Adventures in Sideshow

[Originally written 9.1.2003]

Three Fridays ago, I went out to Coney Island.  Even tho I had attempted to update about this a few weeks back, I got kicked out off the computer at the library because someone was waiting to use it.

Anyway, I departed my mom’s house after eight and arrrived at the Island some time after nine.  Took me twenty minutes just to find a place to park.  Roamed around for a while to snap some nite time photos, as I don’t have any that are good, then returned to my car to party with Bacardi.  Once the buzz was going, I took a seat in the bleachers at the sideshow building and watched the Lucky Devil show. A damn spectacular show. It would have been better if the rest of the performers were there and more people came to see the show. The best part had to be Angelica’s flaming pussy.  You just have to see it to appreciate it.

Instead of leaving right away, I decided to hang out for a while.  That’s when I saw Jon and nearly tripped over myself with delight.  He wasted no time coming over to greet me with a giant hug, which literally lifted me off my feet.  Time to play catch up and have some drinks at the Freak Bar.  Talked to Angelica about possibly doing her hair.  She said the only reason she hadn’t called me, is because she didn’t really have money to pay me.  Of courseI told her not to worry about it, and that I would be happy to do her hair for free.  The only thing I ever expected in return for my services, is the proper recognition and credit I deserve for my efforts.  It would be really awesome if she would allow me to play with her hair.   Huslter is writing up an article on the sideshow, and she said that I could do her hair for that, and I would be listed as her hairdresser.

We also saw a side of the performers no one really does, and you know, sometimes you have to look behind that curtain.  As an audience, we become so disillusioned by a persona we see on stage.  There is certainly nothing wrong with admiring someone, but I feel that people become too obsessed with what they see.  In a bizarrre way, I learned some things about a certain someone that I didn’t really need to know, but then again, it shattered that line between what is and what is not.  Every now and then, you have to get to know who people are off stage instead of blindly loving them for who they are on stage.  Just because someone looks good doesn’t mean they have a personality to match…unfortunately.

When everyone else left, Jon and I walked down to Brighton Beach  to smoke a blunt.  Set random thing on fire including the water and just talked about various things.  To be honest, I don’t think I have ever sat and talked that long with anyone.

Eventually the sun came up.  That may just have been the most amazing thing I saw during the hours we spent on the Island, and it was the first time we had exprience sun rise together.  One moment the sky is black and full of stars, then it slowly lightens until it turns blue.  Next thing you know, the sun is a huge orange ball hanging low in the sky.  Everything is quiet except for the gentle flow of the waves that are crashing on the sandy shore in front of you, the sparkling water stretching off into infinity.  Whatever happened on that beach is staying there, but suffice to say that romance was certainly in the air.

We went back to the amusement area for some breakfast, which was delicously greasy.  Jon held me for what seemed like forever before I climbed back into my car, apologizing for being absent in my life.  As usual, it’s no big deal because no matter what, I know that he will always come back.  Then again, he is an adult and can do whatever he wants, and I definitely appreciate that we are such close friends.

Decided to head to my mom’s house for about an hour, so she wouldn’t call me all worried and ruin my good time.  Then I escaped to the Shore.  Jon had to head out town for a couple of days and requested I watched his place.  Yea…like I was going to argue.

So for three luxurious days, I did whatever the fuck I wanted.  Which mostly consisted of smoking myself stupid every day, but I was also productive.  Writing, drawing, painting and enjoying the serenity of that oceanside sanctuary.  Every morning I inhaled deep lungfulls of salty air and took a walk on the beach as waves gently lapped at my feet.  At moments it felt as tho I was completely alone in my own little world, and I hav to admit that I liked it.

The following Sunday when Jon returned, we went to Coney for some much needed rides on the Cyclone.  He bought me a Shocked and Amazed book that was full of interviews with Coney Island sideshow performers past and present.  There are also some great black and white photos of the old sideshows, along with a fairly comprehensive list of shows that once existed in Dreamland, Steeplechase and Luna.  Angelica was sweet enough to sign the photo of her for me.

Spending three days by myself was beyond amazing, and I want to do it on a permenant basis.

This week was pretty good.  On Tuesday I went down to Seaside with my sister to see the Brothers Grimm sideshow.  She called the Star Ledger to find out where it was exactly, and the lady could only tell her that it was on the boardwalk.  As long as we knew it was still there, taking the ride down couldn’t hurt.

We got there some time after seven, walked up one side of the boardwalk and stopped to play some games here and there.  We came to the conclusion that we knew why we had come to dislike the place so much.  When we went in the past, it always had to be with our mother, and we basically had to have fun around her scheduale.  Going at nite was much better, because we didn’t have to worry about getting burned by the evil sun, and there were a lot fewer people there than I had expected.  There were also more people with tattoos and even some generic Hot Topic kids, but hey, that was better than the assembly line of near clones down in Wildwood.

Then we headed down the other end of the boardwalk.  Lo and behold, we found the sideshow.  There was a tent pitched in the middle of some rides, and the banners were flapping in the breeze; sight that I smiled upon seeing.  The smile grew when I recognized Tyler was up on the bally stage doing the pitch. I paid for myself and my sister, a measly fee of five dollars, and we went inside, peering at the random objects they had, including a genuine skeleton in a coffin.  The show itself seemed quick, but it was good.  We saw the infamous Katzen, Enigma, Zamora the Torture King, William Dark and Dora de Mot of GWAR.  After the show, we stuck around for a little while and talked to Katzen.  My sister asked her what made her want to modify herself in the way she chose to, and she explained that she had always seen herself that way in dreams.   That is so awesome.  Tyler was also pleased to see me again.  Terribly flirtatious he was, kissing my hand three times.  Suppose I sort of fed his ego when I said that he’s good as the outside talker, seeing as how he just has the right voice for it.  Also mentioned that I would be seeing’ him again at Coney for This or That.

We got back some time after one, and I was in a daze.  You can be assured my head was filled with perverted thoughts that nite.

Friday we went down again, and this time I remembered my camera, so I shot a fe photos.  Got back to my mom’s house after three and was relieved to get in bed.

Saturday I went down to the Shore once again to hang out with Jon.  We drove out to the Salvation Army to poke around for some clothes.   He found a few pairs of jeans he liked and I got a new black shirt, which he purchased for me, so I feel special now.

Yesterday we tried going to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, but after fighting thru traffic, by the time we got there it would have been closing.  So we adventured thru Brooklyn to some random restaurant where we had a damn good dinner.

Today Jon was kind enough to lend me use of his computer so I can catch up on stuff, which was totally awesome.

Had my 15 seconds of fame on the Discovery Channel recently.  Go me!

After putting much thought into it, at some point when I can financially invest in it and have a job where it won’t matter, I will be tattooing my face.  Of course I know I’ll be limiting myself to where I can work.  Then again, I can’t even find a job now, and I’m pretty “tame”.  In all honesty, I don’t think I’ll be happy with my appearance until I can do the things I have planned in terms of future modifications.

Generally speaking, life have actually been good these past few weeks, so maybe something will happen.  The impossible has taken place before, and so I hope that it will again.

Off to enjoy my high.

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