Best Goth Friends!

Written for Jonathan Bradley Welch’s A Very Special Episode show!  Theme: BFF’s!

I met my best friend the first week of college.  She was looking for someone in Bruce Hall, which was the art dorm, because it had art studios on the top floor. Also, it was the cheapest.  It didn’t have air conditioning, and it was supposed to be haunted.

I heard a kid died elevator surfing, where you get into an elevator shaft and ride on an elevator until someone takes it to the top floor and you fucking die. 

Instead of getting a haunted elevator, we got the elevator closed the rest of the year and everybody had to take the stairs.

Don’t pity him.  Pity us.

How It Started

Melissa walked past my door, and I went out and said, hi, it’s nice to meet another goth.  She said, what’s a goth?  And I said, it’s us.  It’s what we are.

What do you think you are? I asked.

A spooky kid, she said.

Sidebar: this story is before Edward Scissorhands and Hot Topic. This was before the Craft, before the 2000’s when everyone was wearing vinyl pants and talking about how they partied like a rockstar.  Mel was from a small town in Texas called Palestine, which had the same population as my high school.  Word of goth had not gotten there yet, and she may have believed she was the only person who read tarot and listened to sad music for hours.

She was not.

Mel had long black hair and little round silver glasses and dark lipstick and many layers of black lace on, and in general looked like someone who maybe someday would get a Sylvia Plath tattoo. 

I had short red hair and a nose ring and looked like someone who might have prepared a monologue from Sylvia Plath’s the Bell Jar for an audition for a film called Teen Witch.  That is something that I did do, and they managed to make the film without me.

I asked her, what do you think you are?  What do your high school friends call you? And she shrugged and said, spooky kid. 

Main Hobbies

We started hanging out right away.  Our main hobbies were: taking acid and seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, getting dressed up and taking dramatic portraits of each other in the stairwells at school. Also we drank terrible dorm coffee with ice cream bars melted into them, and Bailey’s irish cream, and then we wondered why we were getting fat.

We were inseparable, and dated briefly until we remembered we were primarily straight. Roadtripping to New Orleans for spring break, we hung out in front of Anne Rice’s house. We went to goth clubs, sat in the back of rooms and complained together, and in general we had fun.

Some Troubles

Our friendship wasn’t perfect. When Tank Girl came out, based on a comic book series I liked a lot, I shaved my head into a Chelsea haircut and wore tutus and combat boots, and felt like I was working an edgy look.

  She took a photograph of the back of my head that demonstrated that my head was a bad one for shaving.  My skull is long and H.R. Geiger-like in the back, and there is a shelf.  I asked her why she hadn’t told me my head was bad and she said she figured it was too late.

Once, she wouldn’t stop puking, and I took her to the emergency room and waited with her for ten hours.

One time, she was my confidant and best friend and and she understood me, and that was all the time.

Another time, we drove to Oklahoma city in the middle of the night because we wanted a box of Boo-Berry cereal, which was not available in Texas, and we ate it as the sun came up and it wasn’t very good.

We were a really good match.  I was a little too tall and she was a little bit short.  I was an emotionally needy extrovert who met everyone and remembered no-one and she was sometimes shy, but she could remember everyone we’d met.

And Later

After college, I moved to Portland, OR to date a boy I’d met in Dallas.  She followed soon after and we took back up together. We were doing exciting things like going to a goth club owned by the Russian mob, dancing to Britpop, and complaining that things weren’t the same as they had been in Dallas, Texas.  What they were was much better.

I became aware that she had found another girl to hang out with named Caroline.  Caroline was also a little too tall and wore high heels all the time and I thought she was loud, even though I am also loud.

We still liked each other.  We still saw each other.  But Caroline was usually there too.  It was stupid to complain that I was jealous.  Why should I be jealous?  I was jealous.

The End, My Friend

Our friendship wasn’t really over until she and my husband had a disagreement about plans that they’d made.  I expected her to pick us up for a DJ gig and she didn’t, but she showed up hours later, drunk and with Caroline, talking in circles about how fun and fucked up their evening had been.  I told her I was tired of her letting me down, and she was furious.

It was her word against his, and I felt like I had to side with my husband.  It was a small thing.  Looking back, it didn’t matter, but everyone was very angry.

Later Still

Two years later, my marriage ended, because my husband was sleeping with another friend of mine, which I didn’t like very much.  That friend in turn was surprised that I didn’t like her anymore.

I went to Melissa’s wedding, to a tall blonde Swede, within a month of my divorce, because I loved her and it was important.  It was a beautiful wedding in an art library, with favors made from antique books and a cake in the shape of a gilded beehive. 

I sat with our friends and cried a little harder, because I wasn’t just happy for her. I was also sorry for myself.  At this point, she had fallen out with Caroline over something.

We are still facebook friends.  We leave each other likes and comments.  I am happy to be to see her happy. She is happily married and doing well.  But I still miss my very best friend.

Chivo!

virginia jones photographed by chivo ballerina

virginia jones photographed by chivo ballerina

I was in a beer ad shot by Chivo, the three-time Oscar winner whose nickname means “The Goat”.

I play a plus sized, sad ballerina in a vintage playroom, shot in the beautiful Palace Theatre on Broadway.  The photos he posted on Instagram are lovely and paintinglike and I thought I’d put them here.

Highschooooool!

I was home this week and paging through a stolen copy of my high school’s yearbook and wanted to point out the following image:

Alan Tudyk is pretty cool and is from Firefly and and more importantly, plays a cult leader in two episodes of Strangers with Candy, alongside fellow PSHS alum Jeremy Schwartz, who is also a totally awesome actor person.

