Pacha & the 7 Stages of Death
Pacha and the 7 Stages of Death
The name alone inspires fear and drug induced flashbacks in the minds of many. Millions have experienced this club phenomenon in one of the 36 world wide franchises, and even more have heard of the Gomorrah that lurks inside. For those of you unfamiliar with Pacha, it’s a super-club, best known for its legendary house music, sexy dancers and seemingly endless parties that extend well into the afternoon. It’s also known for its less than sober clientele who are often seen sporting sunglasses indoors, carrying bottles of water, and in New York are either FOBs, Eurotrash or members of the esteemed Guido crowd (FIST PUMP!). Not to mention that for some it’s a lifestyle worthy of tattoos declaring the signature cherries and the names of the DJ’s the play inside. Brace yourself for my first brush with the legendary Pacha…
Friday night started off typically enough. I was working in Long Island when I got a call from VIP, a coworker from Astoria.
VIP: What are you doing?"
Me: I'm at work. What are you doing? Wait...aren't you in Astoria?
VIP: What time do you get out?
Me: I dunno - like 11?
VIP: Ok good! We're going to Pacha!
Me: Uh ... what?
VIP: David Guetta is spinning at Pacha. We have like no reservations here and 5 waiters so I asked DJBounce (our boss) if I could leave early cuz Guetta was playing at Pacha. He was like 'I'll flip a coin. You call it.' I was like 'Are you serious' so I called 'Tails' which I never do and he flipped the coin and it was on the floor spinning for like 20 minutes and finally it lands on tails and he's like 'You can go...are you going to see Guetta at Pacha?' and I'm like 'yeah' so he goes 'Me too, I have comps, do you wanna meet here at 12:30 and we'll go together?' I'm like "Yeah!"... so basically you're coming with me."
Leave it to VIP to have a coin toss determine our night's fate. Then again, VIP and I leaving our fate to a coin would be a marked improvement over letting us make our own decisions. At least this way we could hold something else accountable for our decisions. Plus we were long over due for a trip to Pacha as she had been trying to get me to go there with her for months.
When we met up at work, DJBounce was nowhere to be found so VIP and I opted to go in for a drink. I went to say hi to Kielbasa, who shared in my woes as a hostess, and she immediately asked me if I heard that David Guetta was playing at Pacha and that DJBounce, VIP and 7/10Split were going. I mentioned that I was going too, to which she appropriately responded “Fuck you bitch”
As we walked through the lounge I began to notice that the rest of the staff glared at us like nuns at whores, jealous our freedom and of auditory orgasms we would be experiencing. But at least for once it wasn’t because I actually looked like a whore. Doing our best to avoid their glares, VIP and I grabbed our drinks and hid in the restaurant to wait for DJBounce to grace us with his appearance.
After about 15 minutes of menacing glares coupled with a lot of “Hey what’s up?... I hate you bitches”, DJBounce finally appeared and VIP, 7/10Split, DJBounce and I headed into the city. About half an hour later we arrived in midtown, turned down the deafening music and called DJBounce's friend. He said he’d meet us in a few minutes so we got a round of drinks and did a round of shots at which point, DJBounce's friend Death showed up.
Facing death for the first time is always a memorable experience. In this case, Death (with a capital "D") came in the form of a little Indian man with an amiable smile and a bald head like Buddha. But beneath his benign appearance, lurked the soul of Lucifer waiting to break out and indiscriminately wreak havoc on us.
We chugged our round of drinks, headed over to Pacha and I mentally prepared myself for a long night. When we arrived it was around 2am and the lines were longer than Ron Jeremy’s penis on Enzyte. Fortunately, Death had connections and we went straight to the front and smoothly walked in, no lube required. Sort of.
7/10Split being a European sometimes tends to forget that the drinking age in America is 21 and proper ID must be carried to inform security of such trivialities (he’s over 30). Despite our offered bribes and flaunting of connections, we were unable to get 7/10Split into the club, so he headed home to grab his ID and said he’d meet us inside.
The rest of us walked in and split up to be felt up gender accordingly. VIP and I proceeded through female security where they pat us down and searched our bags. As the disgruntled Mo’nique look alike peered into my bag she reached in with the excitement of, well Mo'nique seeing the last Popeye's drumstick hidden in the bottom of my bag.
"You can't have this gum," she said swiftly reaching into my bag and throwing my Dentyne in a bucket as big and wide as Tara Reid’s vagina. "Next."
As I stepped to the side, VIP took her turn at being accosted by security, "Do you have any guns, weapons or narcotics?"
"DO YOU HAVE ANY GUNS WEAPONS OR NARCOTICS?" Mo'nique replied doing that neck thing in combination with the big eyes and pursed lips commonly seen in Flavor of Love confrontations.
VIP paused. Mo'nique gave her a look so heated it could've deep fried a turkey.
"What? Oh…uh no?" VIP responded finally realizing what was being asked.
After a cavity search and prostate exam, the guys rejoined us, and I braced myself as DJBounce opened the door and led the way in.
