Seven years ago, I set off on my quest for the rave. My whole life, I suffered a hunger for movement I didn’t know how to sate until I found the dance floor. I started a diary of my exploration into the world of club culture, a newsletter called outer ][ space. My writing was an expression of my curiosity as I discovered the glorious and beautiful possibilities.
After a few hundred nights and a few thousand hours of dancing, I can say I fulfilled my mission. I heard rhythms of unfathomable genius on the world’s greatest sound systems. I also saw talentless hacks pump garbage through tin cans (and the crowd went wild). I witnessed fashion that Paris runways could never dare to imagine, and I waded through seas of vanilla clones - sometimes both in the same night. I pushed my body to its limit - and then kept going. I lost myself, rediscovered my truth, and reconfigured my soul. Night after night, time and time again.
My fundamental need for music and movement remains, but achieving satisfaction on the dance floor has become a drastically different endeavor. The bright-eyed awe has faded, the novelty is long-gone. Raving is now routine, dancing in familiar spaces with known faces. I entered into a community, a sticky web of rich, deep, complicated relationships, woven by shared history and stretched by conflict. Party politics and scene drama lurk in every corner, but so does warmth, love, and friendship.
In every way, this is the opposite of where I started - anonymous, lonely, uncertain, but enthralled with flashing lights and sparkling outfits. Where outer ][ space was about celebrating the peak of an incredible journey of discovery, (the comedown) is about weathering the return to reality, navigating nuance, and seeking balance. This series will explore the hard labor of finding and creating joy when it isn’t quite so simple any more.
Grab some fruit, stretch your legs, and take that magnesium. We’ve got a lot more partying to do.