Welcome to the other side of the canvas wall, where few have been fortunate enough to gain access to. This is one woman’s perspective of the American Circus culture, which has been a part of my life since I was a child. There were a lot of things that interested me about the carnival that magically appeared every May outside the windows of my Catholic grade school. It was amazing to me that people lived in these mobile trailers, which allowed them to go any place they wanted to, bringing along with them this unique form of entertainment.

While early exposure to live circus performance is hard to remember, I do know that I was not very fond of the clowns, mostly due to the fact they made some loud noises which were not friendly to sensitive ears. However, there was always a fascination that filled me when I watched people do amazing things. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment I wanted to be one of these people, but there was definitely a yearning to know what it was like. Not so much because I felt the need to be the center of attention, but more so due to the fact that what they did seemed magical, and the audience loved them for it.

My imagintion certainly became even more interesting when I discovered strange things on the midway of a carnival my parents brought me to. At the time, I had no idea what sideshow was, or that there was such a thing as a gaffe. The vivid illustrations certainly caught one’s attention and got the imagination stirring. Natural curiosity wanted to know exactly what was on the inside of these strange metal trailers. Some of them were more rewarding than others, but in the end, satisfaction was found.

The years passed and eventually I found my way to Coney Island, where I saw my first real sideshow, and marked the beginning of a new obsession. There was a constant craving for knowledge of history and any information I could find about this magical place. Part of me could take that step back in time, and know what it was like to see thousands of incandescent bulbs burning through the darkness. An electric Eden that many saw instead of the welcoming torch held high by the Statue of Liberty. Imagination was easily sparked, and truly I felt a connection to the Island.

All of this has helped shape me into the person I am today, along with countless adventures and experiences that some people only dream about. There were moments when I wondered how I had become so fortunate as to walk in the footsteps of those I once admired. In many ways, I feel as though I have carried on the traditions of American Circus, which I feel is important to preserve as much as possible, particularly now that we have become a digital-obsessed society. Everything needs to be instant gratification, and then quickly move on to the next thrill, as though there is an addiction.

The contents of this blog are purely meant to document the events that have occurred over the course of my life to serve as education for anyone interested enough to read this. From my time spent traveling with an authentic 10-in-1 sideshow and late night exploits on the Island to living in the city that gave birth to American Circus and joining the ranks of sword swallowers world wide. Some opinions may not be suitable for all audiences, but I have always stayed true to myself and believe in the ability of free speech.

With that said, please enjoy this assorted collection and appreciate the rare opportunity presented here.


Kitschy Variety: Welcome to the Sideshow Leggings


The search for a clever way to cover legs during winter without constantly relying on tights brought the discovery of a truly unique separate that I just had to use in the first Carny Style article of the new year.  Despite my aversion towards the company due to some of the designs, Sourpuss did more than hit the mark with these graphically appealing Welcome to the Sideshow Leggings, which take black and white stripes to a whole new level by covering them in an array of boldly printed slogans that are influenced by those found on sideshow banners.  It would be very easy to create an outfit that reads cartoon character, which is fine if this is the look you’re going for.  However, with a garment which makes a profound statement all on its own, one can become lost and even overwhelmed in something that is too busy.  While it seems simple, the Vavavoom Top [also by Sourpuss] is described as having the “perfect pinup fit”, achieved with a ruched sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves that comfortably hug your arms.  Since there is already plenty of blue and red in the leggings, I thought it would be nice to balance with a bit of yellow in the form of the Anna Rose Embroidered Cardigan, since the color is soft without being too distracting.  The black trim disguises  the buttons down the front while a set of roses embroidered on the back adds a nice ‘surprise’ detail.  Layering the Shadow Stripe Swing Skirt over the leggings may risk covering some of that amazing print, but the subtly striped satin skirt is another vintage styled separate from Sourpuss that focuses on the fit of the garment, which shows in the way it gives the illusion of a tight waist.

What better way to coordinate with stripes than using polka dots, particularly when they are plastered across Wanna Be Bad yellow heels, their classic shape and mellow tone putting a bit of punctuation on the mostly monotone materials.  A popular Sourpuss purse gets an updated look, the Floozy now available in gold trimmed black vinyl, the vintage inspiration gleaming behind custom hardware, a kisslock closure and the overall polished finish.  Protect the skin from sudden gusts of cold with the Merona Stripe Scarf, where an engaging mix of black and white stripes, starting with one color dominant over the other and having the two reverse positions, will make it seem as though you have a bit of magic up your sleeves.  Accent an artfully arranged up-do with Gimme Couture’s Audrey Hair Clip, faux pearls set in the center of pointed petals – the black and white striped variety – for a hint of glamour.  In fact, turn up the dial on that with hair clips from Claire’s such as the ravishing red Flower With Feathers and brilliantly blue Glitter Rose, their small sizes ideal for accenting the main piece without weighing down the hair.

