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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, May 18, 2001

Get crazy! No one cares at Fusion

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer

Fusion Waikiki
2260 Kuhio Ave., second floor
• $5 cover
• 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Sundays; Other nights free
• 924-2422

2:08 a.m., one nightclub and four Diet Cokes later.

The caffeine had finally taken effect, about an hour too late. I had forced myself to groove to a warped blend of R&B and booty at the Blue Room one Friday night. My head had been spinning with exhaustion, and the pulsating lights hadn't helped. I wasn't in the mood for swaying my hips as dozens of Bud Light-toting college guys sent over that look.

You know the look.

The one that makes you feel extraordinarily uncomfortable wearing those snug pants and your first halter top.

But I didn't want to waste a night out.

And being the trooper that I am, I had downed a couple of Diet Cokes and convinced myself I was doing this in the name of journalism.

When I felt I had enough data collected and research done, I headed for the door. Just as the last song heaved its shoulders, turned around and headed backstage. The Blue Room was closed.

This is when everyone goes home. It's after 2 a.m. Friday is over. The only places open are Zippy's and Wal-Mart.

And Waikiki.

Fatal mistake, those Diet Cokes, because the caffeine started to work its magic. And I didn't want to go home.

"What's open let's do something where can we go?"

I was antsy.

"Uh," started my unlucky clubbing partner.

"C'mon let's go somewhere I've got all this energy don't know what to do about it let's go let's go."

"Ever been to a gay club?"

I stopped.

This had possibilities. I hated the whole meat market, laugh-at-stupid-drunk-humor-to-get-free-drinks scene. So not 26.

I wanted to be somewhere, but not there, somewhere to just dance.

Fusion Waikiki was perfect.

Parking, however, wasn't. We ended up wiggling the car between two sedans so far down Ala Wai Boulevard, the place was almost residential. But the walk was worth the blisters.

Because Fusion was crazy. Exactly what I needed. Exactly what satisfied my urge to dance all the caffeine outta me.

We climbed up the stairs to the second-floor lair, the noise audible from the street, still busy at 2:20 a.m.

Ten bucks was our ticket into the colorful spectacle that is Fusion.

Disco lights, smoke effects, mirrored balls — all essentials to any nightclub. Except one thing.

Men dancing with men. (And dancing well, I might add.)

And not just dancing. The later it got, the more shirts came off. And by 3 a.m. couples were freakin' on the dance floor, rubbing chests and stroking biceps. But not in a raunchy, awkward way. I didn't feel violated (though I couldn't say the same for my clubbing partner), but more intrigued at how comfortable everyone seemed to be, even with hands all over their bodies.

And all the while glam-techno blared from the speakers, curious patrons upstairs leaned over the railings to study the live sociological exhibit below.

For me, a single, straight girl on a mission to dance, this was a non-threatening environment. I could be as sultry or as silly as I wanted. And no one would care.

Even when my clubbing partner disappeared to the restroom, I wasn't overwhelmed with the feeling that I suddenly became easy prey. I danced by myself in the most freeing way — without worry.

And though some shirtless men did approach me, they didn't ask me where I was from, how often I came around, Hey, how 'bout them Horndogs, er, I mean, Hornets?

"Great hair," cooed one pretty boy, wearing a shirt that said "Boys lie."

"Like the top," sassed another one, obviously macking with the pretty boy by throwing compliments.

It worked. After about 20 minutes, they were making out on the dance floor.

Typical. But for me, better.