the great Juan Pita (part II)



Continued from previous post (click here). On the street saturated with winners and losers that hand in hand and feet by feet were grasping onto last hours of the night, Juan Pita was marching on like a commander amongst the defeated enemy army and I was following him like Herdotus the historian. In front of the alley, there were guiding strips like airports to the front desk and employees were checking IDs and collecting admission fees and a shaved headed burly dude wearing ear piece would grant permission to enter. They have managed to give drinking overpriced alcohol in a basement such glamour that it felt like you were entering the presidential palace of sorts which many in line seemed to have believe so. Juan Pita the pastry chef shoved his way to the front and reached the security dude. After a hand shake he let us in. Once we reached bottom of the stairs, the restroom line and deafening sound of industrial beats reminded me once again of why I stopped coming to places like this years ago. By the bar, Juan Pita fist bumped the bartender and got two free shots for us. He then began flirting with two girls next to us with such enthusiasm that as if spraying pesticide on them, they fled for their life. In the midst of Dj noise I asked him where his friends are. He yelled: Let’s go to them! From between bodies that were wet and possessed and vibrating to the dead frequencies of industrial boom boom, we found our way to the Dj booth. Juan and security guy greeted each other with such warmth and he did the same with the Dj. I said agin: Where are you friends buddy? He boasted: Everyone knows me here you see? My friends are around! He shoved himself next to a black girl who was dancing alone and I sat in a corner and watched. A minute later the girl made him understand that he has no chance and dissed Juan. I got distracted by two over weight girls that dropped next to me and it seemed that alcohol had done its job on them. A second later, I lost Juan from sight. I searched for him all over the vast basement. He seemed to have disappeared. I went by the Dj booth and asked the security guy if he knew where Juan Pita was. He said: Who’s Juan Pita? I said: Your buddy. Tonight is his birthday. You guys were hanging out for a bit. He said: everybody hangs out with me here and none of them is my friend. Get away now. I searched face after face and asked others who had greeted Juan about him. No one knew him. It seemed like the lying pastry chef was swallowed by the basement. On my way back to the cab, I saw the front security guy and hesitated asking him too but didn’t. Oh my way to the hotel, I wrote on my dusty brain: In the turf of lonely men in amnesiac basements, claiming happiness may be their only friend left. #traveljournal

Chicago – Fall 2014

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