Embellishing an ensemble that already has strong lines is open to interpretation depending on whether you want to look refined or like you fell out of an alternative clothing catalog.  The opulence of circus can be translated through shimmering accessories such as the Aurora Borealis Diamond Drop Earrings, which feature a cluster of stones that form the diamond shape for plenty of sparkle.  This can be another area where kitschy and campy can go too far and come across as overdone, but a Rhinestone Braided Choker gives a dash of brilliance to the neckline as rhinestones dance along braided strands.  Combining elements from both of these pieces, the Crystal and Shiny Stone Squares Bracelet has glittering stone squares that are framed in multiple crystals, with trios of links bringing them together around the wrist.  Even though they are rather trendy at the moment, I have been pulled in by the allure of Midi Rings, and this particular set offers a two different thicknesses as well as a spiral ring, all of which can be worn alone or stacked.  They can be mixed with statement rings for a very extravagant effect or in a simple layout that still accents the anatomy in just the right way, particularly when paired with the manicure detailed below.



One of the most important parts of Carny Style is coordinating an outfit to ones makeup, and this is an outfit which certainly speaks volumes on its own and can easily be lost in a sea of too many colors on the face.  Picking up on the palette that appears throughout the look assembled above, the following products are merely suggestions based on what I felt would work best to execute the idea that popped into my head when thinking about the finished ensemble.

1 – Achieving flawless skin is something that many crave, and Camera Ready BB Cream by Smashbox is a mutlitasking product that can deliver just that, providing a glowing and ethereal finish to your face in any occasion.  Enhancing the wear of makeup while maintaining moisture, the tinted cream also primes and protects from the moment you put it on.

2 – Having a choice between sheer and full coverage is what makes COVER FX Pressed Mineral Foundation ideal for layering over the BB Cream foundation.  The product is said to never dry skin, so you won’t get that ‘cakey’ look that other powders can leave behind, which is fairly impressive for a vegan foundation.

3 – Conscious of the inevitable aging process, Urban Decay offers their incomparable Eyeshadow Primer Potion in an Anti-Aging formula that actually minimizes the appearance of wrinkles.  Not only does it cover up imperfections, but it locks your shadow in place for a crease-free color that remains vibrant all day.

4 – Using the Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette by Too Faced, a range of 10 highly pigmented shadows, take Ringleader and pat it across your lids, gently blending it slightly past the crease.  Grab an angled brush and swipe Jailbird from the outer corner and down into the crease, ensuring that the application is in a ‘C’ shape to avoid sharp corners.  Follow up with a healthy dose of Badass, blending the blues together and bringing the darker shade under the eye as well.  Tap a bit of Instigator on the inner corners, and then wet a brush to line eyes with Miss Sparkles and a thick ‘flick’.

5 – While completely optional, the hyper saturated pigment of Ubangi Eye Paint lays black and blue shimmer wherever you want.  Precision may be essential but with a seemingly weightless gel and the right tool, drawing lines to emphasize the previously created cat eye is a breeze.

6 – The fact that a mascara can lengthen, curl, lift and separate lashes with just a few swipes is so unbelievable that Benefit called it They’re Real! to ensure there is no trickery afoot.  Each and everyone of your lashes will be treated to a coat of luxurious jet black pigment that won’t clump or dry out.

7 – Following the application of this magical mascara, set False Feathered Eyelashes with proper adhesive for a deluxe extension custom designed faux lashes that have a severe angle and feathers that accent the sharp corners.

8 – Conceived for the Parisian Aquatic Ballet, the Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil is guaranteed to stay put, allowing the nude tones of Rosewood to define your lips while delivering vitamin E and jojoba wax in the smoothest lines.

9 & 10 – Touted as having 50% more pigment than traditional products, Rogue Artist Intense is an immediate true-to-color lipstick that delivers in one swipe, a blend of three natural waxes allowing it to glide on effortlessly yet promising a long-lasting hold.  When paired with the liner, it sort of ‘mutes’ the lips in order to allow the work you did on your eyes to be the center of attention, while also making sure they don’t completely disappear.  This can be achieved with a bit of Glossy Gloss in Royal Icing, a high-shine lip gloss packed with plenty of white and silver shimmer that gives the otherwise matte lips a wet look without making them sticky.

