Category: Featured

…was once New Amsterdam…

Triton Festival is a three-day music festival of Industrial/EBM/Synthpop/Gothic bands in New York City. It was filled with top names, and the tickets were cheap, so it didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting on Kelsey and Christina’s parts to convince me to attend. I wanted to rise to the challenge of living out of a carry-on bag for the trip, so in the most impractical (and totally goth) way, I discarded comfy shoes for killer boots, filled my tiny Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash bottles with Glenlivet, Canadian Club, and Absolut, and stuck to socks and underclothes that could be discarded should I acquire too many souvenirs.

I flew from home, with one stop in O’Hare. On the flight in, I saw Fermilab in the west suburbs of Chicago, and my heart leapt a little. Smashing atoms together and discovering the secrets of the universe was my dream as a child, and working at Fermilab Particle Accelerator Laboratory is why I studied physics in college (before I switched majors to Hooch Parties and women of questionable morality). I also spent my grade school days viewing nuclear weapons as ancient WW2 technology and thought that with Fermilab at my disposal, I could do better. I may have been a bit of a nihilistic misanthrope as a pre-teen. Upon my arrival at Newark, my friend Su picked me up to play tour guide to me and make certain I made it to my accommodations in one piece.

NYC

After having some chocolates from Holsten’s Ice Cream and taking the Turnpike in, we arrived at the Hostel. We were ahead of Kelsey, so we did some windows shopping. We found antique nautical light fixtures, solid copper doors, and studded leather jock straps. I couldn’t find a suitable enough excuse to buy one. Kelsey eventually made it in, and we concluded that the Hostel was a no-go. It looked like a location for Resident Evil, and we didn’t have enough inventory slots for ammo and herbs. All it needed was ghostly child giggles and graffiti  in blood to complete the scene. Plus, the wifi was out (commence blood-curdling screams)! I called up our first choice hostel and found they had a new vacancy, so we moseyed our way uptown to claim the room.

Kelsey and Thomas
Kelsey and Thomas

The Carlton Arms was amazing! Every surface of every wall was painted by amateur artists, including the rooms, hallways, and stairwells. There was a skeleton sitting in the lobby, paint buckets nailed to the walls as signs, and complimentary cats that would waltz straight into the rooms for snuggles. Every single room had its own style, and the room for our first night was Yellow-Acid-Trip. We unpacked, I set up our mini-bar and music, and we made our way to Fitzgerald’s  pub next door to join friends for dinner.

Our Room
Our Room

I excused myself to go attend the VIP setup at the Grammercy theater. The VIP treatment that first night consisted of basically standing around in the venue early and running into the performers as they were prepping  for the evening, half of which I already knew anyway. After saying hi to Brendin Ross, Rexx Arcana, Dracos von Strecker, and Tom Shear, the crowd surged inside and the performances commenced.The sonic bombardment came in the form of the the power-noise synthhammer of Alter der Ruine, and it only got louder from there.  FGFC820 punched me in the ears with “Homeland Insecurity”, only to be followed up with Nachtmar running jackboot rhythms over the crowd. The plaintive sincerity of Tom Shear (Assemblage 23) washed over the crowd, and I found myself singing along with “Damaged” at top volume. The Cruxshadows did a mindblowing set, both audibly and visually, with dancers pirouetting to the music, violins, guitars, synths, and drums  backing, and at one point Rogue even grabbing a stool and standing in the center of the crowd to sing among his fans. This is the point at which the shortness of sleep and tightness of boots sent us sleepward, missing out on Unter Null, unfortunately.

We got up and had the most amazing bagels ever (St Vivateur included). They were larger than appendicitis, but slightly smaller than encephalitis. We had many over the next few days. Kelsey, Christina, and I walked to Obscura Antiques, known for being the shop featured on TLC’s Oddities. For such a small store, we spent an inordinately large amount of time there, attention being lost in the eclectic chaos of skulls, taxidermy, antique medical supplies, and items bizarre and unique. The apothecary jars included such anachronistic cures as Radium, Morphine, Laudinum, Vaginal Astringent, and other tonics and poisons. There were terrifying surgical instruments, bats and spiders trapped in lucite, and the lifeless, accusing gaze of a Rhesus monkey from atop the shelves. I opted for an antique syringe, not forseeing the trouble that would cause me trying to get through security flying home.

