‘I remember Halloween…’

Halloween was just what I needed. Vincent got off a little early so we could have a little extra time to get together the last bits of our costumes, and although he didn’t really need the time, I certainly did. Vincent got away with wearing head to toe black, a wig that was really only slightly different than his natural hair color, a silver cross and an acoustic guitar. I, on the other hand, had to buy a Lacoste dress (which I don’t even want to divulge how much I spent on), and a dirty blonde wig to cut and slightly gel down so it looked more like the style in the film. As I was attempting to perfect my makeup, lining my eyes again and again with black, Vincent was finishing my wooden finger cover, practicing his Cash accent.

When we finished, we stood in front of the huge mirror in my hallway. We looked amazing. I wished I had a camera to capture the moment.

Doing all this, keep in mind, I had no idea what we were even doing yet. Vincent had mentioned he had a plan for us, but didn’t let me in on it. He just said it was a good thing that I had to wear a fur coat for my costume, so I was a little concerned. Soon enough, we got in his car, a black 80’s BMW named Lola, armed with two full flasks and a hefty joint between us.

We smoked about half of it on the way up Highway 17, blasting my favorite Miles Davis album, Bitches Brew, for some inspiration. It was pretty exciting to be visiting Santa Cruz, because I haven’t been there since the beginning of the summer, essentially missing the best time of year to go. But I had only been there for Halloween once, and that was back in high school, way before I was legal age to hit the bars. I was certain that this experience was going to prove much more interesting.

We arrived in Santa Cruz about eight thirty and parked on a side street near the boardwalk. The streets were not as full as I had remembered them, although there were plenty of people. Devils, demons and short skirts flooded around us, their small voices blurring together in an amusing, animalistic fashion. We were in our own little world even amongst the others; stoned, sucking on our flasks, feeding our growing buzzes, giggling.

I’m sure Vincent would prefer I not say that he was giggling, but in such a circumstance, there is no other way to describe it.

I thought of Drew and what he was doing, but only out of pure curiosity. There wasn’t anywhere else I would rather be at that moment, but I thought of my bed, empty now and more than likely empty later and it made me sad. But the thought was fleeting and soon enough other things clouded my mind.

We made our way to Pirates of Emerson, a haunted house positioned on the boardwalk and part of the actual beach itself as well. I had heard of this haunted house on the Discovery Channel, one of many of the “Scariest Haunted Attractions” so I was really excited if not a little apprehensive. We paid for our tickets and headed toward the beach side. As we were entering, one of the hidden workers spotted me sipping out of my flask and said something. Upon being discovered, I laughed and held it out to him, offering. He smiled, reached out to take it, said “Happy Halloween,” and had a swig. Vincent and I cheered at our victory, took the flask back and stumbled in.

It was almost completely dark inside, littered with black lights, black light sensitive paint and animatronics. Actors donning terrifying costumes and outrageous makeup would follow us or jump out at us from time to time, while I clutched onto Vincent’s arm, screaming for fear, for fun.

I could never go into the entire experience because it was a lot more extensive than I had anticipated, but we ended up getting lost in a Sand Trap maze and lingering for quite a while in a huge spinning tunnel, falling over, sober patrons laughing at us, walking over us. Colors and lights surrounded us both like some sort of surreal firework display. At that point I was delighted we had not gotten caught or in trouble for being so inebriated there, and we could not stop laughing, relishing our good luck.

Almost two hours later we finally made our way out. Vincent was craving a cigarette so I took my heels off and we walked down the beach, away from the maddening crowds as he lit a cigarette, puffing it therapeutically. We found a nice little desolate spot all the way at the end of the boardwalk, and smoked some more of the joint he had tucked into his Parliaments box.

He asked me about Drew. He hadn’t really in a while. Recently he had mostly focused on Camille and their haphazard relationship, and talked shit about all the less-than-worthy exes that were attempting to creep back up, expecting. I didn’t know what to say. I shrugged and said things were fine, lying. I didn’t want to spoil the night. But more importantly, I didn’t want the night to be about him. Vincent had saved my holiday. I didn’t want to fall back into my funk.

The flasks were empty. The end of the joint looked meager and sad, and he mentioned something about saving it for the ride home so he threw it back in the pack. “Shall we nurse a drink or two downtown?” he queried, not needing an answer.

I reached my hand out for him to help me up and we stumbled back into the streets. We walked downtown, anticipating the Catalyst but upon passing, we discovered Tiger Army was playing there so we knew there was no way we would get in.

My feet were starting to hurt so we needed a destination. We headed into Rosie McCann’s to have a pint and mingle a bit, showing off our costumes. Upon Vincent’s disappearance with a mysterious redhead, a very drunk British gentleman in a suit immediately began hitting on me, repeatedly telling me I was “simply irresistible.” I suspected only just recently he had been introduced to Robert Palmer until I understood that’s what his costume had been. I noticed the bar contained a few tall pale women in black dresses and toy guitars and upon the realization, could not stop laughing. I wasn’t interested but he was fun to talk to. I liked his accent. And his costume was clever too.

I gave Vincent the wink after about a half hour of chatting and he came over to play the boyfriend role. Shortly after, we left, making our way down the street to The Asti, a dive bar Vincent used to frequent back when he lived in Santa Cruz. He called it the best place to drink during the day, so I had high hopes. We ordered Jacks and cokes and couldn’t taste the coke. Vincent ended up playing pool with someone dressed as Sid Vicious and I did my best to discourage the frat boy types in half-costumes that talked to me.

It was official. I was drunk. But the night seemed young. The jukebox was going strong, with music I could feel, and whatever tension that had built inside me after talking about Drew was melting away. I looked down at my phone and noticed he had left me a text message saying Happy Halloween and that he was thinking about me. I smiled.

About an hour later, Vincent carried me out of the Asti and into the Saturn Café to sober up a bit before our journey home down a dangerous highway. The place was extremely crowded; chock full of attractive people, brightly colored wigs and revealing clothing. But luckily, we scored a booth only about ten minutes after we got there. Vincent had been continuing his mission as being a sweetheart, letting me lean on him, as I was holding my purse in one hand, my shoes in the other, and was having a bit of trouble standing.

We drank a few cups of coffee before we decided what to eat, two bowls of chili (extra cheese, please!) and a large order of steak fries to share. The food was very hot, very satisfying. Just what the doctor ordered. I revealed all the lines I was fed, from the haunted house cronies to Robert Palmer to the frat boys, and Vincent divulged that the girl from Rosie’s had given him head in the bathroom while he sang “Ring of Fire.”

There are a lot of freaks in Santa Cruz.

A pretty girl with short black hair and sparkly fake eyelashes had been eyeing me for a while before having the nerve to come up and say hello. I knew she was either bi or gay (hey, we were at Saturn for chrissakes), but her ample breasts were spilling out in an almost innocent manner and she seemed to be quite sweet. I was rather drunk so I took her number. Vincent’s expression indicated a pleasant swelling from down below and I chuckled, blushing.

It had been a good night. We lingered a little longer than we would normally, drinking coffee, reminiscing, giving him the chance to sober up a little more before the drive back.

We passed on the joint, put on some Bob Dylan and sang along. When my favorite tune came on, I was singing it loud, singing it for Drew, to Drew, wherever he was.

“Still I wish that there was something you would do or say, to try and make me change my mind and stay… but we never did too much talking anyway…so don’t think twice, it’s alright…”


1 Response to “‘I remember Halloween…’”

  1. November 5, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    But I have to wonder, do you feel as though you lead an interesting life or is it just your life. Normal and plain. With the exception of the man issues, it sounds terribly fun. As does a BJ in the bathroom.

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