11 – Contouring and highlighting are becoming more common in makeup application, so why not choose a three-in-one product that allows you do it all?  Ultralight pigments in the MicroSmooth Baked Sculpting Trio blend effortlessly to enhance the skin, from defining cheek bones to giving them a lustrous highlight.

12 – 15 – Minimalism has its place in circus, such as the white faced clowns and pastel shades that occasionally grace costumes, and that is the base of this show stopping manicure.  The sheer cream porcelain of Unforgettable, part of the Translucents range by Forumla X, might seem muted, but there is a certain luminescence that radiates from the fast-drying polish.  Apply it to two of your nails and then top it with Chaotic, essentially black and white confetti that might as well be glitter graffiti found among the Xplosives Top Coats.  Crushed microsparkles and metallic pigments collide in Grandiose, a kaleideoscope of rose and shifts of bronze with plenty of multidimensional shimmer.  Allow this to take over two more of your nails and then get ready for an explosion of blue rainbow mega-glitter on one nail for an Outburst of excitment.

After Anti V’Day

[Originally written on this day in 2006]

There are random bruises and scratches on my back that were discovered while showering this morning.  There was a stiffness in my left arm that felt as though it was a result of being stuck in one position during sleep.

The past couple of days have been full of decadence and high-powered emotions, which has me on a natural high and wanting nothing more than to be with him.  Beyond the superficial details there has always been something more that has kept me loyal to this one person when so many other people have drifted in and out of my life.  The question is not why I continue supporting this friendship, but rather why I deserve his undying devotion when he could likely have anyone he wanted.  Some would suggest that I am being used yet I don’t see what he would be getting out of the friendship when he has given me so much more than I can put into words.  He might be a thief and a junkie and other things that don’t usually fall into the category of qualities you look for in a best friend, but I wouldn’t feel like much of one myself if I held any of that against him.

If I trust him so much and believe the beautiful words that have dripped from his lips, I should have been swimming in happiness and other good feelings.  Instead the back of my throat was seized by fear and I was helplessly trapped in the bed as my whole body trembled.  A few deep, slow breaths eased my mind momentarily so that I could regain control, though a self-addressed “What the fuck?” had me sitting up in bed realizing just how alone I was.

This is what you wanted, I had to remind myself, but I have also lived in small spaces with another person for the past five years and sort of got used to having someone else there.  My room is at the end of a hall and I hear more outside noises than anything else, so I laid there curled up in the middle of my bed with face half-buried in a pillow on account it sort of smelled like him.  Or maybe that was my skin.

He called me this afternoon, which is something I am still getting used to considering how we have communicated in the past, but I didn’t mention this little incident since I was lost in his voice from the moment he said hello.  We talked about some of the things that had happened recently, or I should say he wanted to let me know how much he had enjoyed it and when we could do it again.  Not sure which part he was referring to, I coyly inquired if he could elaborate on what he meant and was met with much laughter.

“You need me to spell it out for you?” he teased.

“Not particularly, but I wouldn’t mind hearing what you say it either.”

“Damn girl, you’re getting me all hot ‘n’ bothered over here.”

This time I laughed and savored a smile.  “Good to know.”

“You drive me crazy, Angel and I don’t know why, but I have a burning desire for you that just won’t quit.  Now I’m not good at this sentimental shit so pardon me for being so blunt.”  There was an awkward pause and I thought that maybe we had been disconnected.  “Darling, I love you for so many reasons I’d lose my voice trying to list them all, so I’ll just go with the fact you make my life better by just being in it and I am so thankful to have had a friend like you for so many years.”

There was silence on my end as I wiped back tears and tried to formulate a response.

“Everything alright over there?”

“Yes,” I croaked.

“I wish you were here with me,” he said with a sigh, “doesn’t feel right without you.”

He had the power to change that at any time throughout the course of our relationship and I dealt with whatever choice he made even if there were things I wanted to ask and refrained from doing so since I appreciated the time we did get to spend together.  Having him say it to me while I’m finally living on my own felt different – it wasn’t something to think about ‘some day’ anymore, but rather a present situation neither of us seemed to want to fully address.  Where would we go?  What would we do?  How would we take care of ourselves?  Would we eventually get tired of each other?  All this and more had plagued my mind for years but in those minutes we were connected on the phone, not a single one of these thoughts entered my mind when I next spoke.

“Nothing makes me feel as good as you do, Aaron,” I confessed, finding courage somewhere despite the fact my voice wavered a bit.

