Full of music, movement, and art, we took our city chariot to the Firewater Lounge. The lounge was being held this evening in Café Luna.
Firewater Lounge is almost like a guerilla lounge, popping up when and where needed around the city of Chicago. The lounge is a firebomb of good booze, good people, good friends, and good naughtiness. Tonight it was needed as an after-party location for those attendees of the We Burn gallery, while also just being a generally cool place for anyone to go who was willing to pay the meager cover to get in.
More covers and stamps on hand, and Young Kubric, Krueger and I, entered the lounge. Kubrick and I received Firewater Lounge patches as part of our admissions, and we stowed them away in our swag bags as we moved further into the depths of the lounge. On one side there was a bacon sale. Not just any bacon; however, this bacon had been mixed to be specially flavored. There was chocolate, maple, candied, and butterscotch bacon on display, all made just for the event, and meant to be enjoyed. I, not being a bacon eater, offered to pick up three pieces for Young Kubrick for the purpose of sustenance and experimentation. He picked up three pieces of candy bacon, which he deemed edible, but not quite his thing. From there we moved back into the lounge.
On stage was karaoke, and I would have happily sung, but we’d arrived just moments before another show was to begin, and sadly were asked to leave off. Some other time, perhaps, for karaoke singing. I moved further into the lounge to find an old out-of-tune piano with a pretty girl sitting and playing. I sat with her and we exchanged names and tried to play together as best we could. I think she was better than I, me being a bit full of alcohol and a touch of angst. I eventually moved back on to the front of the lounge.
As I stood there a girl walked through with stickers. She was talking with her boyfriend and casually flirting with me, while being at the same time tragically straight and entirely a tease. She stopped in her conversation and says, “I like this.” Which she followed by putting a sticker on my chest. A sticker of a Facebook like thumb. I was amused, and Kubrick and I move on.
Here now, was the band for the evening. A lovely female lead crooning thoughtfully into the microphone, as the band supported her. I run into Denzien, a college friend from way back and she explained that her boyfriend was the tall blonde guitarist on the left. He did a fine of job of supporting the lead singer. I watched from the stage, until a hand showed up at my arm and Krueger said there was someone I needed to meet.
The someone I needed to meet was the Feral Kitty, the burlesque dancer for the evening. We talked for a minute as she was getting ready for her set which would be up after the band. Chiefly she was making some effort to get her pasties on and needed an extra hand. I volunteered one of mine and between the two of us we managed to get enough glue on to get them to stick properly.
As the stage was cleared for her performance she walked on with the sort of sensual surety you found in dancers. With music playing overhead she enticed us all in black corsetry and stockings and lace. She removed each piece carefully, setting things aside. She had on stage with her an umbrella, which appeared in front of her just in time for her corset to fall, and she kept the audience waiting for the final reveal for just enough moments to make us all gleefully titillated before a bum shake later, she was standing with perky pasties, pretty red hair in a bob, and lacy black panties. We were all happy to cheer her as she exited the stage.
Following Feral Kitty, Kubrick and I took a short smoke break to talk together in the quickly becoming windy and unbearably freezing Chicago evening. As we smoked, inside the Firewater prepared for a wet T-shirt contest, which we got back just in time to see as we warmed up. On the stage he contestants all stepped forward, lovely girls of all shapes and sizes wearing Firewater lounge T-shirts. Among the contestants were also a couple of strapping young men, hopefully contenders in the contest celebrating the best wet nipples.
Poochy, our master of ceremonies at the Firewater, brought each girl or boy out separately, and covered them with water as they danced and spun, and jutted their chests prettily out to the audience. We clapped and applauded and slapped knees for all of them, and of course, the men got quite a few cheers as well.
Once round one was finished it was time for the dance and vote off, with the cheers of the crowd being read by the Pooch-o-meter, and after the first round, only four remained, two men, and two women. The men went all out to win, the one with shaggy stringy hair and a full beard, strutted around, while the other, stout and bald and almost Greek looking, turned his beer bottle over his head while sitting and scowling haughtily at the audience. The two lovely ladies left, one of which was Feral Kitty, danced and jiggled moistened shirts at the audience, to win more applause then the men. A final dance off between Feral Kitty and the final female contestant resulted in win for the non-burlesque dancer, but Feral Kitty was a very gracious loser and wet hugs were delivered all around.
As the stage was cleared for the DJ, Kubrick and I had a final smoke in the freezing street and discussed how well our evening was turning out. At this point I had spotted a lovely girl, one of the participants in the T-shirt contest, and was hopeful to see her again.
I looked at Kubrick as the music began to spin out from the lounge.
“Let’s go dance.”
We rushed back in to a whirlwind of music and red and purple light in the bar. Bodies filled the dance floor and we mixed in with them. The lady I’d been eying earlier was soon in my arms, and I looked behind me to see Kubrick dancing with another fine-looking girl. While he spun off in hip-joined gyrations with his, I grabbed my own girl and we melded ourselves together like lovers in unison on the dance floor. As we pressed together breast to breast and swirled around, we saw Krueger walking around with tiny little shot glasses on a tray.
“What is that?” I asked.
He grinned a devil-may-care grin, a devils grin, a grin that should inspire terror, a madman’s grin, a trickster grin. He grinned at me and answered “Firewater.”
I recklessly took one for myself and drank it. I took a second and fed it to Krueger. I took a third and fed it to my dancing girl, and we lost ourselves in the power of the firey burning liquid traveling speedily down our throats. We were liquid heat now, consumed by fire gods. There were flames on the walls and they flickered and burned as we pressed into each other, with heat and fury, lips, and tongue, and fingers, of flame as we swirled around and lost ourselves under the late evening rush.
Everyone was a blurry swirl of light and colors and vague shadows and traces of desire as bodies and hearts and things lower thrummed in time with the beat and the rhythm of the music and the firewater. No one lounged, no one rested; we were too full of our passions now to stop moving. The air smelled like sex and lost control and forbidden pleasures.
As we come back to ourselves, and the firewater burned out of our system I found myself standing at the bar next to young Kubrick, wondering how I got there. The singer from early sat on the stage and I told her how I loved her music. She repaid me with a free CD. My dance partner came up to introduce me once more to Feral Kitty, who looked even more lovely now in her red wool coat preparing to brave the night. So lovely that I pulled off my necklace and swung over her neck, thinking it completed her look even more. I stumbled back to Kubrick and he turned to me, and I turn to Krueger.
“You guys want to ride with us?”
“Yes.” Us was Kruger and Sin; a better matched couple has rarely been found. Sin brought us out and sat us in her car to wait for her, while the last of firewater burned off the last of everything else we had drunk and Kubrick and I sat rehashing our dance-floor adventures. When Krueger and Sin joined us in the car they asked us how we felt about food.
And we felt just fine about everything.