Becoming a Greenhorn

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Well, I am no longer able to contain my excitement.  Up until now I have avoided discussing details about what I have been working on, as I tend to get paranoid and did not want to wind up looking like an ass for having talked about something without actually doing it.  However, since I have zero worries of that happening I can finally gush all I want.

Next month I will be leaving New Jersey and joining up with the Great American Circus Sideshow, which will be doing a tour of the East Coast until October or November.  This will be an authentic 10-in-1 complete with a tent and huge banner line that does daily shows.  My duties will include appearing on the bally and inside stage, as well as being a part of general set up and tear down.  Unfortunately I offered Electric Sideshow as a package deal and have to take my partner along, but I am getting paid in cash to do something I enjoy and cannot complain.

The fact of the matter is that I have wanted to do this since Jon and I stopped performing together, and it’s hard to believe I am actually going to achieve such a long-standing goal.  As much as I would rather be doing this with the man I love, I know he would not want me to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.  Then again, I sent him a letter telling him all about it in the hopes that it would urge some communication out of him, though I conveniently made no mention of my affair with Shane

Strange how there are going to be many things I will miss about the Garden State, such as great shows, drunken fun, roadside attractions, going to the Shore, adventures in the woods and all of the other weird things that make me love this place so much.  There is a lot I have to learn from this experience though, and know it is exactly what I need to evolve both as a performer and as a person.

Between now and the time I have to leave, I have to figure out what to take since I need to pack enough and fit it all into thee piece of luggage.  Tomorrow night Electric Sideshow is appearing at the Rail, and then on Friday we are heading up to Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC, which may be the last performances in the area.

While refreshing my inbox hoping that Jon would reply to my letter, there’s a knock at the door.  It’s Shane; he wants to talk.

Sitting in his back yard smoking a joint and sharing a bottle of whiskey, I wait nervously for whatever he is about to say.  My mind is occupied with the upcoming shows and the fact that in a few weeks I am going to be touring the carnival circuit.  He casually holds my hand but won’t look at me, and my gut tells me what I have been trying to ignore for the past few days.  When he turns to kiss me, I hesitate and there is no reason for either of us to pretend nothing is wrong.

“There something you want to tell me?” he asks, a slight bit of nervousness in his voice.

“Listen, I should have been straight with you from the beginning,” I say, courage swelling up from nowhere.  “Well, I did tell you that I am involved with someone, though just as guilty as you are of letting things get out of hand.”

He cannot hide being taken back by my bluntness, but he puts on the macho act anyway.  “Yea, I had a feeling this was all for kicks.”

“Not entirely, but I am in love with Jon and when he returns we will be together.”  Seeing the truth sink in hurt as much as I figured it would, but there was no reason to prolong it.  “Oh, I also got a job with a touring sideshow and I am leaving in July.”

“Ain’t that kick in the ass,” he chuckled.  “Guess a Carny’s gotta do what they do best, and I have my own plans, so I can’t be mad I suppose.”

“Shane, I had a blast with you and I want you to know that it did mean something, otherwise I would like to believe neither of us would have wasted our energy.”  This was for the best since pursuing a relationship would have been rather difficult due to a few reasons, and in my mind putting an end to things seemed like the most rational decision to make, lest either of us wind up being hurt.

“Tell me something though,” he said, turning to me with a serious expression as his hand settled on my cheek.  “What is it that keeps you waiting for him?”

“Trust, loyalty, devotion and knowing that he would do the same in my situation.”

“How can you be so sure of that?”

Frowning slightly, I was not about to justify my long-term relationship to someone I was simply hooking up with.  As much as I cared about Shane and enjoyed our physical encounters, I went to bed every night thinking of Jon and endlessly wishing on stars that he would come sweep me off on an adventure somewhere.  “Since when do I owe you an explanation of something that doesn’t concern you?”

Ignoring the question he pulled me in for a kiss and this time I resisted as much as I could, though our lips made contact anyway.  What had once been fiery and irresistible was now very wrong and not something I should be doing if I wanted people to know that I was committed to Jon.  For whatever reason, that did not occur to me during the past few weeks I have been hanging out with Shane, snogging and shagging when the mood struck and chalking it up to a Summer romance that wasn’t meant to last.

“Alright, I was hoping for one last…nevermind it doesn’t matter.”

He walked me up the street in silence, casually holding my hand while doing his best not to look sad and telling me we might see each other once more before I left.  Not really counting on that, and though I cherish him so much as a friend, my impending job has me missing Jon more than ever.

