Halloween night marks a very special anniversary for me. In 2007 I attended an event in Somerville, which was Halloween themed party (no big surprise) at Club Choices, which probably had some other general theme I still don’t fully understand. That place was pretty weird. The whole night was pretty weird, but the world changed, just a little, because I decided to check it out.
Earlier that evening I had a plan to see Evil Dead 2 at The Brattle theater in Cambridge, but wound up in town ahead of schedule and figured I’d grab some dinner and bum around while I tried to decide what to do with the rest of the evening. I’m in Harvard Square, the perfect place to do that sort of thing on a mild autumn evening. Since a restaurant I used to love, Casablanca, was right there and I thought it would be nice to treat myself to a nice (like, WAY nicer than I usually eat) dinner. This isn’t a food blog, but I will say that the place wasn’t what it had been in years prior, but fortunately the decline was not so tragic that I couldn’t enjoy my meal and relax with a scotch in the back lounge for a while, which was a small oasis of wicker serenity in a chaotic neighborhood. I don’t missing drinking, but holy shit, do I miss scotch.
I messaged a few people to see what was going on later that night; a party here, a party there, something in Salem (meh), something in Lowell (even more meh). I knew there was this one oddball thing happening in Somerville at a club I had never been to before, that sounded super sketchy, but at least where I knew a few people were going to be that I didn’t mind hanging around with. It wasn’t that often I’d attend a club event in New England that I wasn’t working at or involved with in some capacity at that point. Which is not to say they didn’t happen, I just kept myself very busy and very, very thoroughly scratched any club going itch with my normal routine of gigs, so I simply didn’t go as a patron all that often as a result.
I finally made my way to the theater, found some friends and got ready for some practical effects gore. The movie was fun, as it always is. Some people I knew dressed up for the Ash look-alike contest, chainsaw hand and all, plus one dude that dressed up like a pony and lost HARD. In retrospect, it’s possible he wasn’t really trying to win.
Does not represent evil, death or Bruce Campbell.
Then something very important happened, unrelated to the pony guy. I flipped a mental coin in my mind, it landed abstractly in some way that resulted in my choosing to stay local, and I was off to Club Choices! Just typing the name of that place still makes me feel a little weird, since I have no idea what “choices” people were supposed to making there. I didn’t pick up on any obvious indication of what crowd or to whom it was attempting to cater. Hipsters? Not a fucking chance. Gay? Fine, but not a choice. Swingers? Maybe, but the slice of that scene that goes in there and THEN makes a choice seems highly unsavory. They seem more like a house party crowd anyway. I know they served fried food, large sodas (choose your flavor!) and the basement was dimly lit and had fake wood paneling on the walls. Apparently important club-related moments in my life correlate with wood paneling. I have some in my house too. You’d think I’d like it, maybe, because of all this stuff, but I really don’t.
Represents evil, death and Bruce Campbell on vacation.
So, ignoring the walls, I chatted with people I knew and just kind of hung out. On my way in I had noticed a young lady in glasses and a black bob haircut that I hadn’t seen before, dancing away, not noticing me. As I made my rounds and was getting myself ready to wrap it up for the night, I ran into her again, at the bar, and introduced myself. She knew me from my DJing, but was pretty new to clubs. I was delighted to meet her. I’m confident to claim we hit it off immediately. People talk about “chemistry”, but this was a highly volatile reaction, in a good way. Whatever interactions happened for rest of that night between me and anyone else were utterly obliterated by the glorious memory of meeting my future wife and forever bestie.
Nine years later we have a little boy, a house, and two Subarus in the driveway. That’s a very important nine years of my life, the most important, the best as well, that all hinged on a fairly random decision to go to a club I would never visit again. It wound up closing in 2009 anyway. Were there not enough choices? Too many choices?
The one choice that mattered most to me was made that night. I chose wisely. I like to think she thinks she did too. Maybe the name of that place wasn’t so bad after all.