There was a grunt in reply and some other muffled sounds that had me curious of what was happening on his end.  “Listen, I’m getting short on time here but I love you Angel and will talk to you again soon.”

For about an hour I laid in bed repeating those words in my head and losing myself to sordid fantasies, wondering how long it would take him to fulfill that promise.

Happiness is a Journey, Not a Destination

[Originally written on this date in 2006]

A few days ago I received an e-mail from Jon thanking me for a great time last weekend, which totally made me blush since he was the one who had treated me and all.  His communication skills are improving even if he doesn’t write much and has a habit of slipping into Carny Speak when bringing up certain topics.  Being able to have such an open relationship now is doing wonderful things to him, particularly on the paranoia front, as he doesn’t request to sit facing the door and isn’t exhibiting the usual behavior that I have grown accustomed to.

He did promise that drugs were something to be left in the past, particularly since the emotions that were coursing through him were much more enjoyable.  Recovering from addiction is a process and I understand it’s something he needs to do at his own pace, but I can see that he is really making an effort and that tells me he is serious about the commitment to get clean.  That’s not to say he is going to be completely straight-edge or anything, as we still smoke when we are together and he is capable of drinking responsibly.  It just means that we won’t be drag racing and I don’t have to scream down the highway at a random a.m. hour on account he shot too much dope and wanted to make sure I was there with him in case he died.  Nights like that should be buried in the past as we continue to build a future together, and even though I’m aware that either sounds highly cliche or like I’m putting my faith in a pipe dream, it’s something I know we have both wanted for a very long time.

Relocating has only strengthened our friendship and when he talks about being with me on a permanent basis, I know he means every word from the bottom of his heart.  When he says the ones that used to feel like they could only be whispered through the roar of the ocean, I can hear the passion behind them that used to be repressed for reasons that no longer matter.  Being close to him, physically speaking, is when I feel safest, as though nothing else in the world matters and we are the only two people on this planet.  Parting is not something that causes me heartache since I can talk to him whenever I want now, looking forward to when we are together again.

While it is certainly far too early for predictions, since I know better than to excitedly ramble about all the things I want to do and set myself up for disappointment, I have noticed a marked difference in the direction our relationship is taking.  That term has been used casually here and there, but lately it has taken on a much deeper meaning that I understand how serious things are becoming.  Do not want to get carried away with fantasies and all, but he is on my mind every day and I fall into thoughts of what it would be like if we were together all the time.

Need to search for affordable source of body jewelry, as I have had the urge to downsize a lot of what I wear for a long time now.  Since this desire still remains, I believe it is something I should do, but there is no Unimax and I am unsure of where to even start looking for a place like it.  Guess that means I have some on-line searching to do after practicing for my upcoming show at Axis Lounge.

New Beginnings

[Originally written on this date in 2006]

How great is it to be living in Philly?  Oh, I could go on. There are so many interesting places to go and such sights to see; lots of parks, a few museums and plenty of other goodies.  The food I have eaten over the past few days was fantastic beyond mere words, though being treated to the meals may have contributed to their deliciousness.

My room rocks and currently I am in the process of painting it; I have a kick ass queen size mattress all to myself with brand new bedding -sheets, pillow cases and a luxurious top blanket – that was a gift from a special someone who said they thought I could use something nice for my new place.  The red blanket is very soft and keeps me warm at night so I adore it very much and think about him when I am wrapped up in it.  There is some great furniture in the basement that I am making use of, and a shelving unit in the garage that will be very useful.  The best part is that I will still have plenty of space once these items are put into the room, and the closet is organized just the way it should be.  Also have been put in charge of this enormous plant that just had its first bloom yesterday.

Oh, and what season is this?  The nights might be cold, and sure it rained today, but the weather has been much nicer than it should be for the beginning of February.  Certainly hoping for an early Spring and have a hunch it will get quite colorful around the neighborhood.

Finally relaxing after a week of organized chaos that included spending three hours packing all of my stuff, most of which was still in storage bins.  However, everything still needed to be labeled so I would know exactly what was inside which container.  Then it was either shoved into my car or put out on the deck, and I am kind of proud of how much I was able to get into the Oldsmobile.  Must have been all that experience packing trailers and the possum belly during carnival travel, though I am also quite thankful for having such a spacious vehicle.  All of that was hauled down to Philly on Friday and I was very eager to get it all upstairs into my room.

