Wake Up: Aphrodisiac Cafe

I’m sitting here in Lincoln Hall scouring through pages of dry personal finance information. Will sends me a message checking in with me for the day. I flick through a couple of songs, and encounter the song Wake Up by Arcade Fire. The rhythmic percussion in time with the steady bass, accompanied by the mourful wailing utterances in the background make me nostalgic. The song became a hit when the movie Where the Wild Things came out, but this song in particular brings me back to one particular moment with Will and I.

We scraped through the Museum of Sex. I thought myself brave and progressive for entering, but I felt much less empowered than I imagined walking through the gift shop/ entrance room. Pictures of vaginas, penises, sex toys galore. After a while I sort of realized that the only judging that I’d be given as a visitor of the Museum of Sex was all self-wrought, self-perpetuated, internalized. After a while, Will and I slowly acclimated to the environment. We suddenly loosened our inhibitions and stretched them just enough to appreciate a much untold history of sex, in all its infamous manisfestations, glorious inglories. I was fascinated by the fetishes exhibit, Will by the Disney pornography exhibit. Both of us were absolutely fascinated by the exhibit about gender variant-displays of sex and affection in animals other than human. To be honest, it opened by eyes, and today, I am just slightly more open, slightly more flexible to being open about my own sexuality.

I’m bringing this up, because the song “Wake Up” reminded me of a really special moment between Will and I. We stumbled down into OralFix, the undeniably expensive “aphrodisiac bar”, or basically cafe of the Museum of Sex. It is a dimly lit room. It kind of looks like a chunk of Chipotle’s that had been stripped of it’s rigid sterility. Brick walls. Naked light bulbs twisted together, hanging in the air. Drinks and tidbits to munch on named after and featuring famed aphrodisiacs. I’ve since forgotten the drink that we ordered. But it was a special experience, almost as if we were paying for some kind of alchemy, a belief in the magic properties of substances, now almost half eradicated by the dry methoditry of science. The drinks came in tall glasses encrusted in sugar. Will and I shared a very small mango mousse. Arcade Fire started playing, and I shazzamed the song.

Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’,
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little god’s causin rain storms
Turnin’ every good thing to rust.

We were younger than our time today. And we will always be younger. The song Wake Up, to me, is about the “education” that we all get when it comes to being fully-formed and functional adults. Stiffen up, they tell us. Tough love, they tell us. I think it plays with the concept of there being a dichotomy between being a child and an adult. I recommend the song. Wake up.


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