I look up, and the sign says 'Exit,' yet I know that this is an entrance-- an entrance to another world, within mine. And as I step closer, I try not to think about the moot argument of the sign saying 'Exit' and the door being an entrance.
I haven't been back to the City in ages, but I knew I had to come back, and for some reason I came back here, to the Club. Exit.
How times have changed-- the retinal scanner was actually courteous. Out of the corner of my consciousness, I hear, "Have you ever fucked on Cocaine?" Cocaine? Ha. Must be oldies night. Regardless, there is no booming, searing music. I keep walking in, afraid the people behind me might get annoyed.
"Welcome to Exit. Tonight we have a very special show, with DJ legend Carl Cox, and one of the newest rising stars in the DJ world, DJ..."
The sound fades away, but before my mind can register being confused
, I remember the device all clubs have these days-- a directional speaker. The greeting sounds as if it was a thousand voices all at once, another testament
technology. I come to a portal with a tinted
door, I can barely make out some moving lights inside, and there is no sound-- the only sound is that of the people behind me chatting away. A sign is on the tinted, probably plastic door.
Persons with severe heart conditions, or pregnant women are advised not to enter the Club area.
-Exit Inc. Administration
What the heck?, I think to myself. I take another step and the door opens. Still no sound. My head passes through the portal.
I am flying through the sky, the clouds are passing so fast. I must be going at least two thousand kilometers an hour! My mind was quicker than my memory that time. The modern club experience catered to all of the senses, barring smell and taste, but the newspaper (even though they stopped making them out of paper years ago) said that wouldn't be for much longer.
The music had been there the whole time, and I notice it just as the track fades into a very good (I think) Drum 'n' Bass track. I rub my eyes to make sure of what I see. A thousand people, in the night sky, flying, all juggling glowing orbs. Glowing orbs? Ha. Magnetically levitating glo-orbs, or what the ravers (I wonder how long the term has been around) call simply 'glorbs'. Someone off to the side discretely swallows a pill. It could be a number of things, but it makes no difference to me-- dangerous drugs went out in the last decade-- all the drugs used now make aspirin look like heroin. Ironically, they were still illegal.
The sun was coming up, but it glowed a bright...blue? Surely it couldn't be our sun! Even at thirty-four years old, my mind wasn't as fast acting as it used to be.
I quickly realized that the whole gigantic room was wired with speakers, hologram generators, and fog machines. I veer toward the booth, wanting to get a glimpse of (according to the Times) the most technologically advanced DJ booth in the United States of North America.
After a good half hour of bumping and moving through the euphoric crowd, I move up to the booth, no huge speakers to kill me-- they are scattered invisibly along the roof, floor, and walls. I look inside and gasp.
A box. A box, which was connected to an unnecessarily large screen. The only thing that didn't faze me were the three men inside the bubble. I knew one to be Carl Cox, and the others I couldn't make out. One of them must've recognized me, because he opened the front door and motioned for me to enter. The booth was exceptionally quiet once the door was closed.
"Steve! I haven't seen you in...years!" I looked around a bit. Carl was sitting in the wide, comfortable chair and motioning with his hands, sensors protruding from the box capturing the movements. He had headphones on. I got a good look at the other. It was the man that inspired me to get into the business, Brian Transeau. My old partner, and still good friend spoke again. "Brian, this is Steve Kracken, deejay toolbox." I greeted him with a handshake, and after the formalities were done with, we had some seats in the back. I sized up the room a bit more, the booth alone must've cost millions. It was custom-made, after all.
"Where's Oakey? I thought he was resident here."
"Retired last year. Ears busted. Living in Ibiza now."
"Wow. Never thought the guy would let it go."
We all locked our eyes, for some reason, on the DJ spinning (another unfitting term) at the time. He took off his headphones and stood up. His face was covered in sweat.
"Carl, this is Steve, deejay toolbox. Steve, Carl Cox."
He looked like he was sizing me up a bit. Everyone today in the business did that. All experienced deejays had The Blink. One side effect of matching beats so much was blinking at a constant rhythm when not thinking about the music. It was a way for the brain to compensate for the lack of it's main function.
"So, you wanna have a go at it?"
I froze up. I'd worked with only analog for the past few years. I was a bit of a purist, but phonographs were still in use in the majority of clubs. "I, ah, well, I've never...worked with digital before."
"It's just like a set of decks-- the screen simulates three dimensions. I'll work the video feed."
The other two looked at me, sort of prodding me with their eyes to go on, to try it. So I did. As soon as I put the headphones on and sat down, I saw how much had really changed since the turn of the century. The sound was amazing. I could hear on my headphones Carl announcing me, so I quickly used the search engine to search up a track, cued it up, set the fader gradient and equalizer settings, and eased the track in slowly.
Outside, the sun was rising.