Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween

...Knowing 6th Ave. was going to be packed because of the annual Halloween Parade I relied on my feet and skateboard to bring me back to the East Village. I needed to get to the thrift store by my apartment on 11th St. and Ave. C before it closed at 7PM. I work just above Canal St. on 6th Ave and as I flew out of work at 6PM I groaned at the already massive throngs of people hanging out on 6th. I figured I'd walk up 6th to Spring and cut east that way. Loud music was blaring, cops were scurrying around trying to direct both car and pedestrian traffic, road blocks were dropping to the left and right of me like a child's stomping foot trapping an ant. I looked at my watch: 6:07.

"Hey, officer, excuse me. Where can I cross the street," I asked an already grumpy cop standing behind a barricade.
"You got to go south man, back to Canal," he replied, "and quick! They're closing off the whole town."

Suddenly I got the feeling this was no longer just Halloween in New York but rather a city being walled in by marshal law. I shrugged and swiveled my heel south to Canal, determined not to let the stress of this holiday ruin my upcoming night out. As soon as I found some space I jumped on my board and crossed the street quickly, pretending not to hear the female cop's pleas for everyone to stay put. It was 6:15. I wasn't anywhere near home but, at least, I was on the east side of the street. I pushed forward, pumping hard through a disorganized mob of costumes and traffic. I had a smile which read "suckerssss" painted on my face as I coasted in and out of cars caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I caught the green light through Houston and focused my center of gravity as I swished through the torn up pavement of the always under-construction street.

At 6:25 I was just entering Washington Square Park. I knew I'd make it to the thrift store before it closed but I worried it might close early. I kicked through the park and up 5th Ave. which was the most jam-packed I had ever seen. The bike path b
ecame a battle between bikers, skaters and suddenly opening cab doors. I pushed passed a frustrated biker who seemed to be as in much of a rush as I was. "Hey asshole, this is a bike path!" he growled, passing me by. I would have thought about getting off the bike path in such a bumrush environment had I not noticed cops dropping barricades to the left and right of me. "Every man for himself," I thought as I pumped harder toward 10th St.

The rest of the journey was quick and easy except for navigating through costumed people ignoring any and all standard pedestrian street laws. People were already rowdy. I knew this was going to be a fun night. I arrived at the thrift store at 6:40 and sighed with relief that it was still open. I barged in.

"Hi," I said to the store clerk. "I'm the guy who called about the flannel shirt. I'm the werewolf."
She smiled warmly, "Oh yes, I think I've found the perfect shirt for you. Red flannel, right?"

The clerk, dressed as a witch, went behind the counter and pulled out a perfect red-plaid flannel button-down shirt.

"Perfect! THANK you," I jumped giving her a high five. I gave her five dollars and took the shirt without a bag. On the way out she gave me a tootsie roll and said, "Trick or treat."
"Thanks," I said
. I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "Oh by the way, fierce hat!" And, with that I was gone and climbing the stairs to my apartment to get ready.

Eric, the roommate, was home laying on the bed with a pillow over his face. "Happy Halloween," I gleed and jumped on his bed. He gaged my level of excitement, rolled his eyes, sighed and said, "ugh. I think a nap is in store."

I left him alone and began preparing my costume. I took the flannel shirt, turned it inside out, found the seems of the sleeves and began cutting them off. I tried to rip it a bit to make it seem as though I was a werewolf freshly turned. It
worked. I threw it on. My werewolf gloves, mask, fangs, painted my nose black at the tip and jumped upstairs to my gaybors apartment to see what they were up too. Jason wasn't ready at all and was pacing back and forth thinking of what he could pull together with what he has in his closet. Nick, on the other hand, was brutal. He was standing damn near 7 feet tall, gold sparkled platform boots going above his knee, white dress, red cape, blond wig. He was the best drag Shira (of Heman and Shira) I had ever seen. That is, of course, given that I had seen this costume before. He looked radiant and I made sure to stress that to him. We exchanged plans and details and I headed back down to my apartment to retrieve my cell phone. Alex called. 6 times. I called him back and he decided to head over from Mud Cafe.

