Wednesday, August 5, 2009
MY DINNER WITH MICHAEL
Text & Photos By Walter Cessna
It’s two minutes past midnight on a Friday at the Bowery Bar. I’ve just stepped out of a cab and I’m flanked by two of the most outrageous transsexuals in the world (or the New York club scene, at least). Amanda, or A-Man-Duh as she liked to pronounce it and Olestra Lucille Stools. Amanda resembles a risen from the crypt Marilyn, only with much puffier lips, while Olestra prefers a Carol Brady on super hormones look.
I had met them while I was living at Hotel 17, a funky yet fierce club kid habitue that thinly disguised itself as a residential hotel. My scene is writing, at least when I’m getting paid, which wasn’t too often. When I’m not I wear a variety of hats. I’ve been a hustler of all sorts, from promoting nightclubs, to pushing myself, sometimes in ways that I haven’t always been proud of. My friends were equally on the take and lived their lives for only one thing. The night and the chance to go clubbing and get fucked up.
After years of dragging my well-worn ass through one club after another, my capacity for friendship had been strained to the breaking point. Imagine my surprise when Michael, one of my worst enemies and strangely best friends, became a nightlife impresario at the tender age of twenty. Of course, nothing on the New York club scene is ever as it seems, so when I found out he was also fucking his boss, the supposedly straight and wheelchair bound club owner Meter Satien, I was hardly surprised.
Together they ran the wildly successful club Slimelight, housed in an old church and home to some of the most hedonistic debauchery ever witnessed between the hours of midnight and four a.m. I guess I should also mention that just two years ago, Michael and I were lovers, both doing it behind our boyfriends backs. An illicit affair that fooled everyone but us, for it’s scars would stick a long time, longer than both of us would ever realize. Until it was too late.
You see, I’ve never been very good at keeping secrets and neither was Michael. Only he was stupid enough to actually still trust people. His friends. The inner circle of fellow club kids whom, supposedly, would never blab. I on the other hand, didn’t trust anyone. I had lived in New York for far too long to be that dumb. I was also embarrassed by my membership into Michael’s inner circle. He never realized how easy he made it for me to escape when he was dumb enough to confide his horrible secret to me at that notorious dinner.
Michael had invited me to attend a supper he was throwing at the Bowery Bar to celebrate his newfound notoriety as a murderer. That’s correct. A murderer. To make a long story short, he had been accused of murdering his friend Lucifer, a despicable Special K. dealer, supposedly after falling into a major K hole. The rumor was that Michael and his pals, Troll St. Troll, Jenital Gal, Gila Monster and Thaw, woke up and found Lucifer’s decapitated body lying in the sheets between them. Since Thaw was a rival drug dealer, it was assumed that everything had gone down because of a fucked up drug deal.
Several versions of the story were making the rounds. That Michael hadn’t actually done it, but paid his club troll friends to commit the murder. Another was that Meter Satien had ordered a hit on Lucifer because he was about to cooperate with the DEA on an undercover investigation into the drugs being sold to minors under his and Michael’s supervision at the club. The most twisted story going around was that Michael had Aids and had infected Lucifer who had secretly been his lover. When Lucifer found out, he had tried to kill him and almost succeeded until Michael’s evil circle came to his rescue and took matters into their own hands.
Whatever the story was, Lucifer’s headless body was found about six months later, decayed almost to the point of un-recognition in a dumpster by the West Side piers. They never did find the head, but were able to identify the body because it was still wearing Lucifer’s trademark angel wings, an ironic and unfortunately trendy accessory favored by too many club trolls that year.
The rumors had only recently started. After Lucifer turned up missing, Michael had become an even bigger spectacle and drug freak than he was before. Still, no one was suspicious. Meter fired him from the Slimelight after one of Michael’s many drug fueled escapades, this one involving a fourteen year old raver he had been screwing that had over dosed on the dance-floor and had told the police he had bought the drugs from Lucifer.
Since they were already getting nosy about the club, the DEA officially opened its investigation, ironically about a month after Lucifer’s mysterious disappearance. After making over two hundred undercover illegal drug buys at Slimelight, the DEA temporarily closed the club. Michael, feeling betrayed by Meter, was delighted and went to the police to volunteer as a state witness against his former boss. The cops, unaware of Michael’s involvement in the drug sales or Lucifer’s now very public disappearance, hired him as an undercover source when Meter was able to get the club re-opened. That was until he started bragging to all of his club cronies that the police were actually paying him to squeal on his ex-boss.
The story got picked up in all the gossip columns. They wrote about how Michael had been ratting out Meter and a few even began to mention the strange mystery revolving around the disappearance of Lucifer, whose sister had gone first to the police and then the press when she didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. It seems she was suspicious of Lucifer’s club friends, especially one in particular. Michael. It didn’t help matters that Michael, slipping ever steadily into a deeper and deeper K hole, had been bragging about killing Lucifer to certain loose lipped members of his inner circle, thus spawning the wild series of rumors that soon followed him like a bad stench.