“Nothing is ever really guaranteed,” I said as he stood there and finally released my hand.  “However, Jon is my brother and our bond as family is for life not matter what.  You can think I am a fool or whatever you want, but don’t act like you weren’t going to tell me some story to cover your ass before moving on yourself.”

He had that same look on his face as he did before when I spoke what was on my mind, though he just turned and walked away.  It’s better like this, or at least that is what I tell myself while still waiting for a notification of new mail to appear.

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Philadelphia Sideshow Revue

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

There are a handful of times I have been to Philadelphia in my life – faint memories of going to the zoo and the Franklin Institute, that $3 five-minute tour I took with my sister when we were trying to get to a show in Camden, and a couple of years ago when I saw Mindless Self Indulgence at Transit with Jon.

How I found out there was  going to be a sideshow performance in Philly is unknown,  but it had been cancelled for some reason and I was definitely disappointed.  Browsing the web, I discovered that it happened to be rescheduled and immediately became charged with excitement, so much so that I wound up walking down the street and slipping a note under Shane’s door telling him all about it.  He called the other day asking tons of questions about what it was and where we would be going, stating it had been years since he visited the city.

Today he showed up with his hair combed, dressed in black jeans and a red button down shirt, a smile on his face and small paper bag in his hand.  Driving down to Philly wasn’t really that bad, and at one point I seemed to remember passing through there on a trip once, though I had no idea where I was going yet certain buildings were familiar to me.  Arrived at Whiskey Dix in less than an hour with plenty of time to kill before the show was going to begin, so we sat in the parking lot drinking Captain Morgan’s Tattoo, smoking a blunt and splitting a bag of coke.  The latter was not needed but I indulged anyway, so swept up in the decadence of partying and displaying affections that I almost forgot we were in public.

Inside my inebriated state caused me to be highly amused by the deer head on the wall that talked and moved, though the antler chandeliers decorated with Mardi Gras type beads and random bras was far less classy.  There was some terrible band on stage and we grew bored with the low-quality entertainment rather quickly, which is quite a  task considering how good we felt at the moment.  Shane brings me into the bathroom where we do lines and other things in a stall.

When the show finally begins, Red Stuart takes the stage and performs the Human Blockhead with a nail and the microphone.  That was followed by him swallowing multiple swords, glass walking and then up a ladder of swords.  Shane was absolutely beside himself and it was obvious he had never seen anything like this before.  Being able to share the experience with him put a huge smile on my face, as did the fact he had his arm around me and would give anyone a dirty look if they stared at me for too long.

Nippulini, the man with the World’s Strongest Nipples was next, and he had a fantastic lifting routine.  In fact, he was hanging objects from his nipples that I would not even try to lift with my ears.  They increased in size and weight, building up to an impressive 75 lb anvil he picked up with no problem.  Then he did a flesh pull with another guy which really got Shane excited, and I could see myself doing something like that in the future.

We were treated to the Seven Foot Man Eating Chicken, flown in all the way from the darkest recess of Mexico.  Red came back for some flesh stapling, which is where people take a provided staple gun and use it to attach dollars to the human body.  The higher the denomination, the stranger the space available, and it was only a few minutes before almost the entire top half of him was covered in money.  After the show, we got ourselves backstage and talked to Nippulini, where I brought up the topic of possibly guest-starring in future shows.  Both he and Red were really friendly, appreciating the fact that I was so eager, had respect for those who were in the biz long before me, and had such a strong desire to keep the long-standing tradition alive.

Outside we chatted with random people, passing out cards and suggesting they should come to New Jersey if they wanted to see more sideshow.  It was getting late and Shane had work the next day, so we said our good-byes and went on our way.  Having consumed only intoxicating substances, our stomachs were growling and he made a request for food, so I stopped at a diner where we sat in the back to make goo-goo eyes at each other.  Perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, but he definitely was smiling any time our eyes met while we filled up on mozzarella sticks and fries.

About the time we were pretty much finished, Shane had flung a bug off him and an idea hatched. Quickly, and without anyone seeing him, he scooped the insect off the floor and dropped it into my food. [Don’t worry, I was done.]  He called over the waitress and pointed out the invading guest.  The manager came over, apologized, and took my meal off the bill.  Partial credit for the scam goes to the fact I have been reading Snake Oil  by Jim Rose, gleaning much inspiration from the chapters despite the warning not to try them.  Spending time with Shane has led to much rambling about such things and he is not the type of person to be shy about fleecing a few rubes.  Besides, it had been awhile since I was amused by flexing Carny skills in public, and Shane certainly delivered in the absence of…dang it, I’m not going to say his name.

