Hi all! Matthew Dawkins here, the developer and one of the co-authors of Chicago by Night. I thought it’d be a nice treat to drop some of the fiction from the book on the blog, for those of you who haven’t seen it in the Kickstarter updates. Here, without further ado, is Jiba Molei Anderson’s Red Nº 5:
A Night to Remember that you’ll probably Forget
Oh, my god! What a fantastic night!
Okay, so my girlfriend Krissie and I are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We came to Chicago for a girls’ weekend and were having a little pre-game wine drinking session at Zed451 when Jason invited us out to meet a couple of his buddies at this place called Red Nº 5. We were like “sure!” We were two girls out, looking cute, ready to mingle and, perhaps, get into a little trouble. Besides, Sho-Lo Fidelity was supposed to be playing tonight and I love his sets because I’m a big house music fan, right? I mean, don’t let my “becky-ish” looks fool you. I love getting my groove on and getting down with the “brothers,” if you know what I mean.
We got to the club, which is a couple of doors south right past the six corners of Milwaukee, Grand and Halsted around 10:30. Now, you wouldn’t think a place like this would really start jumping until, like, midnight. But, there was already a line at the door filled with people wanting to get in. It was crazy! It felt like that movie about that club in New York that was real big during the disco era. Anyway, the bouncers looked really rough. I mean they looked professional, all clean-shaven and wearing black suits, the kinda doormen you’d probably see at any classy spot. But, it was clear that they were definitely not to be fucked with. They just had that vibe about them, y’know?
There was this one group of girls who looked like the just stepped off of an episode of “Real Housewives of Chicago” who looked like they were almost about to start a scene because the bouncers wouldn’t let them in. I don’t know why they wouldn’t. They definitely looked like the kind of ladies guys would want in the club. They were looking like those ghetto models with their weaves, all squeezed into their tight dresses, which barely covered their asses or their tits and shivering in the cold because they left their coats in the car and didn’t want to pay a coat check fee. I mean, it’s the frickin’ middle of March! You know Chicago doesn’t decide to get warm until, maybe, late May!
Anyway, just as they were about to really turn up and act rachet for not being able to get in the club, one of the bouncers (a big, pale white guy about 6’3, 350 pounds with a spider web tattoo that began on the top of his head and trailed down to his neck with a spider at the end of it) lowered his head, tipped his sunglasses down to the bridge of his nose (so pretentious with the sunglasses at night, right?) and stared right into the lead chick’s eyes. Then, he says real calm and cool, “I’m sorry, but you ladies are not allowed in Red Nº 5 this evening.”
I don’t know, but it looked like the lead girl almost wet her pants. She was so scared, she quickly went to her girlfriends and announced they were leaving that very second. The other girls were so shaken up by the look on their friend’s face they left the line without hesitation. I looked at the group I came here with and got extremely nervous.
Don’t get me wrong. I mean, Krissie and I are, like, super-cute girls. We’re both blonde and we both work out. Krissie is a little thinner and, like, two inches taller than me, but I’ve got the bigger rack and, a little “junk in my trunk,” which the “brothers” like. I totally get called a “snowbunny” all of the time. But, we definitely weren’t “model-chick, hoochie-fabulous” like those girls who were kicked out of line. On top of that, we had three guys with us, in untucked shirts, blue jeans and regular shoes. If those girls couldn’t get in, what chance would our grubby little crew have getting past the velvet rope.
I was kind of shocked when “Charlotte’s Web” (my nickname for the bouncer) let us into the club with a smile and a friendly “Enjoy your evening.”
Now, what I didn’t mention earlier was that Krissie and I were ready to party. By that I mean, we were smoking a little reefer in the car, which accentuated a really lovely merlot buzz. Then, Jason’s buddy Trevor “surprises” us with a couple of pills of pure MDMA, not that corny “Molly” shit. Obviously, Trevor was hoping a couple of happy pills would get him some lovin’ from either Krissie or me… A blowjob at the very least. It was obvious he wasn’t picky. But, what he didn’t know was that Krissie and I were old pros in this game and, we were in full TLC mode that night AKA “No Scrubs.”
We paid our entry fee and got our hands stamped. By now, the pills started kicking in, a little hard, but manageable as we started walking down this black corridor into the club. The red lights made it feel a little mysterious, like “Eyes Wide Shut,” but less cheesy. It was kinda sexy.
