Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.

Goth / July 30, 2013

I posted this back in April, to a private thing. At the time, I didn’t want to stir up any real trouble. But I think everyone has sorted themselves out a bit more by now. By way of editor’s notes, Chiaroscuro was a “goth/industrial” club in DC and Spellbound, in their own words, is “Alternative, Darkwave, and Industrial”… a Goth/Industrial nightclub.

Anyway:

At Spellbound this week, I had a regular attendee question me. They came up to me multiple times, and asked why I was there. I wasn’t dressed right, so I obviously wasn’t goth. I shouldn’t be there. So why did I go there?

Surprisingly, my first reaction wasn’t “Dude… you’re getting in the way of my intoxicated white guy dance, and numerous attempts to get shot down by that hot chick!” But aside from pointing out that I obviously had dressed up for a night out, I generally ignored him. What are you supposed to say, to such a ridiculously immature question?

I could argue that I’ve been attending since the night it opened, when I came out in support of a friend’s involvement, and Chiaroscuro before that. I could point out that Spellbound doesn’t bill itself as strictly “goth”. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how important these clubs had/have been to my life.

Events     Going     Stef's 40th Every-Day-Is-Halloween Costume/Masquerade Birthday BashEvents     Going     Stef's 40th Every-Day-Is-Halloween Costume/Masquerade Birthday Bash

People I met in Chiaro turned into some of my best friends. At least one of them was wearing a pink suit at the time, no less. (And years later, as a wife and mom, she is still more of an awesome badass than any chain-draped, boot-wearing, pierced freak I’ve met since.) In fact, probably 95% of the people I’ve met at these clubs have been the sweetest, smartest, most interesting people I know. People who’ve supported me, comforted me, challenged me, protected me, changed me.

When I found out my father was in a hospital about to pass away, I had 16 hours until my flight, so I went to Spellbound. One awesome lady who didn’t even know what was going on in my life sat with me at the back of the bar all night and cheered me up.

Make a man happyNight Out with Friends

More than once when I couldn’t deal with the crap in my own life, I was able to go to Spellbound and stare at the dance floor, listening to music I love… and just zone out for a while. As someone said to me this week… “attain a zen state”.

When I first started drinking, rather late in life, this was a safe place for me to learn. I felt safe, both with the staff and the people around me.

It’s brought me friends. It’s brought me business. It’s brought me lust and love. It’s introduced me to music and lifestyles and art I never would have known otherwise. I’ve been to other types of clubs, bars and events, and awesome as some of them were, they still didn’t match up.

With the help of their teams, Kelowna and Lori Beth created wonderful places to go, that have led me directly and indirectly to a place where I am very happy with my life.

So that’s kind of why I go.

So… drunk guy… you’re saying you go primarily to look like a cool goth?

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