On the way back we had ourselves a nice little chat where he told me about getting fired from the job he had, which I offered my condolence for as I know how hard it is to even get one in the first place.  Then again, I understand the reasoning behind it as shady as it might be; that is the risk you take when you decide to live your life a certain way.  Shane casually mentions he might have to split sometime soon.  Apparently it is something he has to do for himself, and I respect that, though we were just getting to know each other better.

We spent the night without talking but saying everything we wanted to with plenty of physical contact. Even though there is a part of me that loves him dearly, I also knew from the beginning that all this could be is a fantastic fling.  My heart and soul belong to someone else anyway, so continuing to pursue the relationship would only hurt us both.

Knowing we are going to have to part still stings.

Trail to Passion

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

For one reason or another, I have not really had much time to go riding over the past few weeks.  This is partially due to super hot days where the humidity alone is enough to suck the oxygen out of my lungs, and I am not someone who does well in heat.  Also, I have been focused on adding a few acts to the Electric Sideshow repertoire since I would like to do a few performances outside of the Rail before I get this job.

There had been plans to do a show tonight, but something was just off to me.  Though I have enjoyed the shows we did these last couple of weeks, it was not the same as it used to be.  If I may be so bold in my opinion, I have not really cared for the crowd that comes.  There are familiar faces of people who have been there from the beginning and appreciate what we are doing, but there are new ones that were too scene for my taste and I do not like to go that route.  Since I am not in the habit of pigeonholing myself into gearing my acts towards a certain group of people, I am not about to start now.  You do not have to belong to some bullshit scene to like sideshow, and I refuse to feel as though I need to cater to one.

Instead I walked down to Shane’s and was surprised to find him home, so invited him to come out with me.  Drove to the D&R Canal which is now in full bloom, various flowers tossing their intoxicating aromas carelessly into the air.  Kissing and smoking have this magic quality to them when you are doing in the seclusion of the words, your partner visibly stimulated and practically begging for more.  Sitting on rocks next to the canal, the cool breeze of evening’s approach coasted over our arms, and I found myself to have this intense energy I didn’t know existed.  Once we started gropin, a sort of primal instinct kicked in, a driving force that came from deep within anda determination to keep going at all costs.  Various thoughts floated in my head, further fueling my efforts that resulted in a wild bought of passion which had us both struggling to catch our breath.

With the sky dark and stars twinkling, we shared a bottle of vodka on the way to the movie theater.  Here I should note that my attempts to procure the needed documents to obtain the much sought after job was a bust and I was in no mood to spend the night alone.  Frustration ensued, but I want this too much for myself to just give up, yet I still needed a temporary distraction.  Shane was more than happy to be my date to Land of the Dead, even managing to rustle up a few treats that were consumed in the parking lot between kisses.

What can I say about the film that others already haven’t?  While there was not as much gore as I would have liked to see, there were plenty of flesh-eating, bloody scenes for me to ignore the fact at times it seemed that the plot wasn’t really going anywhere.  It amuses me that Romero puts a random clown zombie in so many of his movies, and the zombies being well-organized was an interesting twist.  The scene where that girl got her navel ring ripped out was hilarious on account of how many people squealed and squirmed.  Any dull moments were filled with make-out sessions, sneaking sips of vodka and Shane whispering all the things he wanted to do in my ear while I giggled and said he should behave.

Afterwards, we were standing outside the theater where he was smoking a cigarette as we discussed our favorite pats of the film.  There was a small group of people on the corner who kept staring at us and shouting “What the fuck?”, which I know was directed at us since I heard one of them say something about my hair.  Now usually I tune people out when they say stupid shit concerning my appearance, especially when they are far too spineless to say it to my face.  In this instance, I was just having a good time with Shane and did not see what the point of being rude was.

It was probably the liquor and drugs that caused me to call them out, requesting that if they were going to spout something ignorant, at least have the decency to come over and confront me face to face.  They pretended they had no idea what I was talking about.  Yea, I just imagined they had said something.   Again I offered the opportunity for them to come over, but not one of them would step up.  One of the girls got offended and took an attitude when I  called her honey since that wasn’t her name or something.  Shane asked her what it was then and for some reason it was the perfect moment to do so as she said “shit”.

Shane starts laughing and says, “Your name is shit?”

