Lime seems to know where the studio is. I try to follow her at a cool distance. But she is too slow and I keep having to coast to fall back behind her. Am I being creepy by skating behind her? I don't want her to think I'm watching her, but if I go at my normal pace, I will be constantly looking back and slowing down to see where she goes. I feel a little weird after that dinner. We used to go out for dinner together all the time but we never went to a place like that. That is the kind of place that couples go after they've already been together a while and they want to feel like they still love each other. Does Lime want me to feel like we still love each other? Did we ever really love each other? I loved her but did she ever really love me? I decide to try to stay in step with her but she comes to a sudden stop. The warehouse looks incredibly old. No lights are coming from it, but there is a faint beat emanating from inside that is unmistakable.
We jog up the steps on our toes and try to look through the barred window on the door. I can't see anything. I pull my goggles down onto my eyes and take another look.
There are a few people standing around inside. I try the door handle and it feels locked. Lime bangs her huge hand on the door. It rattles and everyone in the hallway turns to look. Someone with a thick baby blue coat lined in fluffy fur ambles over to the door and swings it open at us.
"Yeah? What you want?" They ask, putting a cigarette in their mouth and looking down to light it. Is there a password?
"Yeah we are here for the P.L.U.R?" Lime asks.
"The plur?" they laugh.
"It's an acronym. It's pronounced like an acronym." Lime spits, crossing her arms.
"Oh yeah, it's an acronym alright but it's pronounced "Plur." If you actually bothered to watch any footage from the time, instead of just listening to bootlegs and trying to replicate pretty pictures from revival blogs, you might have heard it. People said it a lot, actually."
"Look, asshole. Lots of ravers pronounced each letter. All acronyms were pronounced by letter until 2004- okay? Don’t try to give me that "it was pronounced lowlcat" bullshit because for the first several years of web 1.0 everyone was saying L.O.L. Are you going to let us into this party, or not?" Lime looks like she is going to twist their nose off. He laughs and steps aside. Lime barged through the door first, grabbing my hand and pulling me through the room. "SO MUCH FOR UNITY!" She calls back at them over her shoulder.
There is a stairwell leading up and down. Lime leads upstairs first. There is one huge room that stretches across the building with huge pillars holding it up. There is a stage on one end with a DJ spinning some old house music. It feels a little gloomy. Small bubbles of people litter the floor, and a few are already gathering by the pillars and sitting down. There are a couple individuals already dancing and flinging lights and glow bars at a casual speed.
"We got here way too early." Lime sighs. "Can we go hide in the bathroom for a couple hours? It's downright embarrassing out here."
"Let's walk around and see if we see anyone we know first." I suggest. Lime groans.
"That's like, exactly what I want to avoid."
A group surrounding a pillar are all wearing giant pants. One is wearing a t-shirt that says DANCE in thick, round lettering and holding what appears to be a pink and yellow laser pistol They see me looking at it and point it at me. From the barrel floats a delicate stream of transparent bubbles. Another group are chatting despite the loud music and fixing a LED glove. "Nice goggles" one of them tells me. I forgot that I am still wearing them. I smile and lift them onto my head. The room is flashing from an old fashioned strobe light and green lasers are flying all over the ceiling. The deeper we move into the lights, the more difficult it is to see everyone, making it feel a lot more active. We pass by each group of ravers and they all look over to us and I give them all a polite nod. No one seems to be my pick up. Two people standing against a wall are covered in stripes of reflective tape. A party like this could get really busy and I hope I find them before it gets too crowded.
"These are clearly all babies." Lime complains.
"Well you haven't been to a party in how long?" I ask her.
"It's only been like 6 months!" She's using her defensive lying voice. It’s probably been a year. And the years go by fast in raver time. Since there is always a new supply of young people joining the scene and older people getting bored with it, it feels like our days as young and cute were always numbered. And I think in the end, that made it hard for Lime to enjoy coming to parties. She spent 3 years developing this persona but night-life fame is fleeting and I can't really blame her for wanting to flee first.
"I should tell you, I'm doing a pick up here tonight." I confess.
"Yeah, I figured." She says. "Should we check out downstairs?" She offers. We head down the stairs and squeeze around two people exchanging tiny plastic boxes.
"You'll forget all about death by the 3 minute mark, I'm telling you." One of them whispers to the other as we walk by. We turn down the stairwell, but their voice still echoes down. "It saved my life, man. Like, artistically speaking. I would have still been remixing old Kali tracks if it weren't for this."
The basement is a series of smaller rooms. Each has another Dj spinning a different genre. The first is just as populated as upstairs but since the space is more confined, it feels way more active. We move through, looking for someone who might be looking for us. We get a lot of returned stares but no one approaches. The next room is very dark and is lined with old couches. We stand in the middle.
"I used to love doing pick ups at parties" Lime coos.
"I hate it." I admit. "Honestly I'm really glad you are with me tonight. Trying to do this alone is such a pain. People think I'm here to meet people and it gets really exhausting. Also the last thing I need when I'm looking for a client is to look like I'm just out having fun."
"But it is fun! All these people wanting to talk to you and if they are creepy, you can always be like, sorry I'm actually looking for someone from work!" I mean yeah, that would be reasonable but I've only managed to get that "I'm sorry, I'm working." statement out once and when I did, they just acted like it was an invitation to ask about my job.