Since then I have been painting, and the remainder of my things arrived on Sunday, which saved me from having to make an awkward return trip.  The painting is now drying [even though I keep telling myself I’m going to do some touch-ups], my bed is where it belongs and I started arranging some items on the shelves to add a personal touch to the room.  There is a set of lovely wooden cabinets I am using for storage, and the shelving unit still has space available if I need it.

Yesterday I went in search of jobs and that did not go well since I did not find anyone that was hiring.  It doesn’t help that I really need a key to the house so I can go out when my roommates aren’t here without worrying the door is unlocked.

On Saturday I was surprised with a phone call from my best friend who wanted to take me out to dinner to celebrate the move.  Getting ready felt like a ritual again, my stomach bubbling with nerves while a smile danced on my face.  Being picked up right outside the house as opposed to down the block or at a pre-arranged meeting spot made the evening feel like a proper date.  Jon was on his best behavior and refreshingly sober – ok, we smoked a joint before we ate but no other substances were consumed.  The point is that it was the first of many times we would be able to sit down with one another and carve out a new experience in the concrete tomb of our friendship.  He took me to a quaint Indian restaurant where we were surrounded by red and gold walls, candle-lit tables and soft atmospheric music. The food was a bit spicy but otherwise fully enjoyed, as was the usual course of conversation that covered topics we usually found ourselves discussing.

Being so used to going our separate ways after such an amazing experience, I was caught off guard when he politely asked if I wanted to accompany him home.  It shouldn’t have made me so nervous, seeing as how we had been intimate plenty of times and our relationship was blooming much like springtime flowers.  Yet finding myself in his bed is still something I don’t feel the need to discuss in detail, but that doesn’t take away from the moments we spend together.

Sunday afternoon we returned to Philly and stopped in at a cafe with a bohemian vibe and mismatched vintage dining wear that I found rather charming.  The smile on his face was infectious and I almost felt overwhelmed by how sincerely happy we both were.  Something about Philly had us relaxed; maybe it was the lack of paranoia or wondering if I was going to be lectured for having a good time with my best friend.  In fact, I was becoming far more comfortable with being seen with him in public and could tell the feeling was mutual.

We took a walk down South Street and it was so natural it’s like we had been doing for year, hands casually holding one another while we pointed out various things to each other.  Plenty of people glanced in our direction, but it was no longer due to be the most visibly modified people in view.  It just so happened we made a visually appealing couple, even with the huge height difference, and this was acknowledged in a positive manner through random compliments from strangers.  He laughed at one point and mentioned something about how it was flattering, but having such a lovely lady by his side certainly helped.  The romantic gestures didn’t seem to end and public display of affection was something he certainly wasn’t shy about, perhaps even pushing a little too far in some instances.  Not that I wasn’t enjoying it or sort of enticing such behavior, but he does things that drive me wild and I seem to loose all control over inhibitions when I’m around him.

Yea, life in Philly is good so far and I couldn’t be happier that I get to share it with the person I love.

Making Chanages

[Originally written 1.23.06]

No matter what particular subject may be giving me the “winter blues”, there is something that comes along to give me just a little bit of hope.

Let’s take a short trip back in time.  The other afternoon, I decided to go out for a nice refreshing walk along the D&R, as fresh air coupled with exercise seems to clear my head of unwanted noise and focus my thoughts into a cohesive plan.  It also happens to be a nice place for me to have a smoke without anyone bothering me.  Instead of being bombarded by too much stress and anxiety, suddenly your ears are being tuned to the chirps and warbles of the birds fluttering through trees devoid of their leaves, the subtle breeze rattling branches and leaving a slight chill on your skin.  Hours passed by yet I didn’t feel them being wasted, and as I was making the return trip to where I had parked, everything seemed to straighten itself out.

Today, and for the rest of the week, I have a number of things to take care of in order to tie up all the loose ends, so to speak.  Friday I am checking out a room that is available for immediate occupancy – the price is right, and from the way things sound, it is very spacious.  According to the ad there is also some furniture included and plenty of extras that make it seem too good to be true.  There will need to be a discussion regarding how financially possible it would be to obtain this room, which brings me back to the beginning of this post.  While I may not exactly want to move to Philly, things happen for a reason and this feels like the opportunity to make a change in my life that is greatly needed.  Realizing this means moving into an area where everything will be new, but that is a huge part of the reason I am not hesitant about relocating from the place I have called home for my entire life.

Ah yes, I knew there was something that kept telling me it would be a good idea to get away not only from this area but the state in general.  Though I have been enjoying the company of someone who means the world to me, I also see what sort of price that comes with and for the first time in our sordid friendship, I understand what he was trying to protect me from for all these years.  However, I’m not a kid any more or some gullible teen that can be easily bullied, though I am at an age where I won’t tolerate threats against me or my family.