Me, Kelsey, and Christina an Obscura Antiques
Me, Kelsey, and Christina at Obscura Antiques

Kelsey and I continued on towards Jekyll and Hyde’s, a horror themed restaurant. After finding ourselves at the wrong Jekyll & Hyde’s (in Soho), we grabbed a taxi and scooped up Lynne and the other Christina so we could go to the proper location. Upon arrival, the doorman shoved all four of us into a tiny phone booth, giving us a series of knocks and passphrases to repeat. After we did such, the back wall of the phone booth opened up, releasing us into an otherwise empty room. When spikes popped out of the ceiling and started to descend, I found being the tallest in the group to not be such a great thing anymore, but a secret door popped open in time for us to escape. The next room held a creepy old man in a top hat who, upon sensing us as “Children of Darkness” made us swear an oath not to reveal the secrets beyond the secret bookcase. Therefore, I am forbidden from sharing specifics, suffice to say that there may or may not be talking heads on the walls, mad scientist shenanigans, a comedically insulting gargoyle, paintings with moving eyes, vampiric mermaids, and a doll with a knife that I made angry. I ordered us a bottle of wine, and we enjoyed wonderful food,  amusing renditions of poetry, and creeptastic hosts while trying to convince Anthony (our waiter) to come to Triton. We had such a great time that we missed the first and second bands completely, but I wouldn’t change a minute of it.

Anthony (our waiter), Lynne, Kelsey, Christina K, Myself, and Christina G hanging out at Jekyll and Hyde's
Anthony (our waiter), Lynne, Kelsey, Christina K, Myself, and Christina G hanging out at Jekyll and Hyde’s

We went to hail a taxi, but they couldn’t fit the five of us, so Christina G and Lynne went on without us. While awaiting another cab, we noticed the rickshaw bicycles, and opted for it. It was $3 a minute, but it couldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, right? And I was taking care of it, since my Canadian friends were having bank card issues plus I had a ton of overtime pay. I like to share when I can. So we got onboard, and rode through the nighttime daylight of Times Square, soaking in the sights and breeze. Tourists seemed amused by the sight of a trio of goths in a rickshaw, and were snapping pics of us as we went by, so we gave the Princess Di wave as if we were on a parade float. It makes me wish I had candy to toss. We almost almost got taken out by a taxi that turned left right in front of us, barely missing the front tire of the bicycle and causing us to veer wildly. But we survived, and disembarked at our destination. 30 MINUTES LATER. Good thing there’s overtime pay…

Nearly dying on a rickshaw!
Nearly dying on a rickshaw!

Upon arrival at the venue for the last two nights (Irving Plaza), security took away my camera, declaring it “too professional”, and leaving me with only my phone camera for the evening. The photographer in me felt crippled, and wondered how many hours of Photoshop were going to be necessary to pull of any decent photos at all. We went upstairs to have our collective socks rocked off. Psyclon 9 was heavier than a black hole and louder than a supernova, and Kelsey and I just looked at each other, maniacal grins splitting our faces Joker-style, knowing exactly what band we were going to type into Google after the festival. We are officially fans, Psyclon 9. Job well done, indeed. Faderhead followed up, pounding out TZDV like he was possessed by the geist of an angry panzermensch. (TZDV=Tanz Zwo Drei Vier, but I still like to imagine he is yelling “Cats Don’t Like Beer!!!”) I made my way downstairs, where a friend surprisingly accosted my tonsils before I could muffle an awkward “Hello”. And, being after midnight, it was obviously time for London After Midnight to perform!

They put on a good show, and were holding a raffle for Randy Mathias’ old bass guitar. I sang along to “Kiss” and “Psycho Magnet”, reliving many a night of smoke machines and black leather at Neo in Chicago. Matt Setzer spun like some giant Gothpache, while Sean crooned with a voice of decadence. They held the raffle, but no one responded to the ticket number. They finished their set, and afterward Randy came down front, looking at us, and started pushing his bass over the rails. I put my hand underit so it wouldn’t fall, and Kelsey grabbed the neck. When I saw that she had it, I let go, awaiting him climbing over, only to see him turn and walk away. WHAT!?! DID HE JUST GIVE AWAY HIS BASS!?! OMIGAWDYESHEDID. He . Just. Handed. It. To. Us. And at this point, “Us” was Kelsey, who had a smile so big she was in danger of a full frontal facial explosion, knuckles white clutching the neck of the bass in a death-grip. We went downstairs and hung with Randy a bit, where he told us stories of what that bass had been through over the years, and pointed out the signatures on it. Not wanting to be laden with a guitar (plus wanting to spirit it away to safety like a squirrel with an acorn), Kelsey and I went ahead and walked back to the Hostel, missing out on The Birthday Massacre and Dawn of Ashes. She even accidentally let a diminutive uncontrolled “Whee!” escape her lips as we stopped by Dunkin Donuts to acquire Pumpkin Munchkins. We were too excited for sleep, so we spent the remainder of the evening playing the bass and laughing it up.

