Monday, March 29, 2010

Blood and Cashmere

This past Saturday night, I went out to see "Mondo Andronicus" again, and it led to some fond memories, so I thought tonight I'd give you a personal ramble.

Some years ago, I went to a performance at a bar of a delightful little play called "Poona the Fuckdog and Other Plays for Children," being put on by DC's late great company Cherry Red. Stage blood frequently jetted out into the audience, and those in the first three rows were given trash bags to defend themselves. I was sitting in the fourth row, when an onstage stabbing occurred, and a jet of blood spurted out, out, over the heads of the people in the first three rows, and landed, splotch, into my lap. Oh well. Later, there was a song about tequila (sung by a naked man who was playing the title character's "Fairy Godpenis"), and during the song, tequila shots were half off at the bar. I ordered one quickly, and then a minute later, someone handed me two of them. I looked around, and nobody was waiting for any, so I figured, what the hell, and downed them. After those, and the two or three beers I had before and after the show, meant that I ended up staggering out into the night, pretty darned drunk and with a lap full of stage blood, looking like I'd just committed a murder, or suffering from some hideous venereal disease. I had to walk around for a while until I was sober enough to drive home, and at one point bumped into two of the actors from the show, including the Fairy Godpenis, upon which time I blurted out that classic line, "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on."

Years went by, and on a wintry night (I believe it was a Valentine's Day, and I know I was single at the time), I attended one of the Lobsterboy burlesque shows at Chief Ike's Mambo Room, in DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood. One dancer, Sugarbabe Goodhue (I think that was her name; I haven't seen her around in the local burly-q scene for a very long time) did a number where she played a woman getting a "Dear Jane" letter, and then retreated behind a stretched-out sheet and did a shadow strip number, and then emerged in a beautiful gown...squeezing a foam-rubber heart drenched in stage blood all over herself. When done, she flung the heart on the stage...and naturally, it bounced off the stage and directly into my lap. We had our picture taken together after the show, and yet again I was staggering out into the streets, pretty darned drunk and with a lapful of stage blood. Luckily, I had taken Metro that night, so I didn't have to worry about sobering up before I went home.

But stage blood and I are well acquainted. I have a shirt that still is stained after I wore it to a Cherry Red show. After Molotov's last show, "Blood, Sweat, and Fears, II," one of my favorite T-shirts was liberally spattered with blood, and Saturday, I had gobbets of the stuff on my white shirt and cashmere sweater vest. And that just tickles me. It washes out, and that just adds to the fun. Call me perverse, but there's something fun about riding home on Metro on a Saturday night, looking like you've just come from a crime scene, casually cleaning the blood off your hands with a Wet One while bouncing your head to the music on your iPod.

And that's me. I'm transgressive in my own way. I think I've always been like that; even in my youth I rarely batted an eye at whatever debauched sexual practices people were partaking in (although I would frequently want to join in), figuring hey, if folks are having fun, everyone's consenting, nobody's being hurt who doesn't want to be hurt, the more power to 'em. At a previous job I had a reputation for being a total degenerate that far outstripped anything I actually did. Even today, I do my best to dress and behave myself in a gentlemanly fashion, but am known for being tart-tongued, mouthy, and prone to outrageous comments and outrageous actions. I could go on about the drinking contests I've won at the Palace of Wonders...or the night I was made an honorary member of a punk-rock group from Tampa while at the first Link Wray tribute concert...or the day I flipped off Newt Gingrich near the National Press Club...or how at one night, at one of Trixie Little's shows, I ended up onstage, with my pants around my ankles, giving a spanking to a aerialist from the Cirque du Soleil. I sometimes think my life is too quiet and dull. Honestly, I do.

I had originally considered hitting a local gay bar for a drink, and maybe find some company, after Saturday's performance of "Mondo Andronicus," but the spattered blood on my clothes had me thinking I should simply go home and soak the blood out of the cashmere. But y'know, maybe next time I won't be so prudent. The idea of some guy pointing out, "Hey, there's blood on your shirt!" and me shrugging and saying, casually, "Well, it's not mine," gives me a perverse chuckle. That's the kind of guy I am.

Oh, and by the way, the cashmere sweater vest is now pristine and blood-free.

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