[Originally written 1.24.06]

It appears I am now going down to Philly in just a few hours to check out the room and talk with the home owners, as they want to make sure I’m a good person, can take care of things and pay my rent on time.  My Financial Advisor is aware of the situation, and funds are in fact available upon needing them.  If all goes well, I should be able to re-locate within the next week and though I am restraining from expressing too much excitement, I will say that I am so fucking ready to move on.

My mind is filled with many things, such as what I am going to do when I actually settle into Philly so that I can sustain living there and all.  Having just been to South Street with my best friend, it’s difficult not to entertain fantasies of having nights like that on a regular basis.  No one would know us there and in certain environments we would barely stand out, which I think I would prefer over being treated like a fucking zoo exhibit.  We could always escape to the Shore or the Pines when we wanted as both are a just a drive away, and there seem to be plenty of things to do in this so-called City of Brotherly Love that I am sure we could enjoy doing together.

See, there it is, lovesick wishful thinking that will get me caught up in intense emotions when I should be concerned with taking care of boring responsibilities so that I can make the transition from one state to another.  After all the years we have known one another, I don’t want to feel guilty about such expressions either, since I spent a significant amount of time dealing with other people’s issues with my relationship.  Which is pretty ridiculous since I don’t see the problem with forming a long-term friendship with someone.  We have survived through some very dark moments and I never find myself doubting that he is always going to be there for me, a huge sense of comfort I don’t find anywhere else.

[Originally written 1.25.06]

Who says you can’t leave Jersey?  Oh, having been here my whole life, quite frankly I never thought I would be making plans to do just that.

Driving down to Philly yesterday to meet with the people that own the house went really well, as they are pretty decent and seemed happy to have me there.  The room is incredibly spacious and I was told that I could paint it if desired; I can also decorate it anyway that I want.  Over the next few days I am going to be packing my stuff and squeeze as much of it into my car as possible to haul down on Friday.  The rest can be brought down later on I suppose since I don’t know anyone that would want to help me move, but I was assured no harm would come to it in the meantime.

The location is great as it is within walking distance to a train, which will save me a lot on gas for when I want to travel into Center City, and it also apparently can take me to the art museum, the zoo, the Mutter Museum [which I’ve wanted to check out for ages now] and Eastern State Penitentiary, which is a really old prison that you can walk through.  Suffice to say there are going to be plenty of activities to look forward to, and I know just the partner in crime that will enjoy doing them with me.

There are too many things I am going to miss about New Jersey, but as harsh as it sounds my family and most importantly my own safety is more important than fond memories.  This is the best thing for me, and perhaps some day I will be able to return – I really doubt my presence is going to be missed and I am actually excited for a change of scenery.

Did not  sleep all that well last night, and I am only awake now due to writing a letter to my best friend about how glad I am to be moving.  Figured it was best to get that out to him while I could since I am going to be without internet for a while, but that is why I have a cell phone even if he’s not a fan of using it to communicate.

Now I am just rambling and need to get stuff done instead.

Dream Ramblings

[Originally written on 1.19.06]

Memories are plaguing me tonight.  As I sit here watching the Sopranos, drinking whiskey after having smoked a bowl, someone sleeps nearby and the scene brings this mind to an apartment in E-town four years ago.  The familiarity of the situation does not cease to amuse me, as does the fact that I left that asshole for what I thought was a better one and still find myself right where I was before.

The chaotic sequences of my dreams the past few days have surely been influenced by my choice of stimulus during waking hours, as the subconscious tends to pick up on that sort of thing while also manifesting fears and desires.  Here are the things that I can remember.

Last Nite: Swing music filled the air as bodies twirled around a dance floor.  Decked out in vintage attire suitable for a Hollywood film, I was in Jon’s arms and he looked just as stunning, his face unchanged by year of drug and alcohol abuse.  We danced closer than anyone else despite the upbeat tempo that continued to swell, our passionate one-on-one conversation secluded from the rest of the world.  Removed from prying eyes, we were engaged in passionate kissing, and when there was a small break between them, he inquired what I would like to do.  Upon replying, I suggested it was something not subject for public display. Then I woke up.