The next morning began with our ritual of bagel worship (complete with random tombstone thing hiding behind the trash can of the bagel shop), and plans for clichéd tourism. We may or may not have witnessed a car robbery, discovered Nikola Tesla’s plaque (with an empty vodka offering before it), and found the official bar of How I Met Your Mother. We attempted to see the Empire State Building, but realized our folly upon seeing the throng of security and metal detectors. I decided to give it a go, regardless. I took off jewelry, boots, and belt. BEEP! Okay, here goes more jewelry and earrings. BEEP! Now the security guard was telling me to take off more clothing. I knew I had metal in my rib support (for a cracked rib) and OTHER *ahem* piercing, and weighed the option of both getting naked in public and paying $26 each to hit the 86th floor, and possibly another $17 a piece to go to the top, and decided it just wasn’t that high on my list of priorities. That’s when the security lady became the biggest (censored litany of profanity) ever, shoving the tray full of my stuff at me, yelling that I have to go now. She looked at me angrily, as if my not getting naked somehow ruined her day, and kept pushing the tub at me, while I instead tried to ignore her cuntbaggery to put my boots and belt back on. I’m sure she feels that she somehow thwarted a terrorist plot to goth up the observation deck. Who knows, we might have spilled some Nice’N’Easy #124 Blue-Black or gotten mascara smudges on the windows! Oh, the horror! I’m just too metal for the Empire State Building, apparently.

By the way, the Empire State building hasn’t been the tallest building since 1972, and is now the 23rd tallest building in the world. It definitely isn’t worth $43 to climb it, especially seeing as the Sears Tower is only $12 (and taller), and the John Hancock is free, and barely shorter. Plus, dear lady, you wear a doorman’s uniform, not Swat Team body armor. Bring the power-trip down just a notch, will’ya?

After that debacle, we decided to swing back by Jekyll and Hyde’s for drinks. I wanted to get one of the collectible steins after seeing the one Kelsey got, so we sauntered up to the bar with a couple of frozen drinks in mind. The bartender took our order, and then walked to the other end of the bar to type it in. That’s when Kelsey pointed out that the other bartender was giving me a glare. I haven’t been in NYC long enough to have angry guys giving me the stinkeye, and I tipped generously the night prior, so I was flabbergasted as to the reason for his vexing glare. Our bartender came back, and leaned over to us, in hushed tones revealing, “The other bertender thinks your ar eone of the Hardy Boyz. Y’know, the wrestlers.” My tiny knowledge of wrestling came into focus, and I inventoried my outfit. Fishnet shirt. Forearm gauntlets. Thin dreds. Oddly sculpted beard.  Black jeans. White belt. OH MY GOD, I STOLE JEFF HARDY’S OUTFIT! He must be thinking that “Jeff Hardy” really let himself go. Then the bartender asked me to do him a favor and autograph something. I acquiesced for pure shits and giggles, and he scrambled for something to write on. Living in a post-paper society, he settled for an olive jar. I had a sharpie on me (for getting autographs, not GIVING THEM), and tried to think up something douchebaggy to write to Brian, the other bartender. “Hey B, Stay Frosty! *impossible scribble*” The bartender took it over to Brian who in turn started exclaiming “I told you! I knew it!” Our bartender eventually returned, comping my drink and mug in exchange for the entertainment value. That olive jar is probably still sitting on that counter right now, with a proud Brian telling customers how one of the Hardy Boyz was here just the other day. He may even take that lid home and tuck it away, to pass on to his children.

Can you tell the difference?

Can you tell the difference?