Alex showed up 10 minutes later with a severe gash and black eye painted on his face. "I'm a bash victim," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Ok. You look great," and kissed him on the cheek. "Happy Halloween." Alex and I hung out for a bit at my apartm
ent wasting time until he had to meet his friends elsewhere in the East Village. We both skated over to his friend's place where I wished him a good evening and headed out myself to see what the night held in store.

I had planned on meeting up with Wayne on Christopher street around 8ish. I haven't been to the West Village on Halloween before and he assured me it was quite the scene. I skated across town back to Fifth Ave. where the street became so jam-packed with people and cars I had to get off my skateboard. There were barricades on every street. People were walking all the way up to 14th just to cross east to west. It was ridiculous and managed poorly and cruelly
by grumpy police with bully attitudes. I tried to play the dumb card and just walk on through 10th st. A cop stopped me.

"Where do you think you're going?"
"Uh, (duh) crossing the street."

"No you're not," the cop responded in that East Coast Italian you-looking-to-pick-a-fight tone.
"Where do I cross then?"
"Not here," he sm
ugly spit back.
"You know," I said being very informal, "that doesn't help either of us."
"14th," he stated firmly
"14th!?, what're you crazy?!"
"What did you say to me," he asked, this time really looking for a fight.
I stepped back, "I said slowly, what-are-you-crazy? That's 4 blocks from here!"
"Looks like you're the one whose crazy. Now GET OFF THE STREET," he hollered.
I climbed under the barricade and stood across from him. I put a huge smile on my face and in the most excited and ecstatic tone, said, "Happy Halloween," and waved him bye.
What I was thinking though was more along the lines of: "You stupid mother fucking ape-bully. Go home and beat your wife, don't take your bullshit out on me, moron!" I stood there on the street grumbling my frustrations.

That was enough for me. It was time to head back east. Besides, from here I could see 6th Ave. was a stand-still of congested costumed traffic. There was no way I was getting across.

I skated back toward the East Village and went down to 6th St. to meet up with my pals at Eastern Bloc. I would have gone later but figured I didn't have any other plans up my sleeve. By the time I got inside the bar it was already packed. Josh was spinning Salt N' Peppa's "Push it" and I decided to have my first of many drinks for the evening.

I g
rabbed a cranberry and vodka (hey, it's a night of getting drunk) and swigged it while talking to Josh and petted his chest since his costume was a drowned Greg Louganis. Until that point I don't think I've ever seen Josh without a shirt and I was digging it. Eventually, Ludo showed up as one of the meanest clowns I've ever seen and Matt quickly followed dressed as a High School Coach. We all drank up, heavily, and enjoyed the scene of costumed gay-hipsterness around us. I was chatting with everyone, feeling more outgoing than usual, maybe it was the costume and made sure to give shit to people who didn't dress up.

After one-too-many drinks already Ludo and I headed to The Phoenix to have one more pint before we called it a night. The Phoenix was half packed and definitely less costumed out than Eastern Bloc. We grabbed a pint and found a seat. My friend, Steve, from Dodgeball was there dressed as a cowboy and I was forced to ask if he was, "broke-backian." He said he was and I smiled. We sat there chatting and drinking until it was time for a cigarette and to go home. Everyone departed and I jumped on my board. I took a look around me and despite the fact it was 2AM people were still out, drunker than ever and I decided to appreciate this and skate around for awhile. I kicked my way down Ave. A howling at the moon in my werewolf costume and getting others to jump in. "THIS is what Halloween is all about," I said aloud with a sloshed smile on my face. At 2:45 I noticed the streets had gone empty and that it was time for me to finally put Halloween to rest. I felt secure in this decision. There wasn't anything left to do. There were no more places to go and I was sure-as-hell tired of wearing this costume. I peddled up to 11th St., took off my mask and climbed the steps to my apartment.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr. Joe said...

Ummmm...marry me.

Jim Provenzano said...

What a sexy werewolf!

Dale said...

Wolf on board. That's something I'd like to see in person.