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“It’s Friday night, and the mood is right. Gonna have some fun, show you how it’s done, TGIF..”

September 21, 2009

5131Friday night is so easily a let down. We set ourselves up for disappointment the minute we begin thinking of Friday as the sweetest day of the week.

I mean, think about it. We gave the awesomeness that is Friday night it’s own acronym! TGIF! It’s THAT awesome. The whole weekend stretches out ahead, full of possibility. The feeling that tonight, this night, is what we’ve waited for for 7 days? It’s like the Christmas of the week. It’s too much pressure.

For me at least, the excitement of Friday nights probably peaked with ABC’s TGIF lineup. Who of my generation didn’t love to curl up on the couch to watch Family Matters, Boy Meets World and before that, Full House?

Ah, the good ‘ol days.

Anyway, last Friday Hubby calls home from work and asks if I’d like to go to an art opening showcasing a friends work. I love events like this. Free wine and an excuse to dress up a little bit and get out of the house? On a Friday? I’m all for it.

The show was good. He’s an incredible artist. If I could afford his pieces I’d probably do more than mill about and drink his wine. All in all, a good Friday night activity. But, you can only hang about an exhibit for so long, and the night was young.

We made the quick decision to go for drinks at a restaurant/bar downtown – a burgeoning hot spot that caters to the young working professionals. We walked in laughing about how old we feel, no longer favoring the loud dance club we once flocked to each Friday for cheap cocktails – after consuming a good quantity at home. It’s cheaper to get drunk at home.

One foot in the doorway we were greeted by a loud shout of excitement and I was swooped up into a massive hug by one of Hubby’s long-time friends.

Since moving to the Bahamas I have become acquainted with a number of Hubby’s friends, and have been welcomed in by all of them as a friend, and not just the wife (or girlfriend at the time). This particular friend is one of my favorites. Always the life of the party, always a riot, and personable beyond belief. He knows EVERYONE. Most love him, and those who don’t probably can’t stand him. He’s too much of a character to warrant any fence-sitting on the issue.

Our quiet Friday night plans were over the minute we saw Mr. Party. He was with another friend of ours, we’ll call her Flirty, and a Fabulously Flamboyant Gay Bahamian. Those last four words don’t often come together here. In a country where church and state are not, and may never be separate, homophobia is rampant. Coupled with the old-fashioned mentality that “it’s not what you know, but who you know”, most gay men choose to never come out, rather than risk their careers, friendships and even lives.

This man, FFGB, has been working for many years in the UK and has been fortunate enough to do well in both career and life, and his self-assuredness was present in every move. He drinks only champagne and strawberries, drives a jaguar (his baby), has “a FABULOUS Doctor” on speed dial – in case one is ever need of a quality plastic surgeon, and can make “anyone sophisticated and classy” (in fact, that’s essentially his job).

The minute he told me that I looked like a “daytime soap star” and had “fabulous breasts”, he had solidified my adoration.

As the night progressed, and the beer flowed (along with the champagne and strawberries), Flirty managed to attract (or perhaps seduce and bewitch is more accurate) a couple of British Expat bankers, already known by Mr. Party despite the fact that they had just arrived in the Bahamas in the last few days. Soon a plan was hatched to go to “another location”. Most of us were pretty drunk and feeling sociable, so we didn’t really bother with the details. New spot? All in!

We pull up to park in a downtown road. A road which should probably be deserted at this time of night – but only if you think about it would you notice that the many parked cars don’t quite look like they belong.

The next steps (spill from car, stumble down road, arrive at random hedge) were uneventful. But then Mr. Party pushes his way through the random hedge and disappears.

At this point my mind snaps into a little more focus. Why are we at a hedge? And is that music behind the hedge?

We push through, one by one, and I’m greeted by something I have never experienced before. Like walking through the door to the Secret Garden, I’ve been transplanted into a hidden space. A stone path, lit with tiki lights, ascends to an elegant set of rooms, dimly lit, expensively appointed, and filled with stylishly dressed people.

It was, it turns out, an underground club. Although it wasn’t explicitly said, it was, in all likelihood, an underground gay club. In a society where the lifestyle is publicly shunned, it is privately thriving. It was like walking into an exclusive club of the 1950’s and knowing that the people there did not know who you were, nor would they acknowledge any association outside those walls ( hedges).

Hidden in plain view. Not a new concept, but shockingly still necessary. It’s heartbreaking that such a place NEED exist in this day and age, but…

The feeling of exclusivity, being “in the know”…. THAT was delicious. TGIF indeed ;)

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