A guy walks into a bar with his buddies. An echo of screams fills the air as crowds of single girls make their way through the door. Men with bright, wide eyes glare at every female that struts past. Clings of beer bottles. Pounding music. Girls in tight skirts dance, dance, dance. A yell, a push and a shove. A fight erupts. Guy sees girl, approaches her. Girl smiles. Guy smiles. Playful banter. Pounding music.
Live from downtown Wichita, it’s Saturday night.
I watch these scenes almost every time I sit down at a bar. That, and the sight of thugs picking fights, girls dancing provocatively, lively groups of bachelorette parties and the same seemingly creepy men are strewn everywhere you go.
I took several trips downtown recently to sit back and enjoy some youthful tomfoolery by those consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. People-watching is a treasured pastime and a way to see beyond what others overlook — and the sheer entertainment, of course.
Now, nightlife in Wichita is about the same as any other city. You have those few popular bars where everyone eventually ends up. Then, you have the not-so-popular places where drink prices are extremely low and contain a few odd souls dancing alone in questionable ways. And finally, there are the up-and-coming spots which cut their drink prices in half just to get bodies in the door.
Wichita nightlife is pretty humdrum and relaxed. You will see the same things occur almost every weekend: the fights, the creeps, the dancing, the bachelorette parties.
But that is the most interesting of all: the same occurrences happen every weekend. The same groups pick fights with one another. You see the same provocative dancing, the same creepy men and always another bachelorette party. The people may be different — except the persistent creeps — but the behaviors remain the same.
Now everyone has his or her reasons for going out to a bar. It may be relaxation, conversation, a chance for intoxication, perhaps? It all remains the same.
What I see most often are the singles, of course. The seemingly lonely souls looking for comfort, even if just for the night.
So is this just an ungodly cycle that happens every weekend? No. These are simply unspoken truths people understand subconsciously, but hesitate to face in reality.
Wichita nightlife can be mundane at first glance, but it can also be electrifying if you take in the energies and the sights and the sounds. Spend a night just people-watching — without allowing others to think you’re the creeper — and think what you will about the atmosphere.
It’s not to say these repetitive behaviors are bad, but it would be satisfying to see something different at a bar downtown besides the norm. Even if just for the night.