepper can smell the girls fingers. She knows how to close the deal. She sucks on them to finish the baiting. The girl’s hooked. She practically orgasms on the spot. Then mouths connect, tongues collide. Salt and pepper slips the $50 in her shirt with one hand while the other grips the back of the girls neck. The girl moans as salt and pepper drinks her in. Then she lets go. The girl seems lost. Staring into space. Looking older. Tired. Salt and pepper walks behind the counter and finds the girls purse. She digs through it and finds a mirror. She pulls it out and examines her face. The crows feet around her eyes are disappearing. She looks at the young girl slumped behind the counter. Her eyes are wrinkling. She leans in to whisper.
“Thank you lovely. You were delicious.” She pulls her face in for one more kiss …