We headed back and grabbed a bottle of cheap wine to take up to the room, throwing metal horns with Muppets on the way,  drinking as we prepared for the biggest night of the festival. After listening to some Jonathan Coulton (did I say overlords, I meant protectors!) and MC Frontalot, I skipped out early to attend the VIP meet’n’greet. Combichrist nor Grendel were in attendance, but I hung out with my friend Jonathan and the guys from MyParasites. When the doors opened, they opened the stage with an explosion of melodic cacophony, and I went upstairs to hang out on the VIP balcony. I had my camera this time, leaving the larger lens at the room so it wouldn’t look “professional” this time, and got some great photographs from the box seats. Life Cried followed up, keeping the energy building like a fusion reactor. God Module took the stage, haunting our collective eardrums with the techno-banshee wails of an electronic epitaph. The Dreaming came on next, and Chistopher Hall included some hits from his previous project, Stabbing Westward. Their whole set was amazeballs, but the entire audience sang in unison to the chorus of “What Do I Have to do”. He was also one of the most genuine, down-to-Earth guys I’ve ever met. He is good people. I would loan him money, had I not already given it to Frontal Boundary. 😛

Next was the BIG TWO. The two biggest bands I flew all the way from Kentucky to New York to see. Grendel came on, grinding metallic screams over an undertow of synths, sinuously coiling around the room with staccato machine-gun percussion. Every song was a supersonic  surgical strike, and I found myself enraptured by Miss Mel Allezbleu. Yep, Amelia Arsenic has competition for my dumbfounded blabbering. Upon meeting her afterwards, I found my tongue just as inept at conversation and my game just as dead as I was in 8th grade, clinging to the wall of the high school cafeteria during the homecoming dance, unable to complete a single line of witty dialogue or maintain eye contact. I could only somewhat half-mutter “pretty”, and I don’t think it was even in English.

Then Combichrist. No, not the Combichrist on the children’s show The Electric Company, nor the Combichrist boy band from 1992. Not the Combichrist breakfast flakes, nor the Combichrist game on the Intellivision Game System. Not just any personal saviour from silent bondage, but the One True Saviour. Yep, THAT Combichrist. And they lived up to their reputation, flagellating the sins of obeisance from our bones while giving the unholy sacrament of digitized rebellion. We bore witness to their lyrical (LIRYCAL) martyrdom, and made sacrifice of the flesh in the mosh pit. The set was an apocalyptic event, with locust guitars and blood throbbing  drums, Andy proselytizing the masses in screaming communion.

In short, not too shabby at all. 

Kelsey felt the cold clutches of sleep dragging her away, so we made our way back, skipping on the Ludovico Technique (although I hear they are pretty awesome, and they are on my to-do list). That’s okay. Combichrist is a good note to go out on, and a hard act to follow. She wasn’t the only one exhausted, either, I believe we both closed our eyes on New York City for the last time within moments of stumbling into our room.

Manhattan Island.
Manhattan Island.

Last morning, last bagels, last goodbyes. Everyone is there, Christina G, Lynne, Kelsey and I, and Kelsey points out how, with our collected luggage, guitar, and fashion sense, we probably look like a band. But all good things come to an end, and we went outside where Thomas was picking Kelsey up for their long drive back. I rode down to a record store, and then made my way to the subway to Hoboken. While awaiting Su (giving me a ride to the airport), I looked across the water at the little Island of Manhattan, and all of the big adventures that happened there in so few of days. From the deterring metal detectors to fraudulent autographs given to sharing a drink with Combichrist to shampoo mini-bars to surprise gift guitars to Hindi walls to Vaginal Astringent to ventriloquist dummies singing Britney Spears to near-death rickshaw rides to sex-offender Muppets, the last four days were a treasure. But the best part was being surrounded by friends. Christina K, the excitable bundle of joy, Lynne, the stylish woman of poise, Christina G, the sincere and endearing, and Kelsey, the sweet, intelligent, and hilarious. Su, John, Brendin, Rexx, Dracos, Mike, Neska, Iam, Anabel, Jet, Annabel, and new friends such as Matt, Thomas, Amanda, Andy, Mel, Panda, and Carl. This is why I came. If Kelsey and Christina G hadn’t implored me to come, I would have stayed home, saving money but coming out the poorer by the loss of the adventure. I love you guys. You mean the world to me.

The real reason.
The real reason.

And now, the countdown to Kinetik 7!

When the toys go winding down…

I spent my childhood in a never-ending cycle of escapism from the world around me. In the daytime I was at school, where I was ostracized for being a weirdo (which, by all accounts, was an accurate description of a kid that pretended he was a werewolf and drew zombies). My evenings were spent either running away across fields of imagined peril, or hiding under my own bed by the subdued light of a Lite-Bright with action figures and books. I did anything I could to be out of sight and mind, because being noticed is when the screaming would begin, and would never end until tear-filled sleep took me to dreams of Darth Vader, Predator, and other monsters that I at least felt I could face. This method of coping made me an expert at “playtime”.

