There's nothing more heart-breaking than a sad Dracula (or, as i like to say, "drackala"). But that's what I saw last night, less than two avenues away from NYC's annual Halloween Parade. A kid, maybe 12 years old, in one of those drackala-in-a-bag or drackala-on-a-hanger costumes, nicely done (meaning he bothered to use the chalky face makeup, including under-eye black for extra ghoulishness), sitting on a hyrdrant, drackala head in drackala hands. His treat bag hung by his side, swinging slowly, like a song from the cotton fields.
I always hurt a little when I see very young children displaying adult signs of depression. Low energy, exhausted sighs, too much drinking, sleeping with strangers, taking a job in public relations. But it hurts a lot when one of those same kids is acting like a depressed adult on Halloween, in full costume. If you're 12 and you can't enjoy yourself on Halloween, even if your mom is a bitch (which clearly this kid's was), what's next? Welbutrin Jr.? Is this where the cycle of medication starts?
I guess I can understand how it might be a little bit disappointing to go trick or treating in downtown Manhattan, where you're more likely to be greeted by a night manager at Baby Gap than your next-door neighbor. But still - Monster Makeup! Stage Blood! Free Candy! Late Night! Cheer up, sad drak. If you can't enjoy this stuff, you're in for a big surprise when your armpits start to smell.
As for me, I did what adults do on Halloween, and every other day of the year: drank. The only difference was last night I got to drink in a false moustache and Bill Bixby steel frame glasses. Also had a strange experience. A friend of mine got together with several other apartments in her West Village building and had one of those drink flight parties. Very collegiate, except for the guest list and the large, bald black man guarding that list and the front door.
Here's the thing: my friend, J, whose apartment made up 1/4 of the party, is a performer in De La Guarda. If you're not familiar with this performance-based show - and that's perfectly understandable - look it up, because it's difficult to describe. Here's my best shot: South American drums play as well-toned, attractive 20-somethings fly over your head on harnesses and occasionally land on the ground, where they try to make out with you or your girlfriend, or both. In other words, art.
That detail is important because the party was swarming with attractive De La Guarda performers and incidentals. And the women apparently got together and decided to bypass the traditionally coy female costumes - kittykat, devil girl, garbage can - and cut right to the chase. They were dressed like the kinds of whores that even real whores would be ashamed of. I refused to go near the dip. One of them explained to me, "I was told to dress in the style of "Moulin Rouge", but no one told me whether they meant "Moulin Rouge" the place, or "Moulin Rouge" the video with Christine Aguilera and Lil Kim." Guess which one everybody picked?