The weather forecast in my phone tells me that it’s going to rain. It serves its purpose well because it’s pretty accurate. It’s 10PM and I had just taken a bath. I wear two loose sleeveless shirts (the Dim Mak as outer), cardigan, hooded jacket and bright blue leggings to go with my kicks. I get an umbrella. I go to the station. It’s drizzling and it’s freaking cold. My knees are jiggling. Train comes and warmth at last.
Shibuya station. I see a kid with blue hair. I see a kid with a python toy around his neck like a scarf. I see kids that seem like they just came out of Rick Owens’ look book. After a couple of wrong turns, I find my way out. I flicked a cigarette at the smoking area. From where I stand I can see the great Shibuya crossing with thinly scattered pedestrians and their plastic umbrellas. The city’s lights give back blurry, glittery mirror images on the wet ground adding drama to the scene.
I had drawn a map and it’s in my pocket. I have the landmarks in my head so I walk to where they are. A Japanese guy stops me. The words ‘massage’ and ‘sex’ were the only ones I grabbed from his sentence because everything else was in Japanese. I give him a ‘no’ and a hand gesture to go with it.
I stop at 109 where I see a lot of people smoking and waiting for the rain to stop. The rain is confusing. It’s very light one minute that you can do without an umbrella and it’s a little harsh with hard blows that you’re going to be soaked the next minute. I smoke. I check the map.
I walk past love hotel after love hotel. I was hoping to see Club Asia but there were only love hotels and izekaya. I go up and down the Labyrinth. Wrong lefts and wrong rights. I check the map. It’s useless right now. No foreigners to maybe ask and no cool local kids to follow. And then finally there are lights. I’m pretty sure they aren’t from love hotels. There are kids and gaijin (foreigners) going towards it. Someone pops out from behind asking if I know where Womb is. He’s from Australia. He says he had been to Womb many times but still keeps getting lost. We’re in front of Club Asia. We both know we’re near. He asks a gaijin and finally gives us directions. A group from San Francisco joins us.
Ah, at last. Just like a block away from where the clubs are bright and lively we reach Womb sitting quietly on this lightless street. The guard opens the door. The silence of the outside breaks immediately. There’s a thick line soundtracked by loud chatters of different languages. Everyone is engulfed in nicotine smoke. I see the sign that says “no drugs (legal/illegal), no photos, no carrying of weapons.” It pains me to see the “no photo” sign. I show my passport and give the Y4000 entrance fee. A girl rushes towards me. She’s covering the event and she wants a photo. After a couple of shots, the photographer tells me to smile. Uhmmkay. The girl asks for my name, etc. She finds out I live in the Philippines and says that she lived there for a while.
I go down the stairs and see a fairly empty room that looks like a dungeon. I go back up and see Steve Aoki signing autographs. I say hi and that I’ll see him in Manila next month. He gives me a look and utters that he recognizes me. Sure, haha! He likes my shirt and says it’s vintage, ngek! I hear a girl telling him to sign her bra.
I walk past the lockers and up the stairs. This is it. I’m collecting all kinds of emotions I’ve come to know all my life. I feel them rushing to my head, to my fingertips, to my dancing bones. I enter the room and I’m just @#$%&*(! The smile on my face almost cuts it in two. This is a dream. I’ve visualized this all my life and it finally materializes. I’m in fucking Womb! What else is there to say…
My heart connects itself to the music and pumps in sync with the bass. I look for Ivan’s face in the crowd. A whispery tear fell from my eye. I ask him to just dance with me.
Dance-hungry people are quickly filling the dancefloor. I look up and see the famous mirror ball, said to be the biggest in Asia. A guy is dancing like Madonna in Ray of Light. Four white guys in polo shirts, one with standing collar, dance lazily and excitedly at the same time. Two black girls just pushed me like I was an empty bottle of beer. I see someone in his vegetable state sitting in a corner. I see two other floors up, the highest displaying silhouettes of the VIP’s.
Steve starts to turn the place upside down. The floor becomes a big ocean of people throwing their hands in the air. I’m in the middle of it. The incessant pushing of the growing moshpit acts like a big wave that never crashes. The music is the wind and Steve is god. He keeps giving and we take everything. We move our joints. We scream. We throw our fists in the air. The rock concert vibe that is truly Aoki lifts us up five heavens higher. And I’m in the middle of every-fucking-thing.
As the night deepens, the people get crazier. And drunk, of course. I witnessed two guys and one girl fall on the floor. When the other one fell, people helped him up and then gave him another drink. I’m sweating. I had removed my jacket and tied it around my waist. I rest and smoke at one of the ledges near the dancefloor entrance. An Asian girl with American accent asks for a stick. Helium-voiced Japanese girls are dying in Aoki’s adoration. There’s a big attendance of very cool haircuts among the guys. I also saw how strict the ‘no photos’ was. They confiscate even the cellphones. Or maybe just ask you to delete as they watch. I see Mark Hunter.
I finish Aoki’s set. I leave a few minutes after. People are lying/sitting on the floor where the lockers are. One girl is crying while being comforted by friends. I randomly pick an umbrella. I sure don’t know where mine is. Umbrellas here are disposable. A guy hands me a plastic filled with flyers upon exiting. I hear two girls saying they’re deaf repeatedly. I put on my jacket. It’s freezing.
I find a McDonald’s and order the Katsu-burger. A group of white men are making fun of two sleeping locals. One guy puts a tray on both their heads. One guy steals their umbrella and then opens it and sings ella-ella-eh-eh-eh. Nakakabwiset sila! I check the flyers. Yuksek and Shinichi Osawa at Womb on May 30! But there’s also Kahimi Karie, Jim O’Roucke, etc. at Laforet on the same date. So I guess I won’t be going home on May 26? Aoki, Pase Rock, Stretch Armstrong and Cobrasnake at Embassy on the 27th eh. Iba naman?
The Shibuya crossing is eerily empty.
I’m jiggling all over at the station. It’s too cold. I hear a sudden thump. A few meters away from me I see a girl in the middle of the railroad. Face down and not moving. I check the time and it’s about two minutes before the train arrives. Two men carry her off the track. Security people run around. Beeping sound everywhere. Bystanders in shock. Train finally arrives after a short delay. There’s a passed out white man occupying three seats. Outside, the light of day is slowly eating the black of night.
http://www.thecobrasnake.com/partyphotos/tokyotrek/index.html <-- Mark Hunter’s photos (I can't create a link for some reason)
What have you done lately?