« on: July 13, 2015, 03:32:01 pm »
Some of you might know that back when such things were popular, I was a regular at ManRay, a goth/gay/fetish/”eighties night” club, depending on the day of the week (I typically went every night). Eventually, I got drawn in to a group of people who would do performances, usually incorporating bizarre, creepy, sexual and violent imagery and subject matter. It was great fun, and the whole club had a pretty fanatical and devoted fanbase. How devoted? Well, it closed 10 years ago, and people are still setting up reunion nights and Halloween events using the ManRay name.
So, for the 10-year anniversary, some of the old crew were asked to put on another performance, and though we’re past our prime, we figured we’d give it one last go. After a bit of brainstorming, we came up with something simple, short, and gruesome: A woman lures a man to her room, gets him drunk, and then she and her friend eviscerate him and play with his internal organs. No problem, that scenario was old hat for us. So long as there were enough rehearsals, it would go smoothly -- what? No time to rehearse because we’re not in our twenties with tons of free time on our hands? Well, that’s ok, we’ve done this hundreds of times. We’ll just block it out on stage before the doors open -- we can’t do that? Well, I guess we’ll just talk it through in the dressing room.
OK, so the main effect for this is to fill a gallon ziplock bag with some hemp rope, crumpled tissue paper, and a couple of organ-shaped sponges, along with as much fake blood (a subtle mixture of strawberry and chocolate syrup) as possible. Then we duct tape that to my stomach, put a white undershirt over that, and a white dress shirt over that. Then, when the time comes, they’ll lay me out, tear the shirts, and slice the bag open with a razor to pull out the guts... That doesn’t sound too dangerous, right?
I should mention at this point that I understood “slice it open with a razor” to mean “pretend to slice it open, we’ll just open the ziplock bag the normal way”.
We were set to go on last. That meant four hours of waiting, which meant, as usually happens, four hours of drinking, dancing, and having more fun than is usually allowed. Then, showtime. The lights go down, the music comes up, and I stumble on stage, led by a suspicious looking lady. She ushers me into her room, and another woman appears, offering a drink. I go woozy, collapse on the bed on my back. The first woman straddles me, I half open my eyes, and is see her holding a razor blade above her head, ready to strike.
It crosses my mind that when we used to do things like this, such as when I was a giant Voodoo doll getting knitting needles jammed into me, we would construct a sort of foamcore and cardboard armor so the performers could go nuts and not worry too much. It appears I was woefully unprepared for this evening.
Her hand comes down, and I feel a pinch just below my sternum. In the next moment, the bag is open, and the women start ripping out my intestines, liver and heart. I scream, convulsing, falling half off the bed as blood streams and pools around me. The women laugh, smearing blood on themselves, and each other. The blood dampens their clothes, making them cling to their bodies. I go limp. The lights go down.
We gather up the detritus, and rush offstage. I joke to the woman, “I think you actually got me a little bit there,” and look down at my chest.
I guess I didn’t realize you can actually see the subcutaneous fat layer of your skin if cut cleanly and deeply enough. Interesting. I should probably clean this out. I casually ask one of the stagehands if they have a medical kit. I rinse off the fake blood, and, huh. Not too much real blood. Interesting. The medical kit shows up, and it’s a couple of band aids, a gauze pad, and some rubbing alcohol. I pour the alcohol into the wound. Oh, sure now it hurts. I put the gauze over it, and just duct tape it on.
I think to myself, “I probably need stitches. Should I go to the hospital?” I think about it. Hospitals don’t just fix you up, they ask questions. Often, if there’s evidence of violence, a police officer asks them. And then I remembered what a DA friend of mine said once, “The citizen or victim doesn’t choose whether to press charges. I choose whether to press charges.”
And then I remember back when a band I was in, The Women Of Sodom, opened up for Gwar. I was dressed as a leather bondage freak, and using the bars of a cage I was locked in as a drum, when I sliced open my elbow and bled all over the stage*. I had to go on tour the next day, so I wrapped up my elbow in paper towels and duct tape (ah, duct tape. You hold the universe together), and it eventually healed up.
So maybe I don’t go to the hospital. Maybe I spend the next few weeks cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide, and slathering antibiotic ointment on it. Maybe it won’t get infected. Maybe I now have a 1” x 0.25” vertical scar slightly below and to the right of my sternum.
Maybe I’ll ask for more rehearsals next time.
*As a side note, Gwar refused to go on until it was cleaned up. Yes, I freaked out Gwar.