"I want to be my own design" Clive Barker - Imajica

Friday, May 6, 2011

Picture it - Denver 2000

I moved up to Denver from Colorado Springs thanks to my Aunt's husband at the time helping me get a job at Dish Network (because if you live in Denver either you or someone you know has or will work for Dish at some point, it's a fact).

I needed to get out of Colorado Springs, badly. I'd lived my whole life in what I refer to as a big small town. I couldn't go anywhere without running into people I knew. I couldn't go anywhere without being reminded of TheTallTorturedGuy and his death. I was sinking into a well of despair and drinking and I needed new surroundings.

So yeah, I moved up to Englewood with my Aunt T and her husband JT. When I moved up to Denver I didn't know anyone other than my aunt and her friends all of whom were older than me and um... well the text book definition of yuppie. Me? Not a yuppie.

I don't know how it started really or where I heard about it but one night I ended up at Club Onyx on 13th Street. And it felt like home. Cheesy and silly yes, but I felt more comfortable there than I had anywhere else in Denver. No one talked to me at first. I was the new kid after all. The new, not so well dressed kid who didn't appear to know "anyone" (Now the thing about the Goth scene is it can be extremely clique-y. Some Goths are the pretentious, assholes that they are routinely portrayed as. Other Goths are just the weird, shy, nerdy kids who just happen to have awesome clothes and weird hair and makeup. I am sure that other scenes have the same issues, I've just never been in any other scene so I don't really know how it works anywhere else) and yet I didn't feel uncomfortable about it.

I started to go there every weekend. Every single Friday and Saturday night I would go to Onyx. Friday, drink to excess and then spend all day recovering, getting up just in time to get ready to go out Saturday night, drink to excess and then spend all day Sunday recovering in able to make it to work on Monday. And rinse & repeat. Every weekend for something like 4 years. After I'd been going there awhile I finally started to make some friends. Not close friends, most weren't anything but club friends. You know the people you'd see every weekend and say hi to and chat briefly about superficial things and then you both go on your way. And that was fine. There are a couple of people that I met in those days that I am still friends with. Some of which have actually become real friends over the years.

When Onyx closed in 2006 I was really sad. I didn't know of anywhere else to go, or rather I didn't really care to go anywhere else because Onyx always felt like the Cheers of the Goth scene and I always felt comfortable there. It was like home. I actually quit going out for awhile after Onyx closed. I lost touch with a lot of the people I used to hang out with. Eventually I started going to Shelter or the Milk Bar as it's technically called. I love it there but it doesn't have the rose colored taint (heh taint) of Onyx. It was the place where I spent the better part of my 20's and the first place where I well and truly felt accepted.

Tonight the former owner of Onyx decided to have a reunion night at Benders which is the bar that eventually replaced Onyx. I know that it won't BE Onyx. But I also know that a  lot of the people I used to hang out with there are going tonight and I am going with my love and my family of friends. There will be drinks and there will be reminiscing and I've even heard a rumor that there will be cake. But most of all, there will be fun.

I'm stupid excited about it.

1 comment:

  1. During the Onyx years, I went from an oldboringmarriedguy to Mr. Promoter, due to a toss-off suggestion to bands and artists kvetching about how nobody came to their shows. Literally we had 2 online friends we'd drag out to 1082 and Onyx so we had anyone to talk to. I went to Christof/Cranberi's town meeting, talking about running more events. I ended up at the head of Dark Arts because nobody else wanted the job, I suspect. By the end of Onyx' time, I was someone who could take the whole scene over for one weekend a year, and be popular for the months leading up to it. By the end of Onyx, my friends avoided being around me during the run-up to Dark Arts because I was being "networked" by strangers all night. And Skin Saturdays are still something my friends with that bend come up and lament that nothing like it exists now. Onyx fostered singlehandedly my transition, so I'll always be nostalgic for it - the venue, the staff, all my friends there. In the years since, I've drifted back into being around my friends - late Onyx was my time in the sun, holding the levers to steer things.