My eyes immediately squinted (or maybe that’s just my normal vision) to adjust to the strobe lights. Not going to lie, it was slightly overwhelming. The 3 story (from what I remember) club was packed in tighter than Mexicans on a road trip. There were Asians hopping up and down. Guidos wearing Ed Hardy caps and shirts that looked like they had been shitted on by a bedazzler. Guidettes with huge fake tits, belly shirts and low rise sweat pants. Guido dance circles with intense eye contact were everywhere. Not to mention the crack heads sweating behind dark shades - all moving in some way to the pounding house music that seemed to be coming from every solid surface in the club.
As I took in my surroundings, VIP guided me like child on a special ed field trip, to the bottle service section with DJBounce and Death in tow. As we approached the velvet ropes a Shaq sized bouncer immediately stepped in front of us blocking the entrance.
"WHAT DO YOU WANT" he boomed in a voice so loud DJBounce and Death could hear it 10 feet behind us over the music. It seemed that angry security personnel would be a theme for the night. Paralyzed by the unexpected denial into the VIP section VIP and I quickly stepped back as DJBounce laughed at us.
Reluctantly we retreated towards a rear staircase where DJBounce said we would be likeier to get in since he knew some people there. VIP pointed out the direction and I used my little Asian maneuvering skills to navigate our group through the crowd. About 40 feet from the staircase the crowd came to a dead stop. I got up on my toes to see ahead of me, and suddenly realized my feet were no longer on the ground. My body was suspended between the surrounding guidoes and my movement was at the mercy of the swaying crowd. DJBounce quickly pulled VIP toward him and VIP in turn popped me out of the crowd.
Astounded at the madness that was my first 10 minutes in Pacha, Death saw to it that our next plan of action was to get drunk. The four of us headed to the corner of the bar where a bartender that looked like he'd been up doing drugs since Soundfactory turned into Pacha came up and took our drink orders. And thus marks the beginning of the experience with the 7 Stages of Death.
Stage 1: Shock or Disbelief
As soon as we arrived at the bar Death took it upon himself to order our first round of drinks and shots. Somewhere between the loud music and his KFC (Ketamine Fried Cranium) the bartender mistook our order of Ketel-seven's for a round of 7 & 7's and we were forced to "get [us] some Seagrams gin, everybody got they cups but they ain't chipped in." Which was definately the wrong genre of drink for the music we were listening to. Nonetheless, we sipped those drinks and did our first round of Kamikaze shots. As Death announced that he was going to get us drunk, my response, “Yeah sure, that’s what they all think.”
Stage 2: Denial
Fifteen minutes and another round later, I was feeling a buzz. Don't point out to me the weakness of having 2 drinks and 2 shots and feeling a buzz. I had a busy day at work and didn't eat all day. And did I mention that I weigh 100 pounds soaking wet?? DONT JUDGE ME DAMNIT.
Undeterred by our slight shift from sobriety, Death kept the rounds of drinks coming. As he ordered round 3 he looked at VIP and I and said “Tomorrow when you’re hungover and dying, don’t forget that the little Indian did this to you.”
To this I responded, “I don’t get hangovers, and it’s not that easy to get me drunk.” Death just gave me the knowing look that the devil gives every drug addict turned born again Christian – the “you can pretend, but I still gotcha bitch!”
Now at point where I was denying feeling drunk I decided it was necessary to keep up with my male counterparts. VIP was wisely backing down from the shots after we reached round three, so I took it upon myself to make sure her alcohol didn't go to waste. For the next rounds of shots, VIP would either take a sip of hers and pass it to me, or just give it to me so I could double fist shots with a Ketel-seven chaser. It was probably also around this time that I started calling VIP a pussy, and started high fiving Death at our fortitude and Asian solidarity.
Five rounds of shots, four cocktails and only half an hour after we had started drinking, we had had enough of the corner of the Pacha and decided to venture out into the masses. Or in our case, make attempt deux into the VIP section. As I stumbled through the club, VIP and I decided to take a trip to the bathroom. On the way VIP expressed her pity for the bathroom attendants in the club. "I feel bad for the bathroom attendants here...After 4 o'clock everyone's so cracked out that no one tips them," she said as she insisted I leave a tip for the attendant. Funny, since if I was the bathroom attendant I'd make those fuckers pay me off to not question their 30 minute interval trips into the stalls. But that's why I'm smart and Asian, and they're bathroom attendants.
After peeing out all the excessive fluid, leaving only the alcohol to absorb into my system I realized that I had fallen off the cliff of drunkeness. I had jumped, no looking back, no parachute, off a ledge the height of the Kid in Play's flat top into a sea of vodka. I realized I wouldn't be remembering a good portion of the night, and there was a strong chance I would be "that girl" who ends up passing out or puking everywhere. Not to mention being drunk at Pacha is a clear indication of amateurness since everyone knows alcohol is NOT the drug of choice.