They all got really quiet but we were roaring as we turned to walk towards the car.  It could not have been more than a second of having our backs turned when one of them commented “They can’t do anything. There’s more of us than them.

With knife in hand Shane faces them again and tells them that if they want to do something he’s standing right there.  Wouldn’t you know it the little kids finally ran off and had nothing to say.  The very fact that I even have to deal with such a vast amount of stupidity from people just sickens me.  There are individuals who believe I ‘ask for attention’ due to my modifications, and I vehemently disagree since negative attention such as what I experienced outside the theater makes me quite uncomfortable.  People will stare and I get that, but it certainly is not necessary for people to talk shit behind my back, or in any range where they are not properly addressing me.  When they are saying something in a manner where it is obvious they want to be loud enough for me to hear, I reserve the right to call them out and provide entertainment with their cowardly reactions.

On the bright side, Shane let me stay with him for the remainder of the evening and succeeded in assisting me forget all about the incident.

The “Bad” Boys

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Last night I was doing some revision work on the book I have been writing for what feels like forever now when there is a knock at the door.

It’s Shane; he came to tell me that he would not be going to prison but that he was in fact on probation.  Was certainly happy to see him which must have been evident by the huge smile on my face, and he laughed before placing a kiss on my forehead, kind of surprised I was concerned about the situation.  Then he took my hand and we were walking though the woods, talking about how much fun we had at the Court.

While Shane rattled on about some of the tattoos he had been doing, my thoughts drifted to wonder what it is that draws me to people like him, or why I care so much.  It occurred to me many years ago that I have no control over what people choose to do with their lives; all I can do is offer my friendship, undying support and an unbiased ear.  No matter how hard I try not to become too emotionally invested, I already feel as though I am too involved with him.  This is my weakness and I tend to continually be hurt by it.

As we sat on a log smoking a joint, I entertained the thought of asking him to score for me.  There is no reason I wanted to get high or why it had to be with him, but I figured if I was going to be visiting familiar territory I might as well go to the extreme.  Perhaps it was the absence of Jon and the fact I stumbled around without him, trying to figure out what direction I should take while waiting for him to return.  This had left an emptiness I was trying to fill yet no matter how much I enjoyed myself, it just was not the same.

Shane was the storm that unexpectedly rolled in on a Summer afternoon when the skies are baby blue and there isn’t a cloud for miles; the classic car that rolls up beside you on the highway representing an iconic time in Americana and bringing a smile to your face to know it is in good hands; the giant wave that comes rushing on you as you stare out at the ocean and brace yourself as much as you can even though it knocks you off your feet and there is sand that winds up in the bottom of your bathing suit, your hair tangling in your face while salt water creeps up your nose.

His eyes sparkled when he looked at me, the slightest smile on his lips as he slowly exhaled smoke and kissed my hand.  Then he made an offer that caused me to chuckle, though there was no way he could have read my mind.  We sat doing lines all afternoon, watching birds and squirrels move through the trees, tiny fluttering wings dancing along tall grass and the sun warming our skin, beads of sweat forming along our tattoos.  When we weren’t consuming drugs we were exploring the boundaries of intimacy and finding ways to bring each other pleasure without actually having sex.

Shane walked me back to the house and said he would be out of town for a few days, as he had to travel up to Irvington for someone who wanted a tattoo.  As much as I wanted to ask when I would see him again, I played it as cool as I could and just wished him a safe journey.  He kissed me at the door and gave me one of his rings, stating that if he failed to return I would at least have something to remember him by.

All I can think about is how I would not be able to handle someone I care about dropping out of my life right now.  Though I said it before, it bears repeating that this whole situations reminds me of being with Jon.  Part of me knows better than to make a big deal out of hanging with someone I like to kiss, yet that does not stop me from having feelings for him.  That is not something I can shut off whenever I want to, but at the same time I could not suffer the pain of losing someone again.

My dreams have become a stream of strange, unusual, weird, bizarre and down right fucked up images about 90% of the time; it is that blissful 10% I don’t even remember I highly welcome yet rarely experience.  This morning was one of those dreams that falls into the larger percentile of generally unexplainable oddness.  Though the location is nondescript, I sure as hell knew who I was talking to.   Though for all intents and purposes the person looked very much like Jon, the tattoos and voice belonged to Shane.  Yea, that is pretty up there on the ranks of things that don’t make sense in my dreams.  For some reason I am standing on a box so I can look in his eyes as we talk, and that makes me laugh a little considering Jon is about a foot taller than I am, and Shane has several inches on me as well.   Through the threat of tears I tried my best to convince him not to go away, though I have no clue as to where he wanted to go or why.  My hands stroked his hair; it was soft and smelled like the ocean – I said that everything would be alright as long as he stayed with me.

