Eurotrashcation: Part Two

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Click here for Part One.

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In the morning we threw ourselves out of bed, threw our shit into our bags, and threw our feet out the door.

The next stop was the city of Norwich, where I was studying for the semester. I was not terribly excited for this stop, if I’m being completely honest. I had spent four months there already, stumbling from pub to pub in search of margaritas and rowdy people to party with. The city was sleepy, and I wasn’t ready to go to bed again. Hoss wanted to see what I had been up to, so we went.

It was Easter when we rode in that coach to Norwich. Couples were returning to town, holding hands and complaining about in-laws. A kid’s head rolled against the seat as she slept.

We checked out the campus, first. The design is rooted in the ’60’s, but the colossal cement glacier has slid through the decades. Walk paths crossed over ground floors, cut underneath with flights of stairs, like the campus was folded up on itself. In conjunction with the grey sky, the ambiance was something desolate. The sun flirted with exposing herself, but the foul air she used as perfume made her unappealing.

Then we headed into town. The town was closed for the remembrance of its Lord and Savior’s resurrection. The Norman castle loomed on the hill, its white stone burning to assert its authority. We stopped going into the churches after we accidentally interrupted a second Easter gathering. Cobbles of the road clunked beneath our steps. Men laughed at drunk passed out in some trash in an alley.

We ate some Indian food. It was simultaneously the most vegetables and most flavor I had eaten in one sitting for four months. We were short on cash, and had to give a shitty tip.

Norwich was the vacation from our vacation.

 

Let’s talk about acid.

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Its time for an obligatory drug story, as Amy Poehler says in her book “Yes Please”.

We had scoured the town for affordable acid, dismissing some guy who had tried to sell us some for $50 bucks. This would be my first time with acid, and just about anything would “blow my mind.” Whatever.

When The Community Reduce Our Freedom (via kmoufarih.tumblr.com)

The guy we got the acid from stepped into the apartment confidently, like a salesperson who truly believed in his product. Money changed hands, like $20-$30, and we got four groovy bears pre-wrapped in old Post Office paper.

Hoss quickly unwrapped his first one, popped it in his mouth, and licked its wrapping. I hesitated for a minute, took a breath, and followed his lead.

It was great acid, according to him. We walked out of the apartment and onto the balcony for a smoke. He started to feel it sooner than I did. When I asked him about it, he said, “Take a look at your hand.” I waved my hand in front of my face: just a perfectly normal evolutionary miracle, nothing trippy about it.

After a couple more nerve-calming cigarettes, we watched the Adams Family movie to pass the time. Hoss was already well on his way to la-la land, leaving me to slowly watch the red, green, and blue on the low-def TV melt together in a chromatic mish-mash.

After an hour of Thing crawling around, we started watching The Office, disturbing because of the static quality of the characters speaking in the forefront of a swirly background. The Netflix buffered between episodes, and there was a deafening silence for what seemed to be eons but must have only been minutes. I asked, feverishly, if we could listen to some music.

We started listening to Oppenheimer’s Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It with Jim and Pam flirting in the background, and it lined up pretty nicely. I started walking miles around the apartment to the electronic beeping of the synthesizer, not knowing that I was already starting to loose it; i.e, the plaster had started sliding off the wall, the tapestries had lives of their own. We finished the album and started listening to Loveless, an album that still haunts me.

We went out for yet another cigarette on a balcony that overlooked the other apartments that I couldn’t feel in my throat. I flicked my lighter, and I peaked. The lights from the living rooms of the apartments bulged out of the window panes in vibrant gibberish. Of course I screamed to Hoss, “Dude, I’m tripping balls, I’m tripping balls, I’m tripping balls.” He calmed me down, we finished smoking. The journey back inside included striding on the moving walkway of the hallway carpet pattern.

