Buffalo, 1999

I finally came to the decision that I'd been living far too close to Buffalo and for far too long to have not gone to the Continental before this. I knew that the Buffalo net.goths had a weekly coffee meet before the Saturday night clubbing, so I decided to go for that, but couldn't gather up anyone free and solvent enough to go with me.

December 4, 1999

I packed up my car around quarter after seven in the evening and started on the drive to Buffalo, with a quick stop at a Fifth Wheel travel centre to put some air in my driver's side tires. Mist hung over the road as I rounded Lake Ontario, heading onto the last stretch before Fort Erie but it never became so thick that I couldn't see the tail lights of the car in front of me.There was no trouble at the border, the guard asked me where I was going and I just said to Buffalo to spend an evening with friends.

I pulled out the directions that Kelly had obtained from Rafe and followed the I190 towards Buffalo, watching for the exit he'd specified. It didn't appear and I ended up on the I90 heading towards the airport. I turned around, paying a toll, and decided to try the directions that I'd taken from Yahoo. I got off at Elm St. and turned on Division, following it until I seemed to run out of city. I stopped at a service station and the guy there directed me back towards downtown and Allen St. I managed to make a few correct turns and ended up on Franklin, passing the club and the parking garage that I'd been told about, and followed it up to Allen and the Java Temple. It was 9:45 by that point, and I was a bit worried that I'd missed meeting them at 9 as we'd agreed. I spotted them at the couches in the non smoking room right away though, and Kelly joined us after getting her drink. I grabbed myself a tea to celebrate my arrival and settled in to talk with them. Leslie/Impurity and her boyfriend remembered meeting me in Toronto from one of their previous trips, and I managed to remember her at least. They ended up leaving a bit early, heading home instead of to the club. Chris and Kelly and Kristin (?) and I seemed to form the core group, getting distracted by Reservoir Dogs playing on the TV in the corner every so often. RazorJak had had to leave to start work at the club, but I was told that he'd put me on his guest list for the night. Kristin wandered off to listen to the band playing in the other room, complete with electric violin.

Chris and Kelly managed to give me good directions to circle around back to the club, Franklin being a one way street, and I managed to find a spot to park just before the last cross streeet before the club. I managed to make the door man understand that I was on the guest list and he pointed me upstairs to find Jak. I didn't see him, so I grabbed a drink and settled on a couch near the door to keep watch for Kelly and Chris. After quite a while Chris bounced up the stairs and spotted me - they'd been waiting downstairs for me, talking with Jak. Kelly made her way up and we claimed that couch more fully. I went to dance at that point, leaving Kelly to watch my stuff, but when I came back, they'd moved to a new table and Jak was with them (and my drink had been claimed by a bus boy, but it had gone watery by then anyway). I presented Jak with the second Coffee Crisp bar (duly declared at the border, the first having gone to Kelly as thanks for her welcome), checked my coat but kept my bag with me, putting it down near the mirrored wall when I was dancing. Jak offered to let me crash over at his place if I didn't feel up to the drive home, and I said I'd think about it. I danced some more, then Kelly and Chris had to leave, since he had to work in the morning. I decided to stay on, still feeling wide awake and enjoying myself. The club had black lights all over it which prompted me to remove my sweater to avoid blinding myself with the lint, but the rest of the lights were appropriately dim or bright, depending on if they were in the seating area or directed onto the dance floor. The floor itself was covered in squares of wood made up of smaller strips and a few of them were missing, prompting me to wander a bit to find a smooth place to dance. I managed to wrench my back a bit and got bumped and scratched a couple of times, but mostly the other dancers respected space. Jak introduced me to the DJ AJ, who'd played my request early in the evening. The set was good, lots of industrial, some retro, and enough techno that I got a rest every so often. Jak stopped by when his rounds as a bouncer brought hm near where I was standing or sitting, and no one bothered me.

The coat check closed at 3, so I grabbed my jacked from their clutches a bit early to avoid the rush, and Jak offered to put it in theoffice, since by then I'd pretty much decided that I wanted to stay till the end anyway. He'd be off work around 4:30 (last call at 4 was a bit of a surprise) once clean up was done. I checked out the little store at the back of the first floor band room and talked a bit with one of the clerks. She turned out to be a friend of Jak's and came and talked with me for a while at the end of the night. She was the last of the people who urged me to come back on a Friday night. As people were trickling out, the owner/manager came by with a few roses stuck through his belt and Jak introduced me to him to. When Jak was formally put off duty, we grabbed my coat and dashed to my car in the rain. He gave me the 10c tour of Buffalo as I drove us to his apartment. I got yet another glass of water and sat up with him for a while hydrating myself. I got to send verbal greetings to the people on #altgothic since Jak was on IRC for a while. He wasn't going to go to sleep until the next day, but I headed to bed soon after. I got up after a bit and grabbed some more water to down a couple of pain pills since my back decided that my laying down was the sign for it to start spasming. It was around 6am or so.

December 5, 1999

I woke up at about 11am to the sounds of cars pulling out, and worrying that someone had hotwired mine. Jak popped out to get bread and milk and I was reassured that my car was okay, and watched cartoons. We had very toasty raisin bread and watched the adventures of Pooh Bear and brain stormed who on alt.gothic matched the characters the best. He gave me directions to the I190 and the border, but I was able to find it anyway since there were lots of signs directing me to the Peace Bridge. I stopped to get a tank of gas, taking advantage of the usually lower prices in the US, then breezed through the border and home, via a short shopping trip in Brampton.

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