We enter the main room and, it was pretty big, but not crowded. It wasn’t empty. I mean, there were plenty of people there, but it was easy to walk around without bumping into anybody unless they were really sloppy. It wasn’t your usual Friday night crowd. Sure, there were a couple of people in suits and fancy dresses in the club looking like they’re playing a role, but this didn’t feel like the usual “Let’s go out because it’s Friday” type of crowd. They were dressed nice, but there was a casual vibe, like they all knew each other or something.
The red lights hit the mahogany walls and chrome railings real nice (I’m studying interior design so I pay attention to these things). The DJ had his own platform above the dance floor. It was a small, circular perch that was large enough to fit the turntables, a small couch and a circular table to set your drinks down. DJ jazintellect (I love jazintellect!) was playing some old-school Hip Hop from the 90s. The initial rush eased into the smooth groove of some really good shit. We walked past the first bar through a doorway that didn’t have a bouncer with a rope in front… Free access!
There was another bar behind the main floor! So cool! There were these black leather couches with mahogany tables. People were hanging out and having drinks so, I thought we should get started with another drink before heading downstairs to hear Sho-Lo’s set. Those couches were so soft and buttery, I felt we were in the coolest music video ever!
So here I was, feeling good and rubbing this leather couch. Trevor thinks that this is a sign that he should make his move. Krissie, being the baddest bitch ever, slides between me and Jason like a good cock blocker should. Unfortunately, Trevor doesn’t get the hint and starts trying to push up on the both of us… the creep! It’s about this close to getting ugly and harshing my roll when the waitress comes to our table for our drink order.
Oh, what I forgot to say is that all of the waitresses are hot. I mean, “Off the cover of Vogue and what the hell are you doing working here?” hot. Our waitress was this tall, light-skinned Black girl with green eyes and a close-cropped haircut dyed blonde wearing a tight-fitting black scoop-neck cocktail dress. I don’t if it was the mix of weed, ecstasy and alcohol, but I was seriously questioning my orientation with this girl.
So, she gives a menu. And, I’m looking at the specials and I say out loud, “Excuse me, what’s in a Winter Rosebud?” Her eyes get a little big and she quickly snatches the menu from my hand and gives me another one. “I’m so, so sorry! I gave you the wrong menu! That was… um… last night’s specials. Here’s tonight’s menu.”
I thought that her reaction was a little over-the-top. I mean, so what if it was last night’s menu? What’s the big deal? I didn’t know that alcohol went bad a day later. Whatever. I’m rolling and it’s not even that deep. So, I kept my thoughts to myself and order my drink.
Then, I saw him.
Now, remember when I said that this felt like the coolest music video ever? Ok, imagine you’re moving in slow motion. The music is thumping 96 beats per minute in sync with your heartbeat. The lights dissolve from red to purple to blue and back again. People from all races and backgrounds are around you looking cool and ethnic and different and sexy…
And then, the crowd of beautiful dancing people parts revealing the sexiest man God Almighty ever made.
He walked into the room talking to a waitress on his left giving him some receipts for him took look over with some corporate-looking douche bag in a suit walking on his right side. He was 6ft tall with milk chocolate skin. His hair was cut real low, had a goatee and he wore simple metal loops in his ears. He was chill, but had a little swagger youknowutI’msayin’? He wore a crisp pair of blue jeans, black shell-toe sneakers and a black t-shirt with a logo that read “Good For Party” that hugged his muscular shoulders and arms, but hung loose untucked over his jeans. I mean, his outfit shouldn’t have stood out like that. On anyone else, especially the guys Krissie and I were stuck with, you wouldn’t give that guy a second look. But this guy… His look was super-crisp and he wore it with such confidence. He totally owned it. Like I said, mama likes a little hot chocolate in her milk and this guy was looking very yummy.
I was thinking about the butterscotch babies “Special Dark” (my name for Mr. Yummy) and I were gonna have and being totally comfortable with my parents disowning me when Krissie bumped my shoulder and said that we should go downstairs to hear Sho-Lo’s set and to get away from Trevor’s clammy mitts. I totally was down for that since “Special Dark” looked like he was heading that way too. We told the boys we were heading downstairs and that they should hold down the table until we get back because we weren’t gonna be down there long (total lies). They were busy making plans to try and mack on some of the girls they’ve been seeing in the club since it was obvious that they were getting nowhere with us. Krissie managed to get another pill from Trevor. We split it, popped the respective halves into our mouths washing the bitter taste down with our extremely well-made cocktails and made our way to the basement.
