A few months ago, circa my first month in Florence, I was invited for a night out at TwentyOne, Florence’s highly-rated nightclub on TripAdvisor. I pulled out my black silk, spaghetti strap dress that I bought before coming here, having told myself that this dress belonged in Italy. The dress however was not made for chilly weather, so when I waited in line, the very nice bouncer let me wear his leather jacket because I’m guessing I looked very cold. This was very kind of him; I couldn’t be the only one in line not wearing a leather jacket. I already was the only one not smoking. 

People my age were waiting in line in head-to-toe black, smoking cigarettes and decked out in leather jackets. This was the fashionable side of Florence I’d heard about but never seen. 

Once let inside, it was obvious to me that my companions were not there yet, so it was incumbent on me to get the party started– a task I am not well suited to.

All of the women in the nightclub were so nice to me. Some of them asked me if I was straight (it must have been my dancing) and when I said that I was, they informed me that this was a gay bar. I had ascertained that much from the men in the corner who were far more interested in each other than they were in the women at the bar. I was invited to dance with some of the girls as the dance floor quickly became a mosh pit. 

The dance floor quickly became a mosh pit. TwentyOne is selling a pretty sweet package. Those who come for a night get a free drink, a drag performance, and to be danced on by some scantily dressed men. 

My friends joined later in the night, once I’d had about an hour to myself on the dance floor. The people-watching was fun as we rested our feet. A woman whose whole figure was composed of some well-done implants was with a man whose entire being screamed, “I’m rich.” (Seriously, he was wearing a pocket square in the breast pocket of his double-breasted three piece suit and gold-rimmed glasses in the club). A woman and her sugar daddy, out on the town, she looking very cool and sexy, and him looking very uncomfortable but trying to pretend that he is not. I salute you girl. 

I showed up when the club opened at midnight and left around the time that it closed at about 4 am. I then got home around 6 am. We danced for a few hours before leaving and tried to get a cab, a nearly impossible task in Florence on a night on the weekend. We walked for two hours and called 15 times before my friend Naja and I got a taxi. I, therefore, got home at around 6 am, hungry and cold and ready to faceplant in my bed, which I did, a strangely anticlimactic end to an otherwise fun night.

A night of sweaty bodies on dance floors, mainlining drinks, followed by walking through the streets of Florence in the middle of the night. It was truly a first experience to say nothing of a dip out of my comfort zone. Similar out-of-comfort-zone experiences to follow.

The Tragic Queen,


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