The raven crows at sundown. Mascara crust cracks, like forsaken flytraps yawning. I clamber from my mahogany sleeping chest. My name is Dandy Darkly. Tonight is my grandest of evenings.
But my first step falters! I trip atop a bound and gagged gimp, wild eyed with glistening forehead. His name is Pig or Cumdumpster or Shitsmear or Barry – no matter! Two sharp kicks summon a whimpering whine. Well deserved, too, as the simpering slave had forgotten my High Point coffee! I love coffee.
My love of something as common as a cup of coffee shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, dear reader. Truth be told, I love most everything. I’m a dandy, you see, a dilettante of a diversely delectable disarray of do’s and dont’s. I flit from flower to flower like a feral cactus bat, piercing my tongue on the sharpest of barbs but savoring the salty-sweet syrup of blood and nectar. I love it. To love is my raison d’etre… even if true love has proven elusive as the rarest of objet d’art. Le sigh.
I’m an occultist and a ghost-storyteller. I traipse the gleefully ghastly boundary between the world of the fahhhbulous and the forlorn. Sassing with deceased sissies and retelling their tales of homosexual horror and supernatural sleaze. I settle myself at my Ouija board. She’s a semen crusted monstrosity, withered from constant use, tracks worn deep where strangers have dragged their hands across her once buttery surface. (But enough about my mother!) The Ouija planchette furiously flies into motion.
F-I-N-G-E-R M-Y A-S-S-H-O-L-E Y-O-U C-O-C-K-S-U-C-K-E-R
Paul Lynde is contacting me from beyond the grave!
Oh, the abysmal perversion found upon the other side! I’d faint if I weren’t so fixated. I casually Ouija-sext with the center square’s fussiest funnyman. The planchette eventually ceases to move — my velour smoking jacket doused with Uncle Arthur’s spectral spunk. Deep pore regimen complete; ectoplasm is a miraculous moisturizer. I shit, shower and shave. Then it’s off to my vanity where I shall apply the cosmetic veneer for my grandest of evenings.
How rude! Have I yet to even mention that tonight is Halloween?!
Oh yes, dear reader, ’tis the season of the witch! Tonight I’ve a myriad multitude of celebrity appearances and downtown dandy drop-ins. Andy Warhol’s ghost is throwing an ultra-exclusive Welcome to Hell party for Lou Read in the American Apparel that used to be sleazy Rawhide. I’ve also my very own variety show to host tonight – Dandy Darkly’s Variety of the Damned 2 at Dixon Place! So before I busy myself beyond chatty distraction, allow me to share with you the Dandy Darkly’s History of Halloween!
Once upon a time there was a lovely old poofter named Samuel Hain.
Samuel was a glorious gay man, through and through, who loved nothing more than celebrating the end of a year’s chores by dolling himself up in animal skins and antlers, doing a bit of the rough drag — the sort of female impersonation you see in rural gay bars on a Tuesday before sundown. Way back then, you see, Sam Hain was known locally by the drag name Trenae Samma. And Miss Trenae would perform her devilish drag show for a full three days and three nights!
Of course, we homosexuals are an awfully maudlin bunch, constantly fretting over death and the departed and our own mortality and squandered youth. Miss Trenae was no exception. She thought she had the world figured out, but what lay beyond, what existed in the shadows of the dance hall once that glorious disco ball ceased spinning; such unknowns terrified her to no end. Such moments are transition times — that ponderous moment between last call and closing — that scramble to secure a stranger’s apartment so you may inject the last of your Krokodil before you face another miserable morning staggering home, rotting and regretting. Likewise the scant days between autumn’s dying embers and the first chill of winter’s wrath was a powerful motivator for strangers to cum together, don their own drag and celebrate their loved ones lost.
Trenae Samma became the bell of the Halloween ball. Year after year she celebrated her grandest of evenings, burning a massive pyre upon the highest hill and inviting everyone in the village to join her. The costumed commoners carried embers in hollowed out turnips to maintain the bonfire. Miss Trenae hated fucking turnips so she insisted they carve fearsome faces into the sides of the deplorable root vegetables. Her request helped to light the villagers way and gave the task a bit more creative flare. The practice lingers to this day in the form of gay men carving pumpkins into terrifying, realistic likenesses of Cher or Liza, among others!
Truth be told, there exists an assortment of ancient pagan practices still performed today. Bobbing for apples was once a means of divination. Children (awful!) trick-or-treat in the same tradition as begging door-to-door for soul cakes. (delicious!) And in the year 6 A.D., Beathag the Herderwife turned every man’s head with a slutty-nurse ensemble that spawned countless slutty-themed costumes worn to this very Halloween by squealing college co-eds the world over. You go girl!
Miss Trenae Samma still dances among the rutting, sucking, fucking silhouettes. She whirls herself around that flickering fire as the final coals cool from amber to black. Phantom faces appear in the periphery of the orgy, piercing the veil beyond the pale. One visage, in particular, causes Miss Trenae to pause in her pirouetting. It’s the face a man she’d only known separate from such wild ecstasy; apart from such frightful festivity. It’s the face of a man who’d shared a lingering glance with ole Samuel Hain. A man who’d shared with him subsequent conversations and furtive flirtations — a glancing brush of fingertips atop Samuel’s knuckles before pulling away. Then a rock slide or a wild boar or some other prehistoric catastrophe ceased those first fleeting meetings.
She blew the ghost a kiss goodbye, til they meet again next year aside the Halloween campfire. Miss Trenae warmed herself briefly before beginning her delirious spinning, her dance of the dead anew.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
Xoxo, Dandy Darkly
Dandy Darkly (Neil Arthur James) is the world renown raconteur of homosexual horror. His solo show Dandy Darkly’s Gory Hole! debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013. He has produced critically acclaimed variety shows across New York City, including Dixon Place, the Celebration of Whimsy Theater and the Slipper Room. He continues to perform pop up ghost story events in areas notorious for public gay sex including Fire Island’s Meat Rack and his annual show beneath Provincetown’s Dick Dock. For more information about Dandy Darkly please visit www.dandydarkly.com or find him on Facebook or Twitter.