The basement. Oh. My. God. It was amazing. It had a similar layout to the top floor, but didn’t have the second bar in the back. The black leather couches and tables were on an upper landing that flanked the dance floor. Sho-Lo was in full effect. He was laying down some super-funky Afro House like Black Coffee mixed with some Femi Kuti. It felt like we were at an Afropunk festival. It was all natural hair and face paint. Some people had nose piercings and tribal tattoos, but some people dressed… older? I mean, I saw some people our age dressed like they the 70s fashions from Soul Train were new. But, it didn’t matter because Sho-Lo got them all into the same groove and everybody was dancing like it was some tribal ceremony invoking the ancestors.
And, before you ask how do I know about that tribal / ancestor stuff, I’ve taken some Pan-African studies’ classes, too. I’m, like, totally woke.
Now, the second half roll is kicking right when Sho-Lo drops my favorite new track from the Black 80s. Krissie and I get on the dance floor and just start getting into the whole groove. So, we’re dancing and I see “Special Dark” in the left corner table sitting with this tall, lanky, super-dark bald Black guy in a, I think it was wine-colored, three-quarter length suit with a yellow tie. He was kind of creepy-looking.
And, no! It’s not because he was really dark that I thought he was creepy! I’m not a racist! I’m just saying that he just sat there like some sort of African statue, barely nodding his heading to the music while “Special Dark” was trying to say something to the “Statue”, which seemed kind of important.
I get really focused on details when I roll. It’s kinda my thing.
Next to the “Statue” was this Puerto-Rican woman with this big, curly hair in a yellow 30s-style “Flapper” dress. She was gorgeous and she had her arm wrapped in the “Statue’s” while they sat. They were obviously a couple. They almost looked like they could be “Special Dark’s” parents based on the vibes they gave off from their body language. I saw “Special Dark” get up from the table and was making his way to the dance floor. I started dancing as seductively as possible to get “Special Dark’s” attention. Unfortunately, the only attention I attracted was some greasy drunk guy trying to grind all on my booty. He was grabbing my waist trying to pull me close and I could smell a mixture of menthol cigarettes and Jack Daniel’s on his breath. Ugh! He was gross! Even worse, I could see that “Special Dark” started dancing with Krissie… That bitch! While she was getting swept off of her feet by my future baby daddy, I was stuck under the bridge with this troll who could not take a fucking hint!
Krissie whispered something in “Special Dark’s” ear. I think she wanted to check on Jason and Trevor (since they were our ride) and left “Special Dark” on the dance floor as she headed upstairs. There he was, my dark prince alone while I’m stuck with this basic bro trying to publicly get into my pants while we’re dancing.
Then, “Special Dark” turned his head and our eyes locked. He studied the situation for a moment and obviously saw a damsel in distress. What happened next is probably the sexiest thing that happened to anyone. He smiled and held out his hand, which I took immediately, and pulled me away from “Captain Newport.” I wrapped my arms around “Special Dark’s” neck and we started dancing as if we’d known each other for years. I barely noticed “Captain Newport” as he attempted to make me the ham in his freak-down sandwich. He must’ve finally gotten the hint, because “Captain Newport” finally left me and “Special Dark” alone so that we could get to know each other a little better.
As we danced, “Special Dark” told me his name was Bennett and he was the host for tonight’s party. I also think he said he was a co-owner of Red Nº 5 as well. All I could pay attention to was rubbing his strong milk chocolate arms as he held me close while we swayed to the beat. I looked into his light brown eyes and couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted this man and, it wasn’t the drugs that prompted my next course of action. I mashed my face against his, feeling his soft, pillowy lips against mine. Man, could he kiss. He took my breath away! This was it. In my mind, we were gonna run away together, get married and have a couple of beautiful mop haired café au lait children. I was so lost in the moment, I didn’t notice Krissie coming back downstairs until she broke up my potential romantic love scene with “Special Dark.”
Now, here’s where the story gets really crazy.