That is pretty much where I lost the whole scene, and yet it has been sitting in my mind since I woke up.  Even though I keep telling myself it was just a dream, I question how much I really believe that.  How often do dreams reflect things that are going on in life?  For me, it seems to occur quite often.  What eats at me the most, is that my journal feels like the only outlet I have for whatever is going on inside my head, and I fill it with all these questions that no one – including myself – can answer.  The hardest part is having to deal with it on my own, since I don’t expect anyone to “get it” and I certainly am uncomfortable discussing it with anyone I know as they will probably ask questions I cannot answer.

Since I feel as though I have nowhere else to turn, I wind up internalizing too much and then either want to run from my feelings or find something to quiet them into submission.

There are errands I need to run tomorrow in order to get documents I need for work, the one thing that seems to be going well for me in terms of getting my life straight and building toward a future that includes moving on from my current situation.  It also serves as a distraction from daydreaming about Shane and his incredible kissing abilities.

Purloined Pearls

Pearls can be found in the waters of place such as the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mannar,the South Pacific, the Gulf of California, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Europe, Japan and Australia, produced by calcium carbonate that resides in the soft tissue of a shelled mollusc.  These spherical wonders come in a wide range of iridescent shades: black, blue, gold, green, pink, cream, silver or white – the lighter tones will be the main focus of this guide.  Originating from the Latin word “pirum” which translates to “pear” and indicates the shape of the gem, a decently sized pearl can take between five and eight years to grow.  Value is determined based on the coating known as “nacre” that gives the pearl its lustrous appearance, though color, size, lack of surface flaws and symmetry appropriate for the type are attributes also taken under consideration.  When combined, these requirements ensure that precious pearls are recognized as such, though one certainly does not have to wait for the right one to be discovered in order to reap the benefits of their beauty.

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purloined_pearls_beauty

1 – Exceptionally simple to apply and blend, Cultured Pearl is a glimmering bareMinerals Eyecolor that bestows opaque allover color or translucent highlights depending on how you choose to use the pigment, giving you the option to customize your favorite products with it.

2 – Achieve maximum coverage with Iridescent Pearl Grey eyeshadow, the satiny luster carried by dense pigments that merge into skin for a rich texture which is sure to stand out.

3 – Technologically advanced enough to claim “insane color payout”, Urban Decay’s Vanilla is a velvety pearl eyeshadow with golden shimmer that effortlessly glides on lids and will stay put so you can enjoy it all day long.

4 – Shimmer does not have to be gaudy and Star Powder in Pearl Gold certainly gathers light to impart a unique glow on skin, increasing hold by dabbing it on with a wet brush to whatever area you want to accentuate.

5 – Kohl lined eyes walk the plank this summer in favor of Heavy Metal Glitter Liner, the chunks of opalescent pearl in Distortion depositing crystalline shine whether you draw precise lines or arc the side of the brush across your face.

6 – As seen on red carpet celebrities, Pearl Encrusted False Eyelashes form a lasting bong from the minute they are put on, flawlessly mingling with your own lashes for a natural look.

7 – Prepare lips for perfection by generously applying Lustrous Pearl, a highly reflective lip gloss that packs plenty of shine and saturates your pucker with moisturizer for all day comfort and no stickiness.

8 – Hailed as the ultimate all-in-one makeup stick, the Multiple in Copacabana offers a cream-to-powder glistening pearl finish that can be utilized to charmingly heighten specific features with a luminous sheen.

9 – Decorate your latest manicure using Nail Art Pearl Beads, an imitation of the coveted white gems that are 2mm in diameter and have a flat back to readily adhere in any patter of your choice.

10 – Formulated to be long lasting and ultra glossy, Mayfair is a pearl white nail polish that takes inspiration from runway trends and gives you the best possible results every time you put it on.

11 – Rejuvenate the area under your eyes with Masque*ology’s Revitalizing Eye Gel Masque, the mesh saturated in luxurious pearl powder to reduce puffiness and leaving behind a youthful appearance.

12 – One of the new dyes released by Manic Panic this spring, Manic Mixer is hyped as a pastel-izer which can be combined with any of the other various vegan colors put out by the company, though it could also be just the thing needed to generate the ideal pale white hair, especially when combined with Virgin Snow and previously bleached hair.