Hoss flipped the switch on the blacklight, illuminating the posters we put above it in garish colors, with a breasted Lady Death on top. We put a Dandies album on, and I fell to the floor with a notebook, scribbling “ephemeral, ephemeral, ephemeral…”, drooling, becoming the floor. Then And Then I Dreamt of Yes came on, and the acid got weird. I fell inside myself, finding a black nothing, which turned into everything. I woke up, or something, and starting drawing spiraling fractals. When the album was finished, Hoss and I were both over the peak.

We decided to go for a walk on a nearby college campus. Our pupils were as large as discs, and I had an extreme feeling of agency, which is a douchey way to say that, I realize. I don’t know. We started smoking Camel Wides.

We came to our destination. A statue of a poet writing a famous poem sitting on a bench. We sat with him for a while, fucked out of our minds, smoking endlessly. I positioned my eyes at the poet’s level, and discerned that he was only looking at a tree. Wacky.

On the way back some college students were screaming something, and Hoss looked me and said, “They’re talking about acid, but we’re on it. The world.” When we were finishing the loop, a bunch of kids blasting Top Forty disco music walked with us, which made us both nervous.

We finished the night with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Hoss was traumatized by the scene where Hal dies. I mostly stared out the window, looking at the way the street light fell.

The next day it felt like we were hit by a train.

Drag Day – Part One

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A while ago I volunteered at a drag show. And by volunteering I mean I mean I drained a water bottle containing a big Caucasian and smoking Camels. The drink, not the race, though that would have been okay too.

Add a drawn-on douche beard and a Tupac song and Joan would have made a really good drag king.

Add a drawn-on douche beard and a Tupac song and Joan would have made a really good drag king.

Hoss and I decided it would behoove us to blaze before going over there. And we did. We also played a little dress-up. I was a skinny little leather daddy with an outrageously over-sized vinyl police hat. He was done-up in a red-dress.

Ah, Satan, I’m so depraved.

Anyways, we get to the venue. We wait around for a while, draining the Caucasian. We smoke the “special occasion” pack we had promised ourselves.

Rehearsals went well. (“Well” in that everybody who showed up seemed to have a basic understanding of what their act would look like. Not well in that the rehearsals were the day of the show or that not everybody showed up. Everyone was working on queer standard time, so it was understandable.Also, word had gotten around that the gaybies who had coordinated the event had not gotten their shit together soon enough, and that the venue was shitty.) Hoss rehearsed his routine.

Several more hours passed. The cool queers and I went out for drinks and nachos and got sufficiently drunk. Hoss and I went bong-browsing. We still had a shit-ton of time to wait.

…(Several cigarettes later)…

It finally came. The drag show. A good two-thirds of the venue was filled, which amounted to a couple hundred people. We started fifteen minutes after the scheduled 8 PM (that’s queer standard time, for ya). Backstage the gaybies had broken out a box wine, a bottle of vodka and accompanying tonic. With that little bit of courage, we started.

It was phenomenal. The gayby leaders proved themselves to everyone. The venue was almost full, the lights were fantastic, and every performer really gave a shit: The drag kings did their pelvic thrusts perfectly, the drag queens dolled themselves up in dazzling neon make-up, sparkled their eyelashes, padded their boobs to disproportionate sizes. There is one queen I would like to mention in particular: I can’t remember her name, or the song she did, but her outfit was gorgeous. She had these silicone breasts on that bounced with every step of her nine inch heeled boots. She contorted herself like Lilith on the stage, strange and erotic and dark. I can’t describe it, but it was metal as fuck.

Black-Eyed Susan, Hoss’s drag name, did Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man)” She took the stage wearing an ugly checkered house dress. When the chorus struck the first time, she dropped it, revealing a red tutu and bra, her shitty blond wig whipping around. I flitted over to stage and offered her my dollar, which I had to bum from a friend. She took it, and it warmed my heart. For the final lines of the song, she drew a switchblade from her bra, and licked the blade as she walked away. My boyfriend, ladies and gentlemen and genderfucks.

I had to run backstage to help with the next show. A friend of mine was doing what she called her “power dyke” song. Here it is. She took the stage, aiming her hot pink machine gun at the audience. One of the gaybies and I walked up to the front stage bearing a poster saying “Your Make Up Is Terrible”. She ripped through it for the climax of the song, shot at some more audience-members. The gayby and I were her awkward back-up dancers.