Krissie joins us, wraps her arms around the both of us and we all start dancing together. Bennett is in the middle of these two white girls like a reverse Oreo cookie. I know “Captain Newport” would have been extra-pissed if he saw this happening. Krissie and I were rolling really hard now. It got really hot as our hands were sliding up and down Bennett’s waist, arms and all over each other. Then, Krissie slides from behind Bennett to come in between us. She turns and plants a Bennett a long, soft wet kiss on his pillow lips. Normally, this would have pissed me off, but I was feeling so good I didn’t care. In fact, it was a huge turn-on. Then, Krissie turned to me with a look that I never saw before. I was like a deer in headlights as she started to kiss me! Next thing I know, we were all kissing each other becoming this sweaty, sexy heap of passion.
Oh, man. We needed to find a room and handle this before we really became “those people” at the club. Krissie and I were definitely letting our inner hoes out that night. But, I guess we had nothing to worry about since Bennett was the club owner, right?
The next few moments were a blur. Bennett’s strong hands are gripping my ass just right while Krissie is kissing and licking Bennett’s neck before returning to his lips. We’re still all moving to the beat of the music as Bennett breaks away and starts kissing my neck as Krissie licks his ear… Ow! Did Bennett just bite me on my neck? That was kind of hard, but hot at the same time. Oh, now Krissie is licking my neck where Bennett just gave me a hickey. She pulls away with her tongue sticking out before shoving it down Bennett’s throat. Wait. Was that blood on her tongue? Wait. Was that MY blood on her tongue?
Jason and Trevor ruined our love fest by coming downstairs and ripping Krissie and I away from our new favorite candy bar. They pushed Bennett toward the bar. The boys were really pissed and tried to start a fight with Bennett probably because Bennett got farther with us then they ever could, or ever will. They got all up in his face while Bennett stood there cool as a cucumber. I don’t know why the bouncers didn’t get involved, but Bennett just shot them a “I got this” look and these three big, scary guys, including “Charlotte’s Web” from earlier in the night backed away.
Now, during this whole time, the music kept going and the people kept dancing. It’s like it was no big deal. Even the “Statue” and “Flapper” just sat there like this was nothing, just another Friday night at Red Nº 5…
Until Trevor broke a beer bottle on the edge of the bar and lunged at Bennett. What transpired next happened so fast, and I was so fucked up, I know I’m making this up. But, I thought Bennett grabbed Trevor, spun him around into a chokehold and sunk his teeth into Trevor’s neck. He threw Trevor down like a used napkin, grabbed Jason by the neck and body-slammed him to the ground…
With one hand.
The last thing I remember was Bennett’s light brown eyes staring at me while his mouth was stained with Trevor’s blood. Then, everything got very hazy…
I woke up the next morning in my hotel room. Krissie was lying next to me in the bed, we were still fully clothed. She woke up about five minutes after me. We tried to clear our heads from the fog because we were both groggy as shit. The ecstasy we took last night was clean, but still. The after-roll leaves you in this half-floating state that could last the whole next day. We both were wondering what happened last night. It was a dream, right? Jason and Trevor were fine, right? Krissie went to get us some coffee while I tried to call Jason and see if he and Trevor were ok form the night before. The call went straight to voicemail. I tired calling again, same thing. I must have called at least 10 times before finally giving up.
Jason never called back.
A couple of months later, Krissie and I were back in Chicago for another night on the town. We decided to head back to Red Nº 5 since we had such a great time there before the weirdness. As we got to the front of the line, we saw that “Charlotte’s Web” was working the front door. However, he wasn’t so warm to us this time.
“I’m sorry, ladies, but I can’t let you in tonight,” he said.
“Why not?” I asked in my best little girl voice.
“Last time you were here, you caused problems. We can’t afford problems here.”
“That wasn’t us!” I pleaded. “We didn’t cause the problem, it was those two guys we came here with! You can’t blame us for something someone else…”
Before I could get the next words out, “Charlotte’s Web” lowered his head and tipped his sunglasses to the bridge of his nose. I looked into his eyes and, at that moment, saw what happened to Jason and Trevor. They brought us into an environment we knew nothing about and they proceeded to shit all over the place and break the rules. They paid the price and it wasn’t pretty. It was only because of the “rules” that Krissie and I were able to walk out of the club. Now I know those hoochie mamas felt a couple of months past.
Krissie and I got out of the line and left. We never stepped foot into Red Nº 5 again.
We don’t know what happened to Jason and Trevor and we don’t wanna know.
We just knew that we didn’t belong there.