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Friday night I was bouncing around from thing to thing. I started my night at a birthday party and ended up in a friend’s living room very late at night/early in the morning, where I was made to listen to Swedish House Mafia while everyone laughed at the judgmental, scornful old man faces I was making. Somewhere in between I briefly joined up with four female friends at a bar, who were there to meet up with some guy that one of them knew and about 5 or 6 of his bros.
And make no mistake, they WERE bros. They were the khakis and free-t-shirt-they-got-from-a-thing set. They looked to be about 18 years old, like college freshman embarking upon their first frat party, or their first local bar with a doorman that turns a blind eye to clearly fake IDs. I was fairly shocked to learn that they were 24, because it immediately sent me into a spiral of “oh my god, I must be a million years old if they looked like teenagers to me.”
But this was different. They were young to me because they were a pack. A pack of wolfbros out to troll for some ladies. Here’s how a night like this goes down: Alpha bro will inform betas that there is a place where girls are going to be, often times “hot” girls. Bros will then roll as deep as possible to said place and divide and conquer. And divide they did, in the most impossible and clumsy of combinations: two of them talked directly into the ears of the least single girl (read: lives with boyfriend), two scrolled on their iPhones in opposite dark corners, one was putting some major moves on a friend who was just laughing at him, while a sleepy guy who was described to me as looking like “the deformed guy from Goonies” (even though he didn’t) sat across from them, staring into the void, having waking dreams about Taco Bell and his, I’m assuming, race-car bed.
I can’t tell if I was a threat or merely an annoyance to them, as they seemed drunk enough to be undeterred by anything when I arrived. I don’t think I was, to borrow a phrase from bros, cockblocking, because it was plain to me that my female friends were not interested in any of them, and had decided to hang out with them almost as a goof. Whatever the case, it wasn’t stopping them from swarming these women, who just laughed at them long after last call, until the lights came up and we all spilled onto the sidewalk.
When we were all accounted for outside, the bro-pack mobilized and started following my friends to their car. Everyone was laughing, but I noticed a slight turn at this point. They weren’t frightened, or even threatened, but they seemed a little more cautious then when we were inside the bar, with it’s decent lighting and dozens of strangers within arm’s reach. Their laughter and their pace more hurried, their smiles a little more forced. They were entertained, but their night was ending, and this gaggle of tall skinny baby-men weren’t tired and weren’t ready to say goodbye.
At the car, the wolfboys started trying to plan a second location, but the ladies weren’t hungry, or thirsty, or, if my powers of perception were correct, interested in sex with any of them. At this point, hugs were given out, and then taken, and then we were all in the car. I was parked a block away, but wanted to ride with them in case something weird happened. And it did happen. The ringleader started to get into the car through the passenger’s side window, onto my friends lap. Everyone was laughing so hard. Losing their breath. But he wouldn’t get out of the car once the joke was over. Classic comedy mistake. Never overstay your welcome. I started to softly say, “come on dude, you gotta get off of her,” and then a little louder, “okay dude, goodnight” and then he finally relented. As we pulled away, they were all standing on the sidewalk of this side street in Los Feliz, waving and shouting at the car.
Everyone in the car was laughing, having successfully been entertained by a bunch of silly, possibly terrible sub-men for the evening. I however, wasn’t, because the only other times I’ve been that close to a display like that, I was the one making it. I’ve been that drunk guy climbing into the car at 2 AM, whispering something through hot whisky breath, thinking that maybe if I pushed the joke one step further, or said one more thing, some girl would think I was the greatest. It’s a delusion that exists in most men, especially single ones. A sweaty, desperation-born delusion that can turn a fun weekend night into a mission. It’s gross to watch or reflect on, but in the moment, it’s just Friday. I said goodnight and went on to my fourth location. I wasn’t tired.