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purloined_pearls_body_jewelry

1 – Decadence is always on trend, particularly when one finds their social calendar suddenly filled with potential events to attend and in the mood to do so by making an unforgettable entrance.  To achieve this, turn to Body Vision Los Angels and their Jill Eyelets, a magnificent pair of gleaming rose gold fronts decorated in minute detail, pink pearls and green quartz which are worth the investment to watch jaws drop when you come onto the scene.

2 – Equally impressive are the Reign Eyelets found over at Kolo Piercing, the stainless steel tunnels surrounding intricately carved mother of pearl inlays that have a semi-opaque quality and will have people doing a double take as they realize your holes are filled with magnificent art.

3 – Featuring deeply embossed mother of pearl inlays displaying Lotus flowers, these Black Horn Plugs use a more organic container for the sculpted pieces to help them stand out, particularly since patterns and coloration vary between each piece.

4 – On a the more minimalist spectrum are the Ebony Bolt Plugs where the ebony dominates the majority of the eyelet that is set off by a mother of pearl inlay shaped like a lightning bot, for fans of kitschy accessories and solid plugs.

5 – Treat yourself to a royal pleasure with Crown Eyelets, immaculately polished white gold settings grasping firmly onto 14mm mabe pearls which reflect the flawless surface of the metal it is set atop.

6 – Hanging styles have become more popular since there are a variety of shapes that can be inserted into various ear piercings, and they are particularly decorative in large gauge cartilge.  The Winged Glory has a simple curve at the top which leads to feathers hand carved into mother of pearl and back into another pair of curves, some waves sprouting from the sides to cap off these unique pieces.

7 – A similar style are these Floral Spirals that take a set of mother of pearl spirals and add just enough flourishes to set them apart from all of the other designs that can be found in materials such as steel, bone or glass.

8 – Breezy island getaways are the perfect time to hang Tawapa’s Stellar Shell Plates from your  tunnels, the circular shaped mother of pearl adorned with geometric silver accents that give the jewelry a sort of art deco flair.

9 – Cut out all of the settings and get right to displaying opulence by wearing Adonica, a strand of genuine 2mm pearls that take the iconic pearl necklace and presents it in miniature form to wear in your favorite piercing.

10 – This is not an engagement ring, it is a BVLA Pearl Ring crafted from 18 karat gold that has a 3mm pearl as the captive bead.  Though it may seem simple compared to some of the other pieces here, when place in certain piercings it raises the bar for quality over quantity.

11 – Gold and pearls are matched again in the Pearl Sunburst, a navel curve topped with a 3mm and 5mm 1/2 pearls surrounded by slightly pointed petals.

12 – The only other non-white pearl of the collection, this yellow gold Pearl with Tri Accent navel curve has a 4mm black pearl that shows off the gems iridescence, a trio of 1.25mm diamonds on the bottom and a sparkling cubic zirconia on the other end.

George Is Dead at the Court Tavern

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Before heading out to the show that evening, I had to shave the sides of my head, take a shower and adjust some of the safety pins on the shirt I would be wearing.  While I am in the middle of putting my shoes on, there is a knock at the door.

It’s Shane; he wants to know what I am up to.

There I am, still peeved that he did not call me back when he said he was going to, and slightly annoyed that I was unable to get a hold of him even though he said I could call any time.  It had gotten to the point where I wanted to just walk down the street, knock on his door and ask what was up, but thought that would be rude.  Shane apologizes and simply just forgot he was supposed to call, explaining that his phone gets shitty service.  Mine does too so I know he is not throwing me some bullshit excuse, especially when he says that in the future I should just come over if I want to talk.

All of these things become trivial when he smiles and gives me a kiss.  The situation is all too familiar but that does not stop me from inviting him to join me for the show.  He smiles and happily accepts, then states there is a chance he might be going on a little vacation tomorrow, so it would be nice to have an evening of fun.

Fixing my makeup and finishing my outfit, I let Shane into my car and have to chuckle as he adjusts the seat to accommodate his long legs.  Windows were rolled down, surf tunes were turned up and he lit a joint just as we entered the highway.  He asked where we were going, so I gave him a brief history of the Court Tavern and its relevance to the punk scene in southern New Jersey, then described as best I could the antics of George and why I had to see him there.

