every city has its own jersey shore.

i don’t understand why guys dress the way they do to go out to a bar or club. i’m not talking about the ones who don’t care, wearing khaki cargo shorts and tennis shoes, because no amount of tutoring and guidance is going to bring forth their salvation. my confusion is directed towards the guys who spend time in front of the mirror, applying gel to their short hair and putting on a tight t-shirt with writing about death or some sort of apocalyptic event, about retribution and revenge; in other words, things that keep you up at night, worrying. the shirts are often embellished with sequins or strips of leather, as if they were produced by a first-year art student still learning the mechanics of collaging, and intentionally stained in patches (most notably under the arms — a wise decision with how much these guys sweat).

you may see them in the corner of the room, gently nodding their heads in lax synchronization with the music, a beer cradled in hand. watch them for a few seconds and you’ll see them looking around, as if they’re waiting for someone while simultaneously flexing their muscles (they’re actually interested in who is noticing them). if you’ve ever seen a robed prizefighter on his way to the ring, stretching his neck to the left and right to loosen it and shaking his arms to encourage the flow of blood, then you’ve got an idea. i wouldn’t be surprised if part of their routine in preparing themselves for a night out, after crushing a six-pack of red bull, was to massage baby oil into their biceps to make them glisten even in poorly-lit rooms.

if they can find a button-front shirt to fit across their massive backs, they’ve invariably chosen a white one with a design in black embroidery (or maybe a white tonal stripe to differentiate the shirt from their other one with buttons). these guys are proud of their pectorals, unfastening the shirt until they bulge forth and gleam like a gladiator’s armor. bump into them accidentally and you face almost certain death, especially if you cause them to spill a drink. these are the guys that are interested in getting wasted and knocking out some dude’s teeth first and then, as a distant second, an afterthought, escorting an equally-inebriated lady home with them.

together they stand at the bar in groups, counting those around them, ordering jager bombs for their buddies and the hapless girls who have followed them. they down them quickly and high five or thrust their fists in the air like they have just pulled someone’s still-beating heart from their chest or they roughly grab a girl and press their lips against hers in the least romantic way possible. while performing one or more of these actions they bellow — one of those world-domination roars, like a lion enforcing his position as king of the jungle.

facebook is proof that they pose for a lot of pictures: mugging at the camera, often red-faced, their thick necks tilted to the side due to the weight of their friends’ arms around them. they wear sunglasses indoors and have the tips of their hair frosted. they talk about how they have a vip table with bottle service, as if overspending on liquor is a badge of honor, demanding respect. towards the end of the night they meet on the dance floor for more fist pumping, sometimes becoming aggressive, shoving each other and laughing at any collateral damage.

honestly, i don’t know what to say to these guys, though, i agree it’s naive of me to think they’re reading this writing. i doubt they realize how close they come to becoming caricatures, how tiresome their antics become, how unenviable their positions are. sometimes i like to pretend that one wakes up suddenly on a predetermined day, looks in the mirror and stands aghast at a visage of manicured facial hair, slowly weeping while shaving before crumpling to the bathroom floor, promising never to repeat these transgressions.

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One Response to “every city has its own jersey shore.”

  1. Hector Says:

    Why is there no name for that style of t-shirt? Those things remind me of that old “guns n roses was here” scene. They basically make you look like Axl Rose raped your torso.

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