The abyss

I had heard so much about it, my expectations were pretty high. I was was excited, but also nervous and a bit intimidated. It wasn’t really my scene and I was sure I’d stick out like a sore thumb. It had taken ages to get there and of course there was a line to get in.

Everyone was dressed to the nines – some with absolutely crazy outfits. One girl’s glow-in-the-dark neon bra shining through a sheer top made me feel like I was wearing a habit. I hadn’t intended to go alone but my friend texted me about bailing right as I was going in.

I stepped into pitch black room with pulsing lights and sticky floors. The air was thick and wet and hit my face like a warm rag. The music was fast and intense. I could feel the bass deep in my chest, vibrating my ribs. I felt so awkward and out of place, but no one seemed to notice. The people around me were in a trance, eyes open but looking right through you. Their bodies swayed and rocked and thrashed in rhythm with the music and with each other. Everyone congealed into one amorphous throbbing mass.

I looked around and saw one guy dump some powder into a water bottle and jug it. One girl’s eyes were closed, her face in pain, and her hands were clenched on the bar as if hanging on for dear life. Another was sitting, slumped over and utterly pouring sweat.

I tried to tune out the others, and do what I was supposed to do. Enjoy, zone out. I pushed myself harder, harder but never reached the elusive bliss I’d heard about. After what felt like an eternity, I wiped the sweat from my brow and made my way to the exit, using both hands to thrust open the door. The cold air hit me like ice and it was like taking my first true breath.

I walked away, knowing I would never return to Soul Cycle.

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