Scored free parking and we sat in the car for a while to drink a mix of vodka and everclear that was accented with some pineapple orange juice.  We swapped spit between doing a few bumps, then were ready to conquer the venue.  After paying and walking downstairs, I see someone an ex is friends with but remember he knows the drummer of George is Dead as well.  Out of nowhere another one of his friends comes up to me, shakes my hand and asks me how I’m doing.

The encounter is weird and Shane asks me if I knew who that was, his hand suddenly holding mine a little tighter than before.  Laughing I tell him the guy used to play drums in the ex’s band, then mentioned how I sort of just left a note breaking up with him when I moved out.  All of that is in the past though, but then I realize the Asshole is in the band I was there to see.

Determined to have a good time despite his presence, I share this information with Shane who promptly plants a kiss on my lips when the old curmudgeon glances in our direction.  From then on our attention is directed to George and Lenny, the people I was supporting in the first place.  His arms are around me for their entire set, our bodies rocking to the music and my cheeks a bit red as I am flattered by his slightly protective stance.  The music had us cheering, as did George breaking several ceiling tiles with his fist and then smashing a bottle against his forehead until he drew blood.  Most of the crowd was not into that, but they don’t understand the motivation behind such things the way I do.

After the set we disappeared into the bathroom for drugs and debauchery, the latter of which nearly got out of control when Shane expressed the desire to have his way with me right then and there.  Convincing him to wait for later, we left the Court and walked until coming across the grease trucks, splitting a sandwich and soda while sneering at the college kids who gave us dirty looks.  Then we were on the highway again, more tunes and smoking and drinking in a cool breeze.  Not in the mood to go back to the house, Shane invited me to his place where we wound up on the couch.

In my heart I know the way things will go, even though I am well aware it is not fair to assume.  When certain things remind me of events that have occurred in the past, it is really difficult for me not to.  The more time I spend with Shane, the more familiar the situation becomes; it’s very similar to being with Aaron.  Don’t get me wrong, I cherish our relationship greatly and would not give it up for anything in the world no matter how difficult it becomes.  However, the closer I want to be with him the further he seems to become, and now I feel as though it is happening all over again with Shane.

When someone makes an impression on my life, no matter how trivial, it stays with me.  All I ever ask of anyone is their friendship, yet in the past all I seemed to get were people who came in and out of my life as they pleased.  The situation between Aaron and I is what it is;  I have talked about it enough and right now I am done trying to change it when things are out of my hands.  He is never far from my thoughts, and though I haven’t seen him since that accident in Asbury, I love him dearly and have devoted my heart to him.

Then I think about Shane, who I had not seen in a dog’s age and there he is living on my street.  Next thing I know we are exchanging passionate kisses and doing drugs like we have been together for months.  Having left him on the couch this morning, I went about my daily routine and tried calling a few times; I don’t even know if he’s gone or what.  If  he is, I haven’t the slightest clue for how long or when he will be back.  Is it strange that I miss him already?

On a similar note, I don’t remember the last time I hung out with James.  Had to be at least a month or more ago, and I spoke to him maybe once after that.  Then again I know that he was busy with moving, but not having any contact with someone I care about really bothers me.  This is my plight and part of the reason I feels as though I don’t even have any friends.

Without Aaron I would have nothing, and that is a painful fact.

Drawin’ the Wildcard in Atlantic City

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

For some reason I have found a soft spot in my psyche for zombies.  The other morning I watched Day of the Dead and Army of Darkness; Romero’s Land of the Dead will be coming to theaters next month and I was stoked when I saw the first trailer.

Where did this fascination of the living dead come from?  Maybe it was seeing the re-make of Dawn of the Dead last year, or the fact that I have happily ‘zombified’ myself on a number of occasions for Halloween and related festivities.

Anyway, after my mini movie marathon, I remembered this super awesome dream I had a couple of months back.  Trapped in a mall with a bunch of other people, we were trying to figure out what we should do while walking around. Out of nowhere this woman comes up to me and shoves me into my Taurus, insisting that I have to drive until daylight and not to stop for anything.  Pedal to the metal, I am speeding into the darkness hitting zombies left and right, not really sure of where I am headed but knowing that I have to keep going.

Eventually the sun rises and I roll the windows down as I head towards a beach; something tells me it’s where I want to be.  There are a bunch of other people gathered next to the water, dressed in combat boots and patched together clothes like some sort of neo-tribal diesel punk warriors ready to take on whatever is coming.  Parking the car I approach a group and relay my heroic battle through the zombies, but they are hesitant to accept me.  Someone with heavy face tattoos and a spiked baseball bat comes up and asks if I know the code; I utter this incomprehensible string of words without missing a beat, though I have no idea what I actually said or what language I was supposed to be speaking.  Though surprised, they  gladly welcome me into their group and together we make a plan for protecting ourselves against the zombies.