The Nite Before:  The Garden State was under an alien attack, War of the Worlds style with people screaming in every direction.  The neighborhood is already in run and Jon comes strolling through the rubble like a postapocalyptic warrior, shouting orders into a crackling radio before hoisting me to my feet.  Walking along the desolate Parkway, the sound of incoming fire had us on edge though he encouraged me to keep going, insisting that we had to get out of Jersey and it needed to be soon.  Adrenaline and fear kept the heart racing at a fast pace as shelter was sought, and everyone has the collective thought of I’m going to die.  At some point we emerged from our safe hiding places, and all seemed calm until some sort of craft fell out of the sky and the screaming started all over again.  Kind of glad I woke up from that one before getting stuck in it.

The Nite Before That:  On carnival grounds, wearing high heels and dressed to kill, I am excited to be seeing the Family.  The entire Outlaw Cirkus crew was gathered and seated in rows of wooden folding chairs.  Smiling faces and warm hands greeted me, as it had been a while since we saw each other yet everyone was engaged in conversation as though no time had passed.  Austin and Aaron were up front, the two of them placing a kiss on both cheeks and complimenting my appearance.  We then sat down for a variety show, though there are suddenly other people around us who are making rude comments, so the three of us decide to leave.  Unfortunately that is where I lost the dream.

For some reason that least dream brings up memories of the time I spent hanging with Jerry.  Often I spent the evenings after work sitting in his bunk and just listening to his stories.  At his point it doesn’t even matter if they were true or not, due to the fact I appreciated that he made the effort to tell them at all.  While he talked to the other workers and whatnot, I like to feel that we a different kind of connection.  Right now I miss sitting in his room, smoking a joint and watching movies.

One night while at the spot in Frederick, Jerry hatched an idea.  The bunk house was set against a hill, and there was a pair of mattresses stored in the back.  Well he suggested we take them and  prop them up on the hill, thus creating a couch.  While someone tried to discredit his idea, the rest of us set to work pulling out the mattresses and placing them as suggested.  It actually turned out well even though trying to cram everyone onto this makeshift couch was a whole other feat.  Anyway, this had been done for optimum viewing pleasure of the selected film of the evening, as Jerry had a t.v. and DVD player that he was kind enough to share with everyone so long as someone provided a movie.

That night it happened to be Swing Kids, which I purchased earlier that week at Wal*Mart out of curiosity.  The bio had piqued my curiosity: based on a true story about the rebellious youth of Nazi-Germany that just wanted to enjoy swing music, the bonds of friendship between four young men are tested when one of them two of them are recruited into the Hitler youth.  This helpful article has much more information about the whole movement, which I have found quite interesting as far as historical gangs go.  Watched it again last night on account I was just in the mood to and perhaps wanted to fill my head with swing music in the hopes of having more dreams.

For some reason I have been looking forward to going up to Clifton, perhaps excited at the prospect of getting over the awkwardness of going out by myself.  Though I had invited Jon, there was some work he had to do on the Mercury, otherwise he would have been more than happy to accompany me.  He did send me some spending cash, which really wasn’t necessary but that’s just how he is, so I sent him a mushy thank-you note in return.

Drinking the last of this whiskey and then going to step out for another smoke so I can be off to bed and get an early start tomorrow.  In two more weeks I will be moving out of here and I can’t wait.  It’s time to replace old negative memories with new positive ones, and it will be much easier when a certain someone is out of sight and out of mind.  However, I need to take care of a few things first and will begin taking care of that business in the morning.

Superstition Condition

[Originally written on 1.15.06]

The second date I had with Jon in the last week was this past Friday, as it happened to be the thirteenth and he was in the mood to go out.  Here would be a good time to note that our relationship is developing nicely – he has called me at least once a week since I spent a few nights with him at the Shore earlier this month, and will send me little notes through e-mail to give me boosts of confidence when I need it, as the hostility and tension seem to be rising around me.  It’s not worth getting into, but there is definitely resentment of the fact I am living here though not a part of the family, yet the only person qualified to make the call of whether or not that’s alright hasn’t complained once.

Getting away from all of that to spend time with Jon reminds me I need to keep looking for a place to live and worry about getting a job after I move.  We are definitely not at the point where living together has even been brought up, as I suspect he is not ready for such a level of commitment yet and that’s fine.  There is plenty of confidence things will progress as they are meant to, and I need to appreciate that we have gotten to this stage.

The ride down to Philly was rather pleasant, mostly due to the fact there was minimal traffic. What, were people too damn paranoid to go out on the 13th, with a full moon and B-movie perfect fog drenching the atmosphere?  Having someone you trust behind the wheel tends to put you at ease though, as does the joint you smoke as the metal machine you’re riding in screams across the highway.