I’m a playtime machine. Line up, ladies…

To that end, I memorized seasons of cartoons, fantasy, and science fiction movies. My toys included vast amounts of Star Wars, GI Joe, He-Man, GoBots (the cheap parent’s Transformer), and Hot Wheels/Matchbox cars. I would imagine dimensional rifts across the different realms, so GI Joe could end up in Castle Grayskull, and I would have a scientific reason for the size differential between figures. My cars would drive with realistic drift and crashes, and my figures would be crushed in the Death Star trash compactor if the door didn’t pop open in time. Death or disfigurement was always a real possibility, and the good guys didn’t always win. My bedroom was like Apocalypse Now meets Wargames. I didn’t laugh very much.

I remember putting gasoline on my Duke figure and letting him burn for a bit, so I could study the effects of fire on human flesh. He survived, but spent the rest of his action figure existence with third-degree burns to the face. Scarlett could never look him in the eye again. I would dig caverns in my sandbox, populating them with guards and outposts, and then stomp the edge of the box to cause a cave-in, just to study the structural integrity and statistical probabilities for subterranean rescue efforts. I would load up my GI Joe hovercraft with a full crew and put it in the pool, so I could watch it sink, slowly. I would study the way the craft would twist or flip underwater, and make educated guesses at to the possibility of survival of each soldier, based upon weather conditions, undertow, and proportionate water pressures (Shipwreck died many times, which I somewhat took glee in).

(A reenactment) Scarlett will have no one else to turn to...MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Scarlett will have no one else to turn to…MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

I would simulate a fighter jet crash with my Skystriker jet. I’d take into note the probable reaction time for the pilot, chances of canopy malfunction during ejection, relative distance from the ground, height needed for chute deployment, final speed of impact, and injuries sustained (broken legs, spine, or even fatality). I would go on to judge his distance behind enemy lines, remoteness of rescue, ability to limp/crawl/walk through the jungle, local predatory wildlife, and his capacity to stave off shock and stay mentally alert enough to steadily aim a gun in the event of any hostile encounter. I was about 10 years old.

I would see other kids play, but they would take action figures and just throw them at each other while making explody noises with their mouths. They would make their toys jump through the air at impossible distances towards each other and perform acrobatics that defied all physics, while trying to be the first to yell “I win!”. I couldn’t wrap my head around that playstyle. It lacked rules, realism, or any true sportsmanship. This may be one of the reasons no one ever played with me. The kid three doors down said he would play with me if I were to pay him in toys. The kid living right behind me wouldn’t talk to me. The next door neighbor would come into my yard and beat me with his bullwhip or kick me. My home life had left me without the courage or self-confidence to even react. I would just go further and further into my own head, where I could be a spy, or a wizard, or a Terminator.

If only drunken Scott Ian and Optimus were there to protect me...

If only drunken Scott Ian and Optimus were there to protect me…

I was sent to a babysitter that wouldn’t babysit so much as neglect me. She was young, and would spend the day watching soap operas on the TV and talking on the phone. To keep me out from underfoot, she would lock me into an empty room at the end of her trailer for the day, where I wasn’t supposed to make any noise. The room was very hot, but I remember the thick shag carpeting. Lacking any toys, I would spend the hours using my finger to draw roads and buildings into the carpet and use my imagination to construct little cars to drive the roads. Back then, considering the way I was treated at home, I just assumed that I was getting what my babysitter was paid to do. I had come to feel it was what I deserved, so I never complained or even brought it up to my parents until 20 years later. They had no clue.

Lacking friends in the neighborhood did limit my options for physical play. To play cowboys & indians or cops & robbers you need to have at least one friend to play along. Instead, I would play Indiana Jones. I had a little brown jacket, a brown satchel bag, and I took a short piece of rope and tied it to a piece of broom handle to act as a whip. I even was able to make it pop when I cracked it. I had some Egyptian sarcophagus game that came with a golden Tut head, and I would carry that head in my little satchel as a relic. There was a grove of trees with an old stump in the center, and I would set up the head on the stump, and imagine the entire grove of trees to be an ancient tomb. I remember crawling over the rusty crushed barb-wire fence, creeping slowly into the grove, then taking a little pouch of sand from my sandbox and swapping it for the golden head. I would always set off the booby traps regardless, so I’d scamper quickly across the clearing, dodging invisible arrows and blades, before jumping and tumbling back over the fence and rolling down the hill. I would jump onto my bicycle and rev the imaginary engine,  jumping ravine ditches to outdistance myself from my Nazi pursuers. I would come to the tall weeds, where I would have to ditch my bike and grab a stick (machete) to beat my way through the 3-foot tall jungle, until I fell into the relative safety of my back yard sandbox.

