Oxymoron? Maybe not. You are sure that any Oceanside native reading this will scoff at the idea that this place can be fun, at all. Especially for adults. The truth is, you’ve never had any experience of Oceanside (or San Diego for that matter) as an adult.
As soon as you graduated from high school, you scampered off to college the following fall, spending your last prison-like summer in this place. Underage and working at Aaron Brothers.
6 years later…
Most of your friends have moved away. Rather, they have all made the important decision to move to the bay area so you have in fact, already left them behind. There really isn’t much left of your friendship circle from high school…but you made it work. Fabulously.
Part of keeping yourself entertained here involves being resourceful and placing yourself in situations where you can meet new people. And some old friends. You and a fellow band buddy –let’s call him Jake– had rekindled a friendship over a year ago at the wedding of a mutual friend and your visit was a great opportunity to explore that.
Meanwhile, it was Halloween. You were happy to have plans, but not expecting anything magical. After all, your last Halloween excursion involved a Deadmau5 concert with your then girlfriend and your best friend Lizelle, not to mention the best snacks you had ever had in your life. You floated down Market street, overshooting the address of your after-party by 4 blocks and couldn’t care less. Everything just felt awesome.
Still, you went to an old friend’s house and had some much-needed catch-up time with familiar faces. It was warm and fun and inviting. But after a while, you decided you should keep good on a promise you made to check out the party of one of your acquaintances. This was quite the party. Over 100 people there and you knew exactly one person. However, that didn’t stop you from making small talk with a cute girl in a very convincing Ke$ha costume. After you had made out with her by your car that you congratulated yourself on making a new friend.
Turns out, you had 27 mutual friends in common with Ke$ha, and she ALSO knew Jake. Excellent. You had an instant social circle and a reason to see Ke$ha again.
Your expert planning allowed for the most splendid evening out in Hillcreast. You began the evening at a nearly empty bar called Flicks. They had $3 Oktoberfest and that was all that mattered. You sat between Jake and Ke$ha, pleased that you were not sitting at home eating popcorn watching Law and Order by yourself. Eventually, someone approached you, well, they approached Jake.
“You are just a spitting image of Ryan Gosling. Do you know that?”
“Why yes, I have been told that once or twice.”
“Here is my card. I am a photographer and I am serious, you have a great face. You could make a lot of money you know.”
“Alright, thanks. I will consider it.”
Upon further inspection, it was obvious that the card was for nude, gay photography. The tanned, muscled blonde man pulling down his underwear to expose his pubes was indicative of gay erotica. It made you miss San Francisco a little bit. You have never experienced the gay district of San Diego County and were eager for the chance. There were way less women than you thought there would be. In fact, you saw hardly any women there at all. This place was crawling with people and 99% of them were gay men. This would not be the last time someone approached Jake while you were out.
You finally found yourself at Rich’s, the gay club. You were almost kicked out because you and Ke$ha both went into the same stall. You didn’t get it. There were men in the women’s restroom but you weren’t allowed to share a stall? Thankfully, Ke$ha talked security out of escorting you out and you were able to stay a bit longer, finally pouring yourselves into a cab just after 2am.
“Let’s watch Blazing Saddles!” Jake said
You let out a groan. All you could think about was curling up on the couch. Maybe cuddling with Ke$ha. It had been a long night and you were drunk and tired.
“Nah, I think I’m going to turn in for the night.”
He was pissed. His passive aggressiveness manifested itself in him laying on his bed, screaming out quotes with his bedroom door open until he passed out. It was not long, and once he did, you put your mind to other things. This amused you.
You spent some quality time with your new friend, Ke$ha. It was no surprised that she was slightly smitten with you. After all, you were shamelessly flirting with her at the Halloween party and over the course of the week following, had very interesting conversations in regards to her new affinity.
This did not surprise you. It was not your first time to the rodeo, particularly with a straight girl. The fact is, it’s easy. Straight women are never expecting other pretty girls to take an interest in them, and when they determine that your are, the odds are in your favor that her guard is already down. The postmortem of a drunken party kiss is almost always riddled with confessions and hints at meeting up again. Ke$ha was no different in this regard, however, she was perhaps the most chill about it.
