Last night I went “clubbing” for the first time in my life. Sure, I’d been to bars that play loud music before, and places with a dancefloor, and places where you can’t hear your friends when you try to talk to them. But I’d always tried to avoid places that are those things so relentlessly as to be called a club.

3000Â¥ at “Club Pure Osaka”: will get a guy a plastic cup that entitles you to all the mixed spirits you can drink. Girls get the same for 2000Â¥. The rule is that if you don’t have an empty plastic cup, you can’t get the drinks you paid for, so you have to carry it with you everwhere you go. Most people dance with a cup in their hand, and going to the bathroom means setting it down on a free surface. I actually saw a guy drinking out of his cup while taking a piss, which was a great image of the “absurd”:, and the instigator of a bleakly humorous moment of existential dread.

So, I drank, and I danced, and I watched poledancing Japanese girls, exchanged a few brief words with my friend Erika and a few people I hadn’t met before. I didn’t try to pick anyone up, because Japanese girls don’t interest me, and moreover because I don’t know how to act in those situations. The loud music, drowning out conversation, seems calculated to reduce the crowd to as close to mere animality as it can. The courtship rituals, the display of bodies and movement, become like those of birds. And I don’t like it much. I like being a human. It’s where my advantages are, in my intellect, in my speech, in my knowledge and my accomplishments. Those, too, are the things in others that most easily give me pleasure in their company, and the things that solidify my attraction to a woman.

Dancing is fun. Drinking seems fun, but is tiresome to recover from (and I ought to steer clear of situations with unlimited amounts of alcohol). But the idea and the fact of a room that strips away the human in us displeases me, much as it may be, for many, a welcome temporary escape from the burdens of being sentient.

Author: Ben Hourigan

Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.