Now I have a fedora AND a whip. Anyone want to play Marion?

Now I have a fedora AND a whip. Short Round works by the hour, however, and prefers payment in Mad Dog 20/20.

When I was around 11, I recall my little sister asking me to play house with her. I never had anything to do with her, preferring my imagined world to her Barbies and My Pretty Ponies (I was NEVER a Bronie). She kept begging, and it got on my nerves, so I concocted a plan. She told me to act like I was just coming home from work, and she would be cooking dinner in her toy kitchen. I finally agreed. I waited for her to get set up, and when the time was right, I knocked open the door, and staggered my way into her room, empty soda bottle in hand. I slurred my speech drunkenly, and started screaming at the little girl Cabbage Patch doll that she needed to get out and get a job. My sister cried, but she never asked me to play again. I feel kinda like a jerk for it, though.

Later on in life, my obsessive attention to detail came through when I would play Dungeons and Dragons, paint exquisite detail on figurines, or act out my clan in a Vampire LARP. I never did what everyone else would do, but instead I would do an in-depth analysis of the character, its motivations, and its history. I believe I even chased an interested girl off once because she thought I would be nicer to her in character when we played Vampire. If I had known anything about women back then, I very well might have. But mine was a brain filled with dark elves, chromatic dragons, analytical robots, and psychic assassins. I didn’t have the slightest clue how to interact with human beings. I’m not certain I ever really learned.They aren't "toys". They are "figurines"!

They aren’t “toys”. They are “figurines”! I mean, look at the details I painted! Now will you go to prom with me? My aunt can pick us up…*click*….hello? Hellooo?

Playing with toys is now something stored away in dusty memory. Most of my collection trickled away in yard sales, and what’s left sitting in boxes awaits me making an Ebay listing. I don’t get to act as Indiana Jones anymore (except when excavating the remote from the Temple of the Couch), nor do I draw imaginary streets into shag carpeting (although Google draws plenty of imaginary routes for me). And like it or not, I can’t avoid playing house anymore, although I try. Suspension of disbelief is becoming harder to come by, although a good Pixar film or Joss Whedon TV show can do the trick. Now my imagination gets poured into lyrics and music; poems and art. I don’t need laser beams or flaming swords to strike down the monsters of memory, those demons were exorcised years ago. No more hiding under the bed, up a tree, or in my mind. But every now and then, I remember how fun it was to flip the mattress and create pillow forts full of mad scientist doomsday weapons and unstoppable demon-gods. If I ever have a child, I want to play WITH him (or her). I want to be the Godzilla walking through his Tokyo, or the Lion-O to his Mumm-Ra, or the cop to his robber. I never want his playtime to be an escape from me.

Okay, so I might still play with animal crackers. Poor Zebra.

Okay, so I might still play with animal crackers. Poor Zebra. He never had a chance.

The Pulse 49 This is my tribute to the victims of the Pulse massacre. I drew them all in charcoal on 18×24 art paper, and then embellished with vinyl framing to add the colors of the Pride flag.  The stories of the victims are below, in the same order as they appear on the piece (alphabetical). ” order_by=”sortorder” […]
The open hand. The first time I called a suicide hotline was when I was eight.   They were clueless and ended up soliciting me for donations, and I couldn’t explain to my parents why they were suddenly receiving literature on depression in the mail for the next few weeks. The hotline’s ineptitude actually angered me enough that […]
The Song and The Sword There was a beautiful princess. She grew up in a world of pink petunias, mauve moons, and fuchsia fireflies . Her hair trailed like golden mist while her laugh chimed like silver bells. She had a smile that outshone the stars and eyes like slivers of sky, with grace and humility to match. Her father […]
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…was once New Amsterdam… Triton Festival is a three-day music festival of Industrial/EBM/Synthpop/Gothic bands in New York City. It was filled with top names, and the tickets were cheap, so it didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting on Kelsey and Christina’s parts to convince me to attend. I wanted to rise to the challenge of living out of a […]
When the toys go winding down… I spent my childhood in a never-ending cycle of escapism from the world around me. In the daytime I was at school, where I was ostracized for being a weirdo (which, by all accounts, was an accurate description of a kid that pretended he was a werewolf and drew zombies). My evenings were spent either […]