chapter 14: choose your monster

when i was growing up, i loved Christmas.  Christmas was GREAT.  no complaints.  magical.  but it wasn’t the only holiday that hit me where i lived.  by the end of summer at the latest, and all the way to late October, i dreamed of, i planned for, i LIVED in…Halloween.  in my mind.  i was ready.  i couldn’t wait.  i would have to get the perfect costume.  i’d gotten ideas from the monster books i’d checked out at the school library.  and i always wanted to be the same thing, i always wanted to personify the same horror, i always wanted to take on the unrivaled, iconic mystery of…dracula.  i vaunt to suck your blood.  i wanted a great cape.  never got one, though.  i got a homemade cape one year that for the first time went down BELOW my waist, thank god.  but was it black?  for some reason, the pattern was black and purple stripes.  dracula?…  and how about that widows peak?  black mascara doesn’t exactly blend seamlessly into brown hair…  what about the white shirt and the medal?  never quite had that…  but i had fangs.  and i had blood.  and ghoulish white makeup.  and black around my eyes.  and on October 31, for a night, for a moment in time, through the neighborhood, i roamed…i creeped…i stalked…i was…COUNT DRACULA.

i never wavered.  i tried the wolfman one year, with the prosthetic nose.  it was a good look, and i loved to howl.  but in my mind, there was only one eternal existence for me.

talking with the doctor about my surgery had been disheartening.  it wasn’t just the fact they were gonna find out how many licks it took to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop, and use my head as the sucker (double entendre?).  it wasn’t just the fact that i could have strokes or seizures as a complication from them hacking up my insides.  it was more.  it was worse.  it was…the scar.  “i will have to cut you from the front side of your head, to back and down around behind your ear…”  that puts me just shy of an eye patch in the world of hokey movie villains.  “I WILL HAVE TO CUT YOU FROM THE FRONT SIDE OF YOUR HEAD, TO BACK AND DOWN AROUND BEHIND YOUR EAR.”  all my life, i wanted to be Dracula.  now, i was going through this unbelievable process, this sacrifice of safety and normal human existence; i was giving up life as i knew it to become…Frankenstein.  he can’t talk.  he can’t run.  he was never interesting to me.  and the only chick he could get was a little girl with a flower.  not my type.

and yet, lying in the MRI machine, i felt like i was in a coffin.  when do i rise and tell Mina to “look into my eyes?”  or is this their way of getting me used to the idea, for less optimistic reasons?

back to boobies.  that’s right…i’m in a soft place…the best place…even diane likes the idea…she’s told me three different times now, helping me stay in that place…and there is humor.  and…

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