The dream skipped ahead [they usually do that]: somehow we uncover the knowledge that there really weren’t any zombies.  It was just a drill instituted by the military/government to test the citizen’s reactions or something like that.

Funny thing about the dream is that my car was a paperweight at the time, thus being a zombie itself in my dream and perhaps the reason I was able to kill any that tried to attack me by simply running them over.  Weird, but it was fun.

Anyway, due to certain circumstances I was unable to attend Atlantic City’s first ever tattoo convention last year.  When I saw the performance lineup I decided that the admission was worth being able to check out the artist action and sales booths as well.  The afternoon could not have been any more gorgeous as I headed down the highway, and then the rain started to pour down for a solid five minutes before suddenly stopping.  Oh how I love the strange weather in the South.  Since I have not really driven down to AC much I had no idea where I was going when I got off the highway, but I managed to find the location and a decent parking spot.

Had some fun with the security guards, and it was not the 30+ piercings that set off the metal detectors –  the spikes, studs, safety pins and all those other little metal bits that adorned my body were the culprits.

Wandered around collecting business cards from the various shops that had booths set up, and while I have not heard of most of the local ones it was nice to know that there is some quality work in the Garden State.  Stopped at Fat Kat to ask some questions as I am seriously considering cover-ups on my forearms.  The one artist does really awesome old school work, and that is the style of tattoo I am after, so I may have to take a trip down there at some point.

While waiting for the sideshow to begin, a photographer from Prick [a body modification magazine] asked if they could take some pictures of me for an article they were writing about the convention.  Though I felt there were people who had far more impressive modifications, I was happy to oblige and even had to sign a release form.  Handed him a  business card and politely requested if he could send me either the photos or the link to the article when it comes out.

Later on in the day, after an hour of postponement [due to not having any union workers to set up the microphones], I headed over to the auditorium to see the Cripsy Family Carnival’s performance.

The music was pretty nifty, but the acts were dry and that is disappointing since this was my first time seeing them.  Was not digging the fact they pulled out a collapsable sword before the one guy swallowed a real [and rather short] one.  Also, not to be rude, but a fat guy in an ill-fitting ‘straitjacket’ that does not even attempt to sell the escape is incredibly boring, especially since said ‘straitjacket’ looks like it was a rip-off of something Lip Service made.  The most enjoyable part was being able to touch a python due to the fact that snakes are awesome.

After the show I stopped to say hello to Stephanie, whom I haven’t seen since the Bindlestiff show in NY a few months back.  We  chatted for a while about random things including how she made the adorable costume she was wearing, which is always fun.  Next thing I know, she is introducing me to Franco, and the three of us step aside for a serious biz talk.  As nervous as I was, I explained as eloquently as possible how my interest in sideshow came about and went on to talk about what I had done with Jon and Outlaw Cirkus.  Well apparently it always helps to say the right thing, as he mentioned possibly having a spot for us at the Gathering [in September], and that we should e-mail him a reminder so he could see if there would be an open slot for us to do some performance.  Being referred to him by the Bindlestiffs also helped immensely and I desperately wished Jon had been there to be part of the moment.

Even later on that evening, I sat down for the second sideshow performance, courtesy of the Bindlestiffs.  They never cease to amaze, and rightly so.  They have been doing this for a long time now; it’s no wonder they are flawless and always entertaining.  Of course I really liked Stephanie’s glass routine and every time I watch them I find myself learning new things, ready to apply them to my own routines and whatnot.

The convention was pretty much over at that point, so I wandered down to the boardwalk and managed to rustle up a salad from one of the food joints.  Driving back was long, boring and dark.  Somewhere on Route 18 sleep must have been winning over on me or something.  While I had noticed the cop behind me, I figured he was just out looking for someone to bust for speeding.  As I am pulling onto Route 1, the lights go on and I have no idea what I did.

That light on the cop car couldn’t have been any brighter.  He asks for my info and I give it to him.  He asks if I had been drinking and I said no.  He checked the back seat, gave my car the once over and said I had “trouble maintaining my lane”, whatever that meant.  He again asked if I had been drinking and I firmly stated no, so he just said to be careful and that was that.

A strange way to end an otherwise fantastic day, and now all I can think about is how much I want to tell Jon about everything that happened.