Here’s an extremely belated (it’s not my fault, I swear—blame a friend of mine whose identity shall be protected while I dub her “Rice Patty Escallator”) picture-fest, this one from Halloween in San Francisco’s Castro. I don’t know why I enjoy being men for Halloween. Perhaps actually being mistaken for a guy makes me feel like a really good actress. Three years ago, I spent Halloween in the Mission as Tupac Shakur, with my friend Niki Yapo playing the ‘ho’ I smacked up. In the wee hours of the next morning, my ‘ho’ and I parted ways, she to jiggle her way back to her Mission flat, and I to attempt to flag down a taxi. Cab after cab sped past me and then careened up to the corner across the street where some hoyden dressed like J.Lo or a girl klingon stood waving. This year I intended to portray 50 Cent, but, too jet-lagged and unmotivated to obtain the requisite bullet-proof vest, I settled for the persona of some anonymous cholo (tcholo? Choleau? Cheauleau (s.)/Cheauleaux (pl.)?). My friend Patrice Escalle was Indiana Jones and Deganit Pessar (silver bustier) and Denise Something (not pictured) were both ’ho’s. I painted the Eve-ian cat paws on Deganit’s bosom, and she painted the tattoo on my forearm depicting what Jonathan Safran Foer would dub, “The Sputnik Bosom Dalliance”. I wanted it to be clear that I was a tough, so I drew those black tears dripping down my cheeks, which in prison would signify how many asses I had capped. Inspired by my old theatre friend Scott Jaicks, I also drew bombs falling from my left elbow to my hand, although they ended up looking more like overgrown, oafish sperm (perhaps an after-effect of the Sputnik Bosom Dalliance so cumbersomely enacted on my right arm), or, more realistically, a bespattering of flesh-eating bacteria doing their work on my snow-white flesh. We walked from my Hayes Valley apartment to the intersection of Castro and Market, passing thousands of mostly peaceful-looking revelers. I later found out that there had been two stabbings, one fatal, that night, but that this was a big improvement on previous years, 2001 having seen ten stabbings and scattered gunfire. There was a surprising number of Jesus’s, Spongebob Squarepants’s, Lord of the Rings warlocks and elven princesses, the usual phalanx of drag queens hobbling uphill, and a very convincing Mr.T.
Pictured here is me with a bevy of bloody Japanese schoolgirls; I don’t know if they were characters from some horror film with which I am unfamiliar (I avoid scary movies because they remind me that I’m afraid of the dark) or if they were models for some genre of snuff Lolimanga. They were so giggly and good-natured that I almost felt bad about requesting that they line up and suck my dick, but I had a role to play and I had to stay in character. Also pictured is one of the many Saviors, and the only one who actually dragged along a cross with him (the rest were portraying Jesus in earlier, less burdened days: Jesus sermonizing, Jesus getting his feet washed, Jesus arm-in-arm with the devil).
Of course I only posted a few of the pictures from that night, and only took pictures of the most outre and flamboyant people I passed, so the whole night might seems more , well, outre and flamboyant than it really was. This got me thinking about my college days, and how most of the pictures I have from them depict the more debaucherous activities and events: Araminta in a duct tape bikini held together with a safety pin, admiring her own fishnetted derriere on the dance floor; Odious and Proclus berouged and donning summer hats, lounging on my bed while I serve them raisin brandy out of a glass Venus de Milo; a garlanded, betoga’d, and enthroned John Wood being carried above the heads of a score of oiled-up young studs in bath towels (which included Odious, I believe!); Angela at S&C, in the “costume” she made out of a shoelace; me on a dining room table doing the can-can with some townie drag queen, both of us in black lace and latex, looking very demure next to Chela Norton, who is also dancing on the table, naked. What was that, The Coming Out Dance? Seducers & Corruptors Ball? Fasching?
Thus, my family has the distinctly biased and erroneous idea that St. John’s College life was just an endless parade of assless chaps and feather boas. I try to dissuade them of this misconception by reminding them that allowing photographers into our seminars on St. Augustine’s Confessions would have been exceedingly distracting, and that no one bothered to take candid shots of me reading Hegel in the library. However, the image which sticks in the mind’s eye is the one made by over-exposed color photographs, not words, and there’s little one can do to modify it.