It might have made more sense to take baby steps toward weekend socializing (a friend's house party, a Smirnoff ice in the park), but instead I went to Blue Cube. The club was grimy on the inside and situated in the worst part of town, but it was owned by the father of a few boys from Saint Ignatious, who rented it out every month for overpriced Teen Nights. After ponying up our ten dollars and submitting to a full-body pat-down, my friends and I entered the bottom level through a blue velvet curtain. This area was best compared to a 50 cent video, circa 2003 (i.e., In Da Club, around the 3:10 mark.) The upper level showed more of the same, but it was sweatier and had an attached smoking area (fire escape). Downstairs was the Ladies' Room, in which ten to fifteen ladies could be found fanning themselves in various stages of undress. The Men's Room was a tiny stall next to the fire escape, which I knew only because I once accidentally walked into it while searching for Nora.
Blue Cube was not without its perks. A fry station by the door served quesadillas and $4 water bottles to tired dancers (me). The clubowner's middle son, who called himself Big Daddy Rocco Bovo, wove through the crowd making sure entrants were hydrated and aware of future Teen Nights. Occasionally an under-the-radar rapper would come to perform, and compliments, however insincere, were not in short supply.
By the time junior year rolled around, Blue Cube had been replaced by Dolores Park, and the $10 admission charge we'd all been paying was refunnelled into the few corner stores that would sell forties to high school kids. Blue Cube faded in memory to become a peculiar, unaccountable part of my coming-of-age, along with water bras and brown lip gloss and my sixth-grade desire to become a cheerleader. Judging by its Yelp page, Blue Cube is still up and running, but I have returned to nerdy pursuits. Nora is bringing me around to good beer, but it still can't top scrabble.