Our destination for the evening was Abilene’s, a club I read was supposed to be having some sort of Friday the 13th dance party.  The venue was quite small and packed with people, but we agreed to attempt to make the most of it.  Well, no one was really dancing and the party aspect was certainly lacking, though the people reminded me of those who attended a certain Jersey club I used to frequent.  Complete with half dressed bodies awkwardly gyrating on stages around a mostly empty dance floor while cretins drooled nearby.

Neither of us were really interested in the scene, so we hit the bar for pints of beer accompanied by shots of whiskey.  Perched on the tall stools, we had a decent view of our surroundings and it reminded me of the early days of our relationship, where we would get shitfaced and talk trash on everyone for kicks.  The intent was never cruel, more like a childish game we engaged in for some cheap laughs at other people’s expense, but we thought it was harmless fun and were rarely serious about the things we said.  Jon would put on a stoic expression and adjust the rings on his fingers while scanning the rubes before nodding to one, reading them as the southern accent got heavier with each shot of whiskey he had.  How he could gather all of this insight just by observing behaviors for a few minutes was part of the charm to the feat, and a showman certainly did not reveal the secrets to one of his greatest skills, even though I know better than to ask.  Will certainly take credit for my part in encouraging him, holding back laughter despite my sides aching and wanting to burst.

A few hours later, we noticed that more and more people were filling the venue, which had been crammed from the beginning due to its small size.  Seeing as how we had consumed quite a few drinks, I suggested we wander somewhere slightly less crowded, if that was even possible in Philly on a Friday night.  The temperature had certainly dropped, though Jon kept me close as we walked South Street and made our way to Tattooed Mom’s.  We were relieved to find only a handful of people inside, which made it possible to actually get a drink from the bar without having to take up residence there.  He bought us another round and then led me upstairs where we proceeded to hog the roller coaster car.  This was something I had wanted to do since he brought me here for my birthday, and there we were, pints of beer in hand with his arm around me, his position slightly awkward to accomadate the extra length of his legs.

Old school punk music swirled into the conversations around us, and though we chatted from time to time about random things, the drinks we continued to consume were having an effect on our words as they became less comprehensible.  He politely excused himself to the bathroom for a moment, and wouldn’t you know it, he’s not gone for more than a minute before these two dudes randomly approach me.  Whatever they were trying to say wasn’t registering, so I just stared at them while watching Jon approach them from behind.  In the sweetest southern drawl he could spill from drunk lips, he politely requested that they ceased harassment of his lady and removed their prescence from sight lest they find themselves in a painful way.  Their faces suddenly turned rather pale as they stammered an apology and nearly tripped over each other while shuffling away.

Moments later this guy comes over to us and asks if there was any trouble, to which Jon replied everything was handled, his composure changing completely as he offered a friendly smile.  The stranger’s name is Chris and he came all the way up from fucking Maryland to check out South Street on account he heard there was some kind of alternative scene there.  He hands us a demo CD and engages in conversation with Jon about his band and other general music stuff.  Seeing him comfortable enough to let his guard down and chat in such a casual manner was rather refreshing, and I could tell that he really was trying to make this whole thing work.

Leaving the boys alone for a moment, I made my own stop in the bathroom and felt compelled to tag the wall AARON + ANGEL = ANARCHY!!! in large Sharpie letters, which now makes two places I have left this mark in Philly.

When I returned they were making last call; Jon and Chris had now been joined by his girlfriend and fellow band mate.  He asks if it would be possible to drive them to their hotel over on 12th, confessing they are pretty wasted and didn’t want to try and navigate a city they were unfamiliar with.  Jon actually smiled and said he’d be more than happy to help them out, and the two were quite grateful for the entire ride.  Showing random acts of kindness towards others is something he has always done, as he spent many years on the streets homeless and struggling for survival, where even the smallest gesture of spare change or a sandwich could keep him from killing himself that day.  They thanked us profusely when we arrived at the hotel, and Chris even tried to give Jon some money for the trouble, but he would have none of that and insisted it was purely a friendly favor.

After ensuring they got into the lobby safely, he drives over to a diner though I express being too tired to eat.  He chuckles while kissing my forehead and stating that he needs coffee so he doesn’t crash on the way home, though he purchases it in several travel cups in order to avoid sitting inside.  That’s the last thing I remember since I passed out shortly after departing Philly, though whether that was due to the alcohol or the fact I tend to fall asleep during long car rides [especially at night] is hard to say.  When I woke up, Jon was carrying me into his bedroom so I figured that superstitions aside, we had made it safely and enjoyed another wonderful evening together.