Realizing I had gotten nearly black out in the less than an hour I had been at Pacha, I felt the best thing to do was to sit on the stairs with Death as VIP and DJBounce tried to find a way for us to get into VIP (that would be the section, not the person). The two of them maneuvered the VIP balcony while I tried to pretend to be coherent while chatting with Death.
A few minutes later, VIP and DJ Bounce reappeared coming off the balcony with bracelets on. Death and I stood to join them, but the biggest bouncer I had ever seen, he was roughly the size of Kirstie Ally, stepped in the way and said we couldn't enter without bracelets. Too drunk to know what to do about it, I looked at my phone and VIP had texted me to come to the other side with the "WHAT DO YOU WANT" bouncer and she'd slip us two bracelets from people already on the balcony.
Five minute later Death and I returned to the same bouncer as we had magically managed to procure two bracelets, and he permitted us to waltz onto the balcony. Upon arrival, we joined Mykonos, a promoter from Astoria who’s always in a good mood, and always has bottles on his table. Coincidence, I think not.
Stage 3: Anger
Mykonos being the type of person that he is, immediately offered us all drinks, which after thinking about the alcohol I had to decline. I knew my stomach was not up to ingesting any more alcohol, and I was mad at myself for having gotten so drunk, that I would be that socially awkward person drinking a bottle of water. Not to mention my stomach was angry at me and yelling “If you put one more drink in me I’m pulling a Calista Flockhart after a hamburger.” In retrospect, the bottle of water would’ve made me fit in better – as long as I ran around stroking things and dancing like there I was doing DDR while trying to give directions to a remote location.
Stage 4: Bargaining
Quickly, my anger was quickly replaced by a new perspective. If I could manage to make a drink and sip it then I wouldn’t be that much of a social reject, because as we all know, alcohol makes people cooler. My logic went something like this. "Well Risa, if you can keep drinking, then that means you're not actually drunk and you're not that girl who can't even drink anymore. Just have one more and sip it."
And that pretty much marks the end of coherency for the night. I remember hanging out with VIP, DJBounce, Death, and Mykonos for a while. I also remember running into my other boss' partner who accidentally slipped at let me know that my boss didn't know my name (I had been working for him for about 5 months at that point). He also made me promise to forget that I had seen him at this crackhead all night party.
Stage 5: Depression
Somewhere between half way full and half way empty on my drink I started feeling more nauseous and my body started giving me THE warning signs. My mouth started sweating, so I bolted to the bathroom. Unfortunately, the bathroom required a wristband, and mine had fallen off. I quickly ran back to the table and borrowed Mykonos’ which I attached to my wrist with some contraband gum and ran to the bathroom where the horsemen of the apocalypse exited via my mouth.
Feeling kind of bad that I had messed up the bathroom, I started wiping down the stall to make it at least appear clean, at which point I started getting dry heaves again, and the attendant started knocking on the door to tell me to get the fuck out of there, probably thinking I was belting my arm and shooting heroin in the corner of the stall.
Reluctantly I left the bathroom and rejoined my friends where Death was alternating between trying to get me to drink more, and trying to make out with VIP, VIP was in her own world having a solo dance party as the rest of us refused to join in her box step, interpretive arm dance and DJBounce was bobbing his head vigorously to the music while creating photographic evidence of Death’s forays against VIP.
Stage 6: Acceptance
Somewhere around 5 am I accepted the fact that I was too drunk to function, and succumbed to sitting on the couches chewing ice cubes and enjoying the scenery. David Guetta was less that 50 feet from where I sat, and I was getting to experience what would probably be one of the biggest club nights of my life. I sat back relaxed and took in the view of my 9th circle of hell.
Eventually, DJBounce also started to feel the fatigue (or maybe just noted mine) and around 5:30am we headed parted ways with Death and headed back to Astoria. Being more nimble and coherent that I, VIP called shot gun back seat before I was able to claim that sleeping space and I was forced into the front seat. Unfortunately, the relaxing momentum of riding in a luxury car with pounding house music quickly lured me off to sleep despite my best efforts to remain conscious. At this point, DJBounce and VIP started waving their hands in my face, poking me and asking me questions that I don’t even remember answering. This eventually resulted in me repeatedly mumbling “fuck you guys” as I barely maintained consciousness. Raise your hand if you’ve ever told your boss “f-you” and lived to tell about it. HA Death! At least I got you on one account!
When I came to, we were back in Astoria (it couldn’t have been more than 20 minutes later) stopped at a bagel shop where DJBounce was making a run for fresh bagels and croissants and XXX Vitamin Water – the breakfast of all night warriors. VIP was still teasing me (bitch!) and I could tell that I was going to need to puke again soon.
Stage 7: Hope
When we arrived at work several minutes later, we greeted the night porter who was cleaning the store, and I immediately bolted to the bathroom where I started violently puking, to the point where the other two could hear me at the other end of the restaurant.
On the bright side, I felt much better.
On the truthful side, I woke up the next morning with my ears still ringing and feeling like I had been hit by a Mack truck.
For those of you thinking about visiting Pacha, or more importantly are considering hanging out with a little Indian known as Death, just know that in the end, Death always wins.