I had recently discovered the musician Peaches and all I wanted to do with my life was dance in a club to ‘Fuck the Pain Away.'
I wasn’t yet 18 but I yearned for the dance floor. I’d look through the club sections of the local Philadelphia papers. There were little symbols next to each club that when you went to the legend showed you the genre of music that would be played. I’d find all the ones with the little electronic music symbol, probably a swirl or a lollipop, and I’d stare. I knew I was years from legally entering these places but I thought if I stared hard enough I’d be blessed with a life full of dancing in clubs as soon as I turned 21. I admit, I loved dancing in the high school musicals and 'Uga Wug’ will go down in history as one of the best times I’ve ever had dancing.* But I needed more!
I promised myself as soon as I could, I would begin a life of sleepless nights coming home covered in sweat. To help pass the time and years, I even came up with my own Peaches-esque group that I named mAL (That’s bad in French!). My hit single, which was never released, recorded or ever anything more than a thought in my head was 'Where are my panties?’ I was ready.
But theeeeeen comedy happened (ugh, right?). And I spent more nights coming home covered in sweaty handshakes than the grime of a dance floor. I did dance a little. There were some memorable nights in Philly dancing to Spank Rock, the Beyonce/Britney Spears/Gaga mash-ups at Sisters were a hoot and hey, even the nights in Jersey dancing to the oldies with the oldies at The Coastline hold a special place in my heart. But the thirst high school Carolyn had has never been fully quenched, even at the age of 29.
And then, one fine Facebook day, my friend Miz Stefani put a message up asking who wanted to join her for a Daybreaker. I clicked: 'A morning movement that will start your day off like anything else.’ Daybreakers are dance parties that take place from 7am-9am. No booze. No drugs. Coffee and snacks included. Just dancing.
I said yes.
We got to Verboten in Williamsburg and there was a line. A line to a club at 6:59 in the morning. Not only that but you could hear bass. Hearing bass pumping before hearing the sound of your computer start up is a very odd feeling. But it all made sense once we got inside.
It was dark, the place was packed and the dj was providing life to the waking dancers. I couldn’t stop giggling and feeling like I was a little kid that got away with doing something bad, I mean, mal. A lot of people were on their phones taking pictures. 'Look at what we’re doing at 7 in the morning!’ It was distracting trying to dance with a bunch of people taking selfies but I soon forgave them when I took one of my own.
As the minutes passed, things went from weird to freaking great. I was covered in sweat. Partly because I was severely overdressed. Mostly because I was finally dancing my ass off. This was something I could get used to.
And I have gotten used to it. I can’t stop raving about morning raves. No one is there to do anything but dance. When someone bumps into you, it’s not because they’re drunk, it’s because the horn players got in the way. When you go to the bar, you’re not waiting for a bartender to serve you an overpriced drink, you’re grabbing a Kind bar or chocolate, coconut water. I don’t care if I’m being marketed to while I dance, look at these treats!
Plus, after a handful of morning raves, I think I finally got the correct wardrobe down. Note, denim jacket is a no, neon is a yes.
Listen, I still love dancing at normal hours of the night, I’m not a monster. But now, when I find myself at one of these clubs, whiskey won’t have as much work to do to get me on the dance floor.
You know what the craziest part of all of it is? As soon as I start living the Peaches-inspired life I always wanted and writing about it, guess who comes into my life? Peaches:
Peaches, who appeared at WORD Bookstore promoting What Else is in the Teaches of Peaces, talked about feminism, comedy, music, photography, vaginoplasty, even jizz. But the thing she said which resonated most with me had to be:
“Don’t be afraid of your age. We’re all getting older and as a universe we’re living longer, you know, so can’t stop, don’t stop and don’t feel like you’re too old to do something.”
I won’t, Peaces.
*It’s from Peter Pan, you dummies.