Chapter 1: Not Quite Midnight in the Jardin of Arsene and Virgil

Stuttering percussion and icy synths reverberated across the surging dance floor, and Jardin‘s swelling patronage was being swept up in the triphop’s intoxicating physicality. It was foreplay, and every dancer measured their calculations.

The shuffling, arrhythmic beats pulsing through the bar sent waves of color that folded in on themselves and back out, unfurling and blooming, each permutation an aftershock of the endless reflections.

From her high bar stool, just off the disco’s center, on a little diamond of the labyrinthine, elevated walkway, Virgil scanned the club for familiar faces.

Continue reading “Chapter 1: Not Quite Midnight in the Jardin of Arsene and Virgil”

May 16th, 2009

Robin Goldberg met Virgil Keller the night that she graduated from Hodges University.

Robin was wearing a royal purple one-piece bathing suit. She’d ordered the swimwear from the official Omikron Epsilon Delta merch catalogue. Robin didn’t like how most swimsuits looked on her pale skin, but dark purples brought out the chestnut in her hair. The collegiate gear felt appropriate since her Brothers and Sisters were the ones that had brought her out to celebrate in the first place.

That evening was Robin’s first trip to Jardin, Arsene’s temple of song, dance, and sex. Every evening at Jardin was different. Arsene — the club’s owner and manager — was not a fan of predictable, rote hedonism. They wanted a crowd that worshipped at the font of excess and lust. The expected was the antitheses of their brand of ethereal pleasure. Jardin had been a Pittsburgh institution for forty years because walking through its velvet-plushed doors was a guarantee that your inhibitions would dissolve. A night at Jardin was a promise that the evening’s carnality would consume you. The club was a decades old reminder that desire could be obtained. You just had to open yourself up to embracing your appetites.

Continue reading “May 16th, 2009”