Among the 1 800 goths: or should I say the constant of about 600 of them at my bar alone; a small and narrow face peeked at me curiously. His hair was bushy and the animated way in which he carried himself was a little difficult not to notice.
The smoke machines were heavy, ventilation felt almost non-existent and soon I seemed to have run out of oxygen. Meanwhile; across the main floor our neighboring bartender at ‘The Wizard’s Bar’ had just collapsed, however this wasn’t just due to the heat and shortage of air… In his case, slight intoxication was a contributing factor.
That same hobbit-like person came rushing to my bar,then under it and straight to me.
“Hi! My name’s Tristan! I heard that someone had K.O.’ed and had to make sure that it wasn’t you, but I can see that it might be you very soon, so you’re coming with me to get some air!”
So out I went, dodging the angry screams and violent hand gestures of the 600 obviously grumpy goths who now had one of two choices:
1. Wait for me to return
2. Wait at another bar behind at least 300 other goths.
In the end they seemed to have picked the more sensible option; 1.
That was Zeplin’s the way I remember it. Grand, vibey and never short on clientele. The music always amazing, the company never boring – it was the home that so many of us so desperately needed, but above all Zeplin’s brought Tristan into my life.
My dad was never fond of any of my male friends… And upon discovering that I am not very “straight” he seldom liked any of my female friends either so I found his excitement about Tristan in my life inexplicable, especially since he had piercings, painted his nails black and his means of trabsport was a motorcycle. They used to sit on for hours just chatting away about life and love and ambition, dreams, goals and things I had never dared attempt to speak to my dad about.
A day or two without Tristan around was too long for my dad… At times he would ask me to invite him over and I did… Tristan seemed to be just as attached to him, so when the news came to him that my Dad had left our world… He grieved with me…
A few months passed, his gentle way was difficult to resist. His persistence made him strangely attractive and the way he stole my whole family’s heart was extraordinary. He taught me to ride his motorbike, I taught him to DJ and in this way we were constantly doing things we both loved.
I broke his heart in the end… Being unable to change… Knowing that my lifestyle was never a choice, for if I had the ability to simply wake up and decide to want to be with him the way he wanted to be with me – I would have done. I did attempt to make that choice when I said “yes!” to his proposal… Yes the one where the boy gets down on one knee and asks the 4 words that most of us long to hear…
A few months passed before he could speak to me again after we realized that there are just certain things we couldn’t change. But those months went by rather swiftly and soon we began to tread on a new path of friendship. He soon found Chantal and his happiness was infectious…
Alas… A year and a few months after my dad passed… Tristan did too. In among my tears I smiled a lot, knowing that soon the two boys (my dad and him) will probably be chatting away again just where they had left off.
This post is to him and to my dad and to Zeplin’s… Neither of them exist in this reality anymore, but in my mind they will always be there… The smiling faces… The warm embraces… The grandeur and atmosphere of home… The man who understood my love for Zeplin’s and who fell in love with the personality of the boy I miss so terribly this morning.
I would say I am sorry for the mistakes I made in my life… But considering the joy they brought with them… No…
They were glorious…glorious mistakes.
They were mistakes that now give me hope for the love I know I seek… Unconditional, gentle, innocent.
Perhaps he was it?
But I’ve been visitted in my dreams by him many a time since then and he keeps convincing me otherwise.
So here’s to you Tris!
To you if you are reading this and to the glorious mistakes we’ve yet to make!
My Dad was an awesome man. He was soft and understanding, but when it came to certain things he could be the military style parent. There were many speeches, I remember each of them and they have shaped the person I am today.
Not long ago I was asked to sell myself to someone and I didn’t know how… I had no idea of what my selling points were. The past while I went into hibernation, just to catch a breath and refrain from losing my mind completely – it was during this time that I thought about what it was that actually kept me from being able to step back, look at myself objectively and say, “this is what I am good at…”
I have spent a mere 22 years in the vortex of the living dead. Not presuming to know much more than the average 22-year-old female, my experience has taught me that people don’t really care about other people’s problems unless they are either family or really close friends. This is where this page fits into the scheme of things. As humans we will have our ups, our downs and perhaps our moments of stillness… But at the end of it all; we seek to find the happy ending to every sad story so that we may be able to hold on tightly, with hopefully and extra fill of faith.
I would like to share a story with you today. A story that is personal but worth hearing methinks…
To remove conflict of understanding… I have not always been dating women… And although this story takes place years after my coming out… I am still me… perhaps just a little dusted off and polished…anyhow;
The CBD of Pretoria (SA) was home to the greatest alternative club in Southern Africa. ‘Zeplin’s’ was a two-story building with 8 bars and 5 dance floors all within the genres and sub-genres of the alternative and goth scene. Just before my 18th birthday I was lucky enough to start working there. It was a dream come true. The neon paintings, the grandeur and old architecture, the friendly smiles and almost completely victorian sense of fashion along with the music that spoke in a thousand different ways to my soul – they all contributed to the home that Zeplin’s was and still is as I reminisce…
My Dad walked with me to my first day of work at Zeplin’s so that he could meet the people who would be in charge of me and to decide whether or not he really was going to let me work there . Now keep in mind that not many a parent will smile broadly upon walking in to a double story place filled with extravagant Goths and black walls.
All in all however; being as awesome as he was – my dad looked past the stretchers, piercings and tattoos… He ignored the heavy make-up and the black clothes, he walked me out and said that he believes this will be more than a home for me. I was proud then… I was proud of him and I was proud of me for being from him.
A week later I had moved up from bar-tending the quietest bar in the entire place which at that point was the ‘inferno’ bar to one of the 3 main bars… My first shift on the bar was scheduled for – Halloween 2008…
1 800 Goths later…
… To be continued