It’s never cool being the source of someone’s identity crisis and so you try very hard to avoid this. But Ke$ha was cool. She was honest and easy-going and this made you want to spend more time with her. So finally, while Jake was passed out with his movie blaring, you took advantage of the opportunity to follow up with her. She surprised you in many ways, positively, and the two of you had a memorable nightcap until you finally passed out peacefully, with no blanket.
You were woken up at 5:30am by Ke$ha’s alarm and Jake’s sister waking up to do God-know-what. And so began the morning after. You sat in the back of Jake’s car with a puppy and enjoyed the hot weather and sunshine. The perfect way to follow up a night of mindless debauchery (is there any other kind?) You love catching up with old friends and seeing former teachers, but as a 24-year-old, there is always a healthy appreciation for people your own age and beer. You get to be crass and inappropriate and life is good.
The outing was such a success that you needed to do this again. Soon. Jake mentioned a warehouse party his coworker told him about and this sounded like the perfect plan. The last time you experienced anything close to it was the Deadmau5 concert, and as you mentioned, it was one of the best nights of your life.
Everything fell neatly into place. You had snacks, Jake was down, and Ke$ha would also be there. Perfect.
You cruised down coast highway, passing the place twice. At one point you suggested that the party might be in the back of a U-Haul. In fact, it was in the building slightly adjacent. Costumes were encouraged. You didn’t have much, so you decided to go with spandex, a white v-neck, and you braided your hair. Lame, but it was the best you could do. You forked over the $5 cover and headed inside.
You floated around checking out the scene. In the back there was a makeshift bar selling mostly water and other crappy beer. Next to you was a chain-link fence enclosing the dance floor. The DJ was well on the way with a small crowd already coming up. Shortly after you arrived, you spotted her. The three of you were back together, this time flanked by Ke$ha’s man-friend and her other friend from the party. Ke$ha was not Ke$ha this time, but instead, was a ballerina in a black tutu. Very cute.
You love dancing, even though you are terrible, and due to Jake’s hearty appetite, he was right there with you, on the level, the entire time. In fact, you two were the last people on the dance floor after everyone had left. Literally dancing like crazy in the lasers and smoke machines while the DJ played just for you two. There was glitter EVERYWHERE and the mirrored walls gave you occasional glimpses of how ridiculous you looked. To be perfectly honest, it filled you with immense joy. There you were, sweaty and happy, dancing like no one was there with your own private DJ and your new friend.
Of course, you spend intermittent periods getting to know the locals with Jake. You made a friend with Nyan Cat and someone giving light shows. Naturally, everyone wanted to make out with you and you were in no mood to discourage them. During this time, you made a lot of new friends. The light show guy invited you back to his apartment for an after party with some of your new friends and that sounded great to you.
You got back to your mom’s place around 6:30am and you and Jake poured into the bed located conveniently in the middle of the dining room. It was a short nap, but you woke up prepared to get Maria from the airport. Fortunately, this would not be the last encounter outing. You had to get Maria in on this mix.
The following week, you made plans to hang out with Jake and his puppies in Oceanside. You walked around the beach while it rained, ate massive breakfast burritos from Colimas, and waited for evening shenanigans. This time, the location was PB at a bar with no cover before 10pm and cheap, cheap drinks.
Bud or Bud Light. Oh god, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Looking around you were instantly reminded that you do not fit in anywhere except for the Bay Area (maybe the Pacific Northwest in general). You have a hard time wanting to go out if you need to dress in something fancier than flip flops and a flannel shirt. Not that it mattered, you weren’t exactly trying to impress anyone.
Maria fit right in, as she usually does, wearing your trapper hat with bears on it.
Okay so, it’s not that you DON’T remember what happened that night, it’s just that the evening went by so smoothly that it’s hard to pick out individual instances. Of course, there was the moment when Jake made things slightly more interesting.
“You know, I’ve never kissed a girl with a tongue stud before.” to Maria
“Have you learned nothing from our conversation?”
“Ask and you shall receive.”
You had a look of shocked amusement on your face. Maria doesn’t bluff. Is this about to happen? Yes, yes it was. Jake asked politely and sure enough, Maria obliged. She really is good at fitting in.
To make a long story short, you capped this evening off with dancing, poured into a cab, fell asleep to Massive Attack, and woke up to puppies licking your face.
Not bad, Oceanside. Not Bad.