I WONDER IF YOU’LL TAKE OFF YOUR MASK
Behind the mask, our guards come down and our inner selves shine through. We feel comfortable when we find an excuse for our acts.
Exactly one year ago I promised myself to be a part of this human parade of flesh, creativity and childlike joy. The rain threatened to ruin this Halloween but the wind now blows the clouds away just in time to face the goblins.
My plan is to be completely alert and let the night surprise me. Why believe I know what I’ll see and experience? Friends text me they’ll meet me at South Beach and I respond while I wait for my costume to dry in the machine… I hope it doesn’t shrink!!
Wonder woman jumps behind the wheel of her truck and heads to her next mission in the pursuit of love, peace, and sexual equality. Her Lasso of Truth is tied around her leg above the right knee, she’ll use it to force those bound by it to tell the truth. Her indestructible bracelets embrace her forearms and the tiara is in place. Her powers include superhuman strength, super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. Ready to take over South Beach!
Traffic is slow, parking is expensive or difficult, my patience is infinite. I pull up to park on the street at that empty spot; I can’t believe I’m so lucky! He appears at my window to tell me it’s valet parking. My window rolls down with authority and I ask if he has a permit because I always park here and pay at that meter. His energy starts to suffer interferences and I manage to prove Alvaro’s a nice guy by convincing him to charge me a discounted rate. That was easy. Super-speed… check!
It’s already the third night I’m dressed as Miss Wonderful and I am beginning to feel it’s part of my wardrobe. I’m meeting a group at Segafreddo and I walk in that direction, forcing myself to stroll and blend into the scene. Kids and teenagers will walk from house to house asking for treats, amused by the spider webs, tomb stones and other freaky decorations. During the witching hour, we aged individuals walk for the eye candy; my attention jumps from one costume to the next body, delighted with the diversity and the personal detail.
The wide promenade of Lincoln road is packed tight. I’m in no rush to arrive anywhere so I enjoy the slow pace. A nervous man starts to creep past me to advance faster than the flowing bodies. Why is he here if he can’t appreciate it? Fortunately, he disappears into a forgotten memory. Bodies brush closer together as we approach the popular bar, music playing loudly makes us sway to the rhythm, and tables over flood with drinks and enthusiasts. All the while, a massive war lord, a succulent policewoman, a nurse with a cross over each nipple, a baby the size of an adult, Luigi and Mario, a sexy construction worker with a tan nude torso and a giant blue fairy attract my attention.
A gladiator with a knife frozen mid-air stares at me. At first I’m not sure if he’s planning to attack or seduce me. His costume is quite authentic and his dreamy italian accent makes me chuckle. He’s the first person I get a picture with and then he takes a shot of me with two men dressed as Brazilian Carnival Goddesses. The wheels in my brain need to turn several times before I understand what I’m seeing.
“Hey Wonder Woman, where’s Superman?”, a man dressed as a grimy pirate interrogates me as I dance alone by the red mosaic penguin where the host stands. I smile and accept the question. I could have replied he’s not my boyfriend but I ignore my silly mind. “He’s out there somewhere”, I reply knowingly.
“Hey, Mena! Come with us!”, my friend purrs in her kitty outfit. She smiles amused I’m out here alone in the thick sea of Halloween. I follow closely behind her and she introduces me to her friends from back home. They are planning to head out to Mynt to continue the festivities but my intuition tells me I should stay here. I haven’t had enough visual stimuli to be eager to depart; riding on cabs, waiting in line and being indoors on such a magnificent night seems uncalled for. My refusal to follow suit surprises them and they decide to stay with me a while longer. We devour pizzas at Sosta with one eye on our conversation and the other on the freaky feast. I can’t help admiring the grotesque grace and charm of the muscular male ballerina who is waiting on nearby tables.
A man with a saxophone plays a familiar tune and a group of Quasimodo-like men in identical pink fairy outfits begin to dance daintily surrounded by an appreciative crowd. I notice that people with head masks are sweating in the mild Miami weather so their alter egos are destined to look up at the dark tormented sky. I’m a distracted companion tonight as I dash out to take pictures with my favorite characters and I readily accept requests to pose in my wondrous attitude. As a clown walks by, my body bolts out behind him and requests with all humility a picture with him. He thinks I recognize him; I just see a genetic mutation of bozo the clown, the lion king and a sexual pervert. Why did he have such a pull on me?!
Soon I’m on my own again and a facebook posts lets me know that someone I’ve met recently is nearby. We text and agree to meet by Score, a gay dance club on Lincoln Road. This gives me a purpose and the journey is eerily exciting. A zombie squad walks by and I cringe with the life like raw flesh and the pitless watery eyes. Blood is dripping down her neck and open wounds cover her body; something has ripped through her school uniform and robbed her of her soul. Who can save her? El Chapulin Colorado! A fun-loving Mexican hero in red and yellow tights with a large heart on his chest appears with his antennas bobbing in my direction. I steal his hammer and his friend takes a picture of us in action. Super strength… check! They begin to fight because the camera man can’t get it right and I’m caught in the crossfire. On the other side of the street, I see the crowd opening up to give way to four tipsy friends bottled and hung over a large 6-pack carton of human-sized corona beers.
Mark’s skull face is expressionless but dramatic. His eyes do all the communicating since his body language is stiff and his rail-thin body is unimposing. What could I have in common with a twenty year old american gay skeleton? As I talk to this character I see past the surface to find a caring soul with projects to help others and a heart open to life. We bond sharing personal stories amidst the herd of animals.
An older woman calls out my alter ego’s name in admiration and as I begin to twirl in circles she bursts out laughing; cheers from more strangers follow. A perky penis smiles pleasurably at my camera. It’s almost 2am and I’m still alert and enjoying the evening. Super stamina, check! I’m amazed by everyone’s straightforwardness out here tonight. Everyone approaches aliens with ease and enthusiasm. Generosity is abundant as people accept to pause and pose for others.
The block party draws my attention so I stroll confidently through the closed off street and around the happy tricksters, noticing the temporary bars from a distance. The DJ is heating up the party and I look around to see where I should stand in my red high heeled boots to let loose and shake it baby. I march past the Toy Story army figurines (with their large bazooka) posing in a threesome picture. A group of inebriated men x-Ray me as I go past them and I surprise them with my ninja back kick. Super agility… check! Their jaws drop but they know to leave me alone.
“Are you Wonder Woman?!”, a voice calls out to me from behind and I slow down for the man dressed as a strawberry blond army woman. “Every night!”, I respond enthusiastically. The instant the words bubble out of my sneaky mouth I realize that I’m being provocative without intention. I’ve simply been this super hero Friday, Saturday and Monday night. “Are you from Argentina?”, he asks me with uncanny accuracy. When I question him he explains my smile was the dead giveaway. He says he’s a doctor, specifically a hematologist and oncologist and I slyly question him to test if he’s being truthful; I know my lasso will help me decipher him. Then he shows me a medical book he’s published online and his amazon and tutorial links. He’s enamored with his hair and won’t stop caressing it in a girly fashion. His voice seems to be high-pitched and unmanly so I’m intrigued this man is who he says he is. Then he surprises me with his unwanted sexual energy and his persistent approach makes me uncomfortable. He’s upset he’s not looking his best in this womanly outfit. I’m ready to go home. Alone.
The valet guy has my ride on the sidewalk and I give him a shocking tip to compensate for the discount he gave me earlier. The invisible plane is ready to blast off and take me back home. Maybe an intimidating nightmare in the safe confines of my bedroom will make my Halloween a complete success.
Love, light and laughter,