We finished the night with “YMCA”. Hoss convinced me to dance on the stage with everyone else. I wasn’t at all dressed up, so I decided to strip to my underwear. Thank Satan I was wearing my sexy boxer briefs.

But the night was not truly over. We still had the after-party.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda Palmer is a godsend (and I’m an atheist, so that’s a pretty big deal)

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This week I went to a bookstore hosting Amanda Fucking Palmer reading her fan-fucking-tastic The Art of Asking. It made me cry.

I'm so goddamn in love with her.

I’m so goddamn in love with her.

My boyfriend and I rolled out of bed around 7 o’clock to drive forty-five minutes to the city which would be graced with her presence. We listened to Who Killed Amanda Palmer on the way there, the guitar hero serenading us as we drove down the unreal empty streets of the city. We put some shitty donuts in our digestive tracts, and some even shittier coffee.

We drive to the bookstore, get one of the very last spaces in the parking garage, and get to the bookstore proper. There’s one fan waiting outside the unopened storefront. We decide to take a stroll through the park across the street, shouting at the geese to get a job, threatening them with fist fights, which was punk as fuck.

We return to the bookstore. Still no one. Jesus Christ people, where is your taste?

Got stoned at a friend’s. She let us play with her chihuahua/pug mix puppy which, due to the nuances of genetics, has about five years to live. Just super duper blazed, and suddenly you would be pulled into a puddle of puppy love.

Anyways.

They let us into the bookstore and we got our books. I devoured the first fifty pages. Then we waited. And waited.

Then we waited some more.

About threeish hours later, despite the plane delays, the Palmer had landed. She was amazing. She was all like “Soooooo – I wrote this book” and it was punk as fuck. God. Jesus. Mary. You had to be there.

She read from her book, about her time as a street performer. The premise of her act was that she dressed in a gigantic wedding dress and stood on top of some milk crates, and handed out flowers to people who dropped some money in her hat. It was pretty Zen and whatever: an analogy of asking for help to support your art and delivering the goods to your audience.

Then she sang. I swear, everyone in the room fell in love with her all over again when she strummed the strings of her ukulele. She played “In My Mind“, a favorite of mine.

She read more passages from her book about her relationship with her husband Neil Gaiman (for whom I have the utmost respect). She talked about her own problems with asking for help from him, that even she struggled with the concept. But she articulated it in a much more eloquent way, I swear.

And we waited some more. We went out to smoke with all of the ukulele-bearing, tiny piano-toting awesome people. Quickly munched some sandwiches, wandered around a pagan & Wiccan ceremonial supply store, went back in.

The way the system worked was that everyone was given a ticket with their book, and the ticket had a number on it. Amanda would sign the books, starting at number one, going down and down the line. That was cool, though. Hoss and I chatted with this cool chick in front of us.

The light at the end of the goddamn tunnel. Amanda was doing signatures in a fucking blanket fort. I gave my phone to a guy for a picture. I sat all nervously, legs folded beneath me as if I’m sitting down for a blaze sesh, five inches away.

Something magical happened.

Amanda FUCKING Palmer looked at me with an amused look then pulled me closer into the picture. Our cheeks were actually touching. We walked away, and I shook her hand and thanked her.

Magical.

(Consequently, that is now the only picture of my boyfriend and I where he is not in drag. And its with Amanda Fucking Palmer. We win.)

We got our complimentary muffins and went out the door. We drove home, lit some cigarettes, and listened to the rest of Theatre is Evil. This song came up and I cried. Silently. I cried because I was caught up in the love for art. I cried because I thought that just maybe I could do this writer thing.

Not to sound like a Misery ripoff or anything, but I love you, Amanda. My thank you to you was more than an appreciation of your time. You renewed my belief in the online art community, and made me proud to be a part of it.

A final note: stop pretending art is hard, goddammit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njDQsQpFIqA