Saturday, June 6, 2009


I now officially know what it feels like to be over the hill. I'm in Rosario -- the third largest city in Argentina and a place I've long been dying to check out -- for a weekend break, and last night my plan was to hit Gotika. It's a club highly recommended by my friend Luciano, whose taste I trust explicitly, despite being slightly turned off by the fact that minus an H, the place shares its name with the title of Halle Berry's first post-Oscar leading-role film (a dismal harbinger indeed).

After napping -- or rather, tossing and turning -- in my hotel room for an hour or two, I headed out shortly after 11pm for dinner, leaving all my valuables, including my cell phone, my only portable time piece, behind. (We're still in Argentina, where everything is done super late and in super slow motion, and tourists are better off safe and clueless about the actual time than sorry.) After what seemed like hours of waiting for my food, eating it, and flip-flopping on whether I had the energy to go anywhere but immediately to bed, I headed to Gotika, hoping that it was at least 1am, opening time there.

Apparently, it was, though judging from the sparse crowd, barely. I made an embarrassing trip to the women's loo (they really need to put visible gender indicators on these bathroom entrances), ordered something called an Isla Bahaman that tasted suspiciously like Nyquil, sat and waited. And waited. For what, I wasn't really sure. I had no interest in meeting anyone, as my undivided attention recently has been bestowed solely on someone whose name also begins with Go- but is thankfully otherwise unrelated to any recent Halle Berry projects, and who is currently on a business trip in China. You may recall reading about him in the previous post "Everyone Says 'I Love You.'

The music was a typically cheesy Argentine mix of electro dance music and '80s pop, including at least one Britney Spears medley, and the crowd apparently mostly under 20. After fielding the same old questions from a procession of curious Argentines, I decided that the time had come for me to say goodbye to Gotika. After all, it must be almost sunrise by now. Time flies when you're not having so much fun. In my mind, it's still a toss up as to why I just wasn't that into it: travel exhaustion, the man on my mind, or just being over the whole nightlife thing. Since my 40th birthday four weeks and two days ago, I've turned down all but two invitations to party, preferring to spend my evenings on the sofa.

I thought about this during the cab ride back to the hotel and wondered how my sofa was doing. Once I was safely back in my room, I went to the computer to see how few hours I had before I had to wake up to begin my exploration of Rosario. Time: 2.25am! Early, even by New York City standards. On the Buenos Aires clock, still an hour or two away from prime time. Some fine porteƱo I've turned out to be! Exactly four weeks ago, at my birthday party, I was just getting started! Ah well, I thought to myself, both shocked and relieved as I sleepily began to floss and brush my teeth, so this is what it feels like for a 40-year-old boy.
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