On March 22nd, 2014, Batcave at the Medusa Lounge held its Villain’s Ball. I had been looking forward to it for about four weeks, or rather, since the time it was announced. You know me, you know that villainy resonates with me. There is something about being singled out and forced to live in the margins that makes me feel that I can identify myself as one of them. After all, not all villains are bad.
For the longest time I had considered going in my black leather bunny mask as my own character; you know who I am talking about. Bunny Debauch sprung to life sometime in 2010, and since then remains the guise that I don when I want the world to know that I am up to no good. I have gone as Bunny Debauch to comic conventions and club outings, but in private I have also taken on the double identity. It’s fun!
As the party crept closer, I got excited to sharpen my symbolic claws and step out for a night of dark romantic fun. A chance encounter the week before the event inspired me to watch all of the Saw movies all over again, and after careful consideration, I decided to switch the bunny mask for dramatic make-up. That’s right, I decided to go as Billy the Puppet from Saw instead. There were psychological themes to the movie that prompted deep thought in me. I am not at all attracted to gore and suffering, so please don’t think me a hypocrite in my trade! The allure comes from the passion with which John Kramer, Saw’s villain, wants people to rethink their lives. The ‘victims’ are actually real-life villains who find their way ahead by dooming others. Some of them don’t really appreciate their life until they are subjected to gruesome tests.
The pattern in the Saw movies is apparent. There are two kinds of tests; in one, patients undergo psychological torture and witness the death of others that have helped the patient climb to the top without ethics or scruples. The other test involves paying for your crimes by mutilating yourself before a timer runs out in order to survive. In the first case, when the patient gets to the end unruffled, it is up to the person that they harmed to forgive them and grant them life. The other person is being tested as well, and when vengeance trumps forgiveness, everyone dies. Very twisted morals, wouldn’t you say?
John Kramer’s traps terrify me. I find them absolutely gruesome. The idea of embodying the puppet at an event seemed exciting. The movies stopped airing a few years ago, and while it was a big deal during Halloween, it feels as if the Saw fever has died down. Bringing back a villain is always a good idea, so I started scheming how to make it work. Before bed, I would think about materials needed to craft my face into a puppet’s likeness. I wanted the end result to be a direct allusion to the puppet without sacrificing my identity. One night I even considered using latex to mold my cheek bones to protrude. It was extreme!
In truth, I waited until the night of the event to try the contacts on and do the make-up. I gave myself three hours before the event to do it, which was just barely enough. My friends arrived just as I had finished my make-up, which meant I wasn’t even wearing the outfit yet. In a race, I threw all my essentials into my coffin backpack and got dressed. I snapped a few pictures and went down the elevator, excited to get out. When the doors opened, an unsuspecting man saw me and jumped back. He shouted, “holy shit!” and as a result, I laughed pretty hard. There is a satisfactory feeling to scaring someone else for the first time. It had never happened before, and felt like something I could get used to. I loved the feeling.
We were amongst the first to arrive at the party, so we headed to the bar. I started the night off with a White Russian. Shortly thereafter, all three of us girls were on the dance floor, jamming out to And One’s Sometimes, which happened to be a personal anthem that week. The rest of the night was spent obliging to photo ops and engaging in conversation. At some point, I switched to champagne.
Something about the gothic music scene in California makes me feel like a child again. It makes sun a difference to listen to music that you enjoy and have been listening to throughout the years. Depeche Mode, And One, Blutengel, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, IAMX… You want to dance? Go dance! Seeing people putting effort into their outfits to be as creepy as possible is a huge plus, as is dancing amongst them all on the dance floor. Nobody cares if you’re expressing yourself or sulking in a corner, watching the others dance. If you are there to have fun, it’s hard to go wrong. If you look out for yourself and you manage not to get entangled in group drama, you are likely to meet some nice people and have a very good time.
When you go out, you have a set of familiar faces that you are looking forward to see and catch up with. They tell you their stories and ask about yours, then you share a few drinks and a few laughs. You dance, you get your photo taken and you celebrate life for a little while. It is escapism at its finest, and seems to be a therapeutic experience for those of us who do not spent every waking day dressed up. I love it!
At around 12A.M., I met up with Roger. We got our photo taken and terrorized the dance floor for a while. After a while at the party I had forgotten that we were supposed to meet that night, but then there he was. If he hadn't grabbed my arm as we lurked past him, I probably wouldn't have noticed him. It was nice to see him enjoying himself at the club, he is usually the one I drag there. We even danced Pong together, one of the club hits from Puerto Rico that I have often told him about. We have grown very close throughout my time here in California. Nearing 2A.M., he brought me home because my eyes started rejecting the contacts. On the way home, I was blind as a bat and couldn’t look out at the street. It felt a lot like being a mole with sensitive eyes, so now I know what they go through. You won’t believe this, but Roger actually had to take the contacts out for me. He super saved the night, because I think I would have gone crazy taking them out by myself. For a while, it felt as if I was experiencing one of John Kramer’s traps. Oh man, I would have failed one relating to the eyes so bad! Luckily, that was not the case.
That night was my first night wearing contacts. They were actually a birthday present from Hugo, may be rest in peace. Now they are torn in one eye and I can’t wear them anymore, but I am going to keep them for sentimental purposes. Sleep was extremely hard to conciliate; I was coughing up a storm and my eyes stung. With great patience, I drifted into a happy sleep. I had so much fun that night!
I suppose this diary entry serves as a look into my favorite Los Angeles delights. Thank you if you read this! Now you can say that you know me a little better.