Alan Tudyk never hung out with me, but that’s ok.  Hardly anyone did, possibly because I had an earring I made out of a rosary and a lock of my boyfriend Chris’  (last name redacted) hair. Maybe it was because everything I am wearing I got from yard sales, and wore when we took pictures in August in Texas. Perhaps it was because I was identifying with Andie from Pretty in Pink so much that I drove a Kharmann Ghia that was constantly vandalized because I had a KEEP ABORTION LEGAL sticker on it in North Texas.  Who knows?

Very Gothixxx Halloween

Gothixxx were glad to welcome the lovely Dave and Jenn Bats of Release the Bats fame to the program, as well as guest cameraman Derrick Lemos.

California Costumes Stole Me!

I have been immortalized, in cheap wig form, as a blind pop star of some sort.

It has come to my attention that I have been immortalized, in cheap wig form, by the good people at California Costumes.  Now, I don’t know when I became a blind pop star, but evidently that’s my overall look.  These people owe me royalties and I’m going to sit right here on my couch until I get them.

Drunken Tales!

Here is the handsome buffalo that watches over everyone as they talk about puking their guts out at the Monty Bar.

Dear Everyone;

The talented genius Mike O’Connell asked me to tell a story of drunken excess at his wonderful show, Drunken Tales of Glory and Shame, at the Monty Bar, and I’ve already written it and everything, so here it is.

Mom, don’t read it!

Ladies and gentlemen, you are experts in this field, and I’m not gonna bore you with regular old drinking stories, like the time I woke up in a shed in Dallas, TX wearing striped tights and a strange man’s suit jacket, or the first time I puked, or the second time I puked, or the first time I puked in my 30’s and said to myself, hey self, this is not cute anymore –or the first time I cracked a fresh Zima in a friend’s kitchen at a house party and wondered where the fuck everyone was and realized that the sun was coming up and it was time to go home. I can tell you that as I get older, I can’t drink the way I used to, because now, I have to use my mouth.

Like most of you, I grew up Mormon in a family of Irish Catholic alcoholics and my grandfather died of alcohol-derived cirrhosis at 44 years old. My other grandpa died of a heart attack at the ripe old age of 52. And we all thought, That was a LIFE lived, man. When people my age are all broken up about their grandparents dying, I like to ask, your grandparents are in their eighties? What are they, pussies? So, until I was 21, I didn’t drink at all, but I did drugs, because nobody in my family had a drug problem. You can see the wisdom. Standing before you now, I am half made of acid. Probably the lower half.

So in this story, I was in my 20’s, and I had a first date with a really special guy, who was tall and could play guitar and looked like Douglas Coupland, an author who is no longer famous.

The night I fell in love with him was when a group of us went to New Orleans and got rip roaring drunk, and were slowly making our way back to the hotel. Our friend Steve was with us, and Steve both loves a drink and walks with a cane, due to Cerebral Palsy, and he found that he had had too many drinks to walk at all, so we decided that the only thing to do was to heave him onto my swain’s back and he would be piggybacked to our beds. The big man knelt down and Steve was trying to clamber on top, and he made such a grunting and a noise in the French Quarter that a resident yelled out a window, “I don’t care what you faggots do, but don’t do it in the street!” and that was it. I was in love.

I was nervous to go on a date with him on my own,  so my best friend and I decided we would throw a party, and we decided to take GHB, because we heard it was rad. In the 90’s, people would take GHB and Rohypnol on purpose, just because they were bored, or a new episode of Friends wouldn’t be out for another week, or they couldn’t wait for a new Diet Coke flavor. They were both legal at the time- GHB was legal until 2000, when a 19 year old died of an overdose. Small doses of GHB is sometimes referred to as liquid ecstasy, due to its tendency to produce euphoria and sociability, Despite this nickname, GHB or Gammabutyrolactone,has separate chemicals than Ecstacy, or Methylenedioximethamphetamine, but can produce the same effect in SMALL amounts. Small ones.

The really great thing about GHB was that it inhibits metabolizing alcohol, so once you’re drunk, you stay drunk for a really long time and you don’t sober up, and we all know that that’s a great idea! We got enough for four doses, because four of us wanted to take it. However, when push came to shove, in a carpeted living room, my date and one of the other girls chickened out, and the one thing you should know about me is that I don’t like to waste, so my best friend and I split the dose.

I did not know then that even a slightly larger dose of GHB is used to treat insomnia and narcolepsy and is a potent depressant. Then, I laid down to rest awhile and passed out cold and covered in sweat on the floor for three hours and listened to the two remaining undrugged people awkwardly watch six episodes of South Park.

When I woke up, I realized I had to puke, so I very classily on my first date walked down the hallway, steadying myself on the wall with my shoulder, and knocked on the bathroom door only to realize my best friend was already puking in the bathroom. It’s that kind of connection and sympatico feeling that keeps our friendship strong. On Facebook. So, I cleverly went outside to puke over the side of the balcony onto a teal Dodge neon in the parking lot and I felt much better, and rested my hot forehead on the wooden plank of the balcony, and later found a large splinter in my forehead .

After that, I brushed my teeth and we went out to a gay bar in walking distance of the house and drank crappy bottled beer until closing time, and so then I was drunk until 2pm on Sunday, and having proved myself to be smart and have to have good planning skills, I dated the boy for a year and a half, before he married someone just like me but a little shorter and not as crazy, and they had beautiful twin girls and I moved to Los Angeles and stopped mixing my drugs and drinks, for the most part. The end!

                  Selfie as Edward Scissorhands at the Monty Bar

                         Names have been changed to protect the drunk.  Objects may be closer than they appear.