Zeta Bar is nothing to shout about. Actually, it's nothing to even write about. It's Hard Rock with drinks priced as if it's Bar Marmont, it's the nirvana of travelling white men, the diamond mine of SPGs who began their journey at The Beach Club. You get what I mean right?
For a very long time, I was a stalwart subscriber to the notion that I could not have fun on a night out unless I was:-
a. completely inebriated with alcohol
b. completely inebriated with alcohol and had a love interest present
c. completely inebriated with alcohol and passed out in somebody's car
Fast forward to last Saturday night - I realised that with only one whiskey soda all night long and no cigarette in hand, I was actually having fun. Great, great fun! Great, great fun at Zeta Bar!
The first time I realised that fun was possible without alcohol was back at the Rainforest Music Festival a month ago. Before the Black Label fest began, I was sober and loving every moment of partying outdoors at such an amazing gathering, high on the idea of kicking the pretentious KL scene in the butt and imagining myself in a Woodstock moment. Of course, sobriety is equated with being diseased in the pickled-liver town of Kuching, so I was quickly 'remedied' by locals. With twenty slugs of whiskey (straight out of plastic Coca Cola bottle) and some token water, I was no longer the leper. But the point is, there was a short moment of sobriety and in that flicker of a moment, there was happiness.
I have probably been waiting for this to happen ever since I stepped into Faces for my 13th birthday in 1987, complete with parental entourage.
Is it truly possible? Apparently it is. At Zeta, I danced like a maimed donkey, posed like a salah Paris Hilton and pranced about in a very Benny Hill fashion that is, if you really think about it, stupendously salah. The idea was to celebrate a friend's birthday, not just in action, but in feeling. The door to liberation had indeed sprung open and I was amazed I was allowed to gain admittance.
My explanation is this: As corny as it sounds, it comes with being at peace with myself. With not having to prove anything to anybody, especially me. Not having to please anyone, or to include anyone else's feelings and wants in my selfish pursuit of hedonism. It's about acceptance - largely about accepting that perhaps, I'm not all that (egad!), that plans don't always go the way I want, about being happy with what I've got - not constantly trying to make it better, or be with certain people or somewhere else completely. I know I come off really sad at this point but if the truth be told, this has a been a real obstacle for me to overcome (I really am that shallow). I'm not entirely sure how I arrived here, only that I have.
Having said that, here comes the disclaimer: I am not saying that I don't enjoy being off my face - of course being drunk is REALLY LOVELY, but what I'm saying is that it's no longer the precursor that stands in the way to a good time. I genuinely have a good time when I choose to - and I think that with most things, when it comes from inside out, it's all good.
Erm...almost everything. Not puke.