Urban Gyal, I want to share this story because I think it could help someone else. This was the worse night of my life!
It was a Friday night; my best friend and I split a cab to hit up a well-known club in LA. I was 18 and she was 20, but we were both hot so it wasn’t too difficult for us to get in with our very obviously fake IDs.
I’m pretty sure my ID belonged to an Indian girl, and she, a blonde, was a pudgy brunette in hers. The bouncers did their best impressions of detective work, quickly scanning our IDs before fixating on our tiny dresses, then waved us in. Once we got past them we entered into a room spilling over with Los Angeles’ hot and successful.
The music was blasting an obnoxious club mix and the usual wolves were hanging around the bar, eyeing the candy that came in the door and walked past. One of these wolves approached us and struck up a conversation that led to an invitation to the bathroom for a “white party”. We both declined, but weren’t really phased—that was pretty standard behavior in LA. Thinking he had offended us though he offered to buy us drinks, which we gladly accepted.
I got bored of his conversation and nudged my way out, leaving my best friend as I wandered off to explore the club alone. I wore a slinky sequin dress that caught the blue lights inside the club, sending sparkles shooting off me as I glided through the crowd. The dance floor was packed with people standing around like suitcases and the only sitting room was at reserved tables and in the VIP section which was also full.
As I scanned the crowd I noticed the lead singer of a band–whom shall not be named due to legal reasons–that I really liked. They were a new band from the UK that was just becoming popular that year. No doubt they were hardly recognized among the throng of LA wannabees on the lookout for starlets or glimpses of A-list celebrities.
I walked right up to his VIP table and attempted to start a conversation. A bodyguard tried to stop me, but the lead singer put up his hand to stop the guy and motioned for me to sit down next to him.
Thrilled at the invitation to rest my stilettos and the opportunity to talk to someone whose music I genuinely enjoyed, I asked him questions about what it took to get to where they were, what he thought was the hardest part of the fame, and if he had any advice for me.
I was a theater major and aspiring actress, so I was genuinely interested in what he would tell me. He was very down-to-earth, smiled sincerely when he spoke, pouring me a cocktail from the selection of liquor on their table. I gladly accepted his offerings and listened intently to his answers.
Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of some strawberries on the table. He must have noticed my slight glance because he motioned for another bottle of vodka, then handed me the entire bowl. I laughed and thought to myself what the odds were that I would have met such a kind and generous person.
He introduced his other band members and then excused himself to the bathroom. None of them seemed too interested in me though, almost assuming the lead singer had made some kind of “claim” on me, as men who travel in packs often behave. It’s like a part of the “guy code”.
Feeling the alcohol start to kick in I stood up and began to sway to the music, dancing with myself by the table and all of a sudden I felt an arm wrap around my waist. Startled, I turned around to meet the face of a man I had not seen before.
He held me tightly against him, pressed his head against mine and spoke firmly in my ear, “You’re the only black girl in this club. You know you belong to me.” He was black, with shoulder length dreads, much older than I was, probably in his late forties. I tried to push him off of me, but he held me even tighter. I looked for the nearest bouncer, and began waving, trying to get his attention.
Suddenly, I heard the voice of the lead singer, “Hey man, let go of her. What are you doing? Come on, get back over there with the guys.”
He pushed the guy off me, and as he walked away, I became puzzled, asking, “Wait. You know that guy?”
“Yeah, he’s my manager. I’m sorry about that…”
I was shocked and disgusted, but honestly, it wasn’t the first time that a black man had tried to claim “ownership” of me simply because I was a black female. I shook off the feeling and was just glad that he’d come back in time. We walked back over to the table and resumed our conversation. A few minutes later my best friend showed up.
“Oh my gosh there you are! Where have you been?! I’ve been looking for you everywhere!”
I had forgotten all about her once I had made my new VIP friends. I felt guilty. “Ah! I’m sorry! I just got caught up over here.” I motioned to the nice table, the bottles of champagne and liquor, and then picked up another strawberry, turning to the band members. “This is my best friend, can she hang out here with us?”
The lead singer nodded his approval, but she replied, “Actually, I’m gonna go now, I’m tired. Are you coming?”