I’ve been feeling like too much of a homebody lately. I can’t stand when co-workers ask me about my weekend on Monday morning and I have literally nothing to say. Who wants to hear about my marathon video game playing and sleeping for 9-10 hours on Sunday? No one. So this weekend I was bound and determined to change it up. I had a plan and that plan was to seek out Mata Hari, Savannah’s only speakeasy. In order to execute this plan I would need two things. #1 Proper footwear to match the dress I intended to wear and #2 a partner in crime.
With high hopes and a pair of borrowed six-inch wedges from my friend Jen I set off for the general direction of the underground club. I’m normally 5’9” with these ridiculous shoes on I was well over six feet tall lumbering around downtown concentrating on every step. I felt like a toddler just learning to walk for the first time on unsteady feet. Jen told me the trick was to put your foot down toe first. It actually worked until we got to the cobblestones. I was certain to roll an ankle if I tried to walk on them. Jen in her flowing black dress and slightly more reasonable shoes scouted ahead and tried to use her iphone to locate the clubs address. I crept along behind her pressing my body against the brick wall for support and moving forward one inch at a time like an ancient foot-bound Chinese woman. The pain and effort would all be worth it once I stepped foot in the secret club. Right?
I called a friend who’d actually been to the speakeasy and it turned out that we were nowhere near it. I gave up and took my shoes off walking through god knows what on the sidewalks of downtown Savannah. His directions were to go down the stone stairs and take a right down the alley. He said it would be the only door that is inexplicably nice looking. We took a right down the suspicious looking alley. By this time we’d worked up a little bit of a sweat, as July in Savannah is normally so hot it crushes your soul. A bright red door that definitely stood out from the rest encouraged us. “There is a box and you need to press the button,” I had been instructed. I didn’t see anything near the door except a metal breaker box with wires coming out of it. I tentatively lifted the gray lid and found a red switch. The logical part of my brain told me that, it couldn’t be this switch, but the stubborn part said that I had walked so far in bare feet and sweltering heat. Jen was also mopping her for-head and fanning herself. I pulled on the red switch. It came off in my hand and I hoped I hadn’t somehow turned off the power to something.
I saw a mail slot and tried to peek through it thinking I’d see a bar and people drink standing around in fancy attire. The slot had been blocked off with something so you couldn’t see through it. I was perfectly willing to allow an employee of Mata Hari to pass judgment on me and tell me I couldn’t come in without purchasing a key, but dammit they were going to have to come outside and tell me this to my face! I knocked on the door. A fat white woman came out and asked me if she could help me with something. She didn’t look at all like I was expecting her too and she wasn’t dressed up. I tried to see past her but she was filling the doorway.
“Can we come in?” Was all I could think to say.
“This is a residence,” she said.
“Oh, I’m sorry I thought this was a bar.” I blurted out.
“No, and you really shouldn’t be looking through peoples mail slots.” She said in a none too friendly tone. I got the idea that this mistake happened to her a lot. I had no idea there were apartments down in the alley way between Bay and Riverstreet. Who the hell would want to live in an apartment that was surrounded by bars on every side?
“I was just looking for the key club and someone told me it was down this way.” Even though she was mad at me the fat woman did end up helping us out by pointing us in the direction of the club. It was only about two doors down from where we were standing.
The actual club looked exactly like it had been described to me earlier. I saw the call box that I was supposed to push. It was a little white keypad next to the door looking nothing at all like the breaker box I’d violated earlier. We didn’t need to use it because a young blonde guy in a tuxedo was outside in the alley to greet us and check our id. Both of us were a little nervous about whether or not we’d be able to get in so Jen immediately informed the doorman of our credentials, even though he didn’t ask. Once inside a cold blast of air greeted us and my feet immedidately found comfort in the carpeted floor. We sank into two seats at the bar and took in the atmosphere. A girl in a black tuxedo bodysuit with fishnets and heels served us manhattans and sidecars. We made our way to a comfortable table at the back of the club with a nice view of the stage.
Before long a woman came out in a sparking silver beaded dress and treated us to a siren song. I complimented the singer while she was on break and she took me backstage and showed me all her sparkly outfits and jewelry. The jewelry and hair accessories hung neatly on the wall like a curtain of glitter. I was thoroughly pleased with myself at that moment and that I had accomplished what I set out to do. I always set goals for the weekend that are rarely achieved. Now, if I can only manage to clean my car.