Still, the police hadn’t questioned Michael. There simply wasn’t enough evidence and most regarded his ramblings to be just that, the fucked up spewings of an even more fucked up club kid on the verge of losing his position and stature on the scene. As the months passed, it was if he was untouchable, no matter how many or wild the rumors got. Intershmooze magazine had just put him on their latest cover and done a twelve page photo spread and interview that pulled out into a clever calendar featuring cute pictures of Michael impersonating the worlds most infamous serial killers with adjoining quotes on what he admired most about each one.
It was a tasteless attempt at sensationalized journalism, but it did get more than one person thinking that maybe, just maybe, he actually had something to do with Lucifer’s death. Among those whose curiosities were finally peaked were the police, who immediately launched a secret investigation into Michael’s now crumbling life, paying hefty sums to his drugged out friends as long as they promised to provide some kind of incriminating evidence. As all this went on, Michael blindly went about his business even though the entire city was whispering behind his back. It was as if he were enjoying it, even as it fucked up his once lucrative career as a club promoter. Strangely though, his luck held out and even started to change.
The dinner was Michael’s way of announcing he was back. In addition to the magazine spread, he had just been named as creative director at Meter’s archrival Boris Brahns new club, E-Coli. We were to be escorted by limo after dinner to the clubs grand opening with Brahns picking up the tab. When Amanda and Olestra heard I was invited, they begged to accompany me. In club crazed New York, no matter how macabre the occasion might be, it was a still a free evening out. I acted as their entry and they were my temporary armor. Not that I needed protection, but in a crowd like Michael’s, a little buffering can never hurt.
As I looked around the mess of people situated outside of Bowery Bar, it turned out my assumptions were correct. The usual casting call of drag queened to death freaks and trolls were vying for entry to the packed restaurant. Michael had typically over invited. What was supposed to be a cute dinner for thirty had escalated into a club kid invasion numbered at over one hundred and swelling by the second. Two burly security guards were tripping out and trying to turn everyone away. More than once I heard one of them mutter under his breath “that asshole Michael sure fucked up.”
We had been waiting almost twenty minutes and had just about given up, resigning ourselves to the dreaded thought of actually having to pay for a meal. Olestra was arguing with one of the doorman when the high, shrill scream of an abnormal queen froze us from behind. It was Michael and as I turned around and soaked him in, I was met with his pathetic splendor head on like a car crash.
He was smiling like a Cheshire cat and wearing a pair of Power Rangers pajamas with the feet attached and the ass cut out. Silver sequins were plastered over his shaved eyebrows and a demented, clown-like mouth was painted on in bright red lipstick. He clutched a worn looking stuffed Smurf doll and a small rubber novelty store ax which he kept hitting people over the head with and laughing hysterically. For the first time since the gossip had started I wondered if he had really done it. I was broken from my trance by the sound of Michael calling my name.
“Walter. Let Walter and his guests in.”
Like the parting of the Red Sea, the crowd opened for us and we fairly tumbled into the jam-packed eatery. With Michael pushing from behind us, we were rushed through the front room, past the crowded bar and into the more private back room which also served as a mini nightclub on the weekends called Bouge.
The room was typically over crowded with the kind of snot nosed, uptight ass-holes usually associated with New York’s over done fashion crowd, but tonight was especially creepy. From over-rated fashion photographers, diva in training junior fashion editors and wannabe junkie fashion models, the place was crawling with trolls and oozing with an insincerity that seemed as dark and vacuous as a black hole. I was in hell, but hey, it was the cool place to be and I knew what I was getting into when I accepted Michael’s invitation. Like a trend starved storm trooper, I bit my lip and let him lead the girls and I to his table.
The guest list read like a downtown fashion victim and club kid rogues gallery. Every fucking annoyance worth their price in night life land was present and accounted for, as well as Michael’s little posse of underage (some as young a twelve) ravers, tweaked out on Crystal, K and no sleep for days or weeks in some cases. I had heard stories about Michael feeding the kids huge overdoses of Rohypnol and fucking the shit out of them once they blacked out. Lovely. He had recently held a child pornography after hour’s party at which the guests used Monopoly money to buy dates with club kids as young as fourteen. Michael gave the kids free drugs and drink tickets to make sure they went through with it.
At the far end of the table sat the undesirable and equally dastardly drag queen contingent of Michael’s social circle. Miss Demeanor, Glory Hole, Endurance, Cliche, Fierce Ruling Diva and last but not least, Lucresia Elizabeth Gabor. She was particularly fierce because she was responsible for corralling Michael’s ever growing stable of underage boys. She had become one of his closest confidantes and little did he know that like me, Lucresia would be unable to keep his little secret. Neither of us realized at the time how connected we were. It was ironic, for we absolutely hated each other and rarely had a polite moment.
Michael’s club kid posse occupied the center of the table, upon which Michael had literally gone and sat, practically on top of a large smoked duck pizza. His main partners in crime sat at his feet, ready to do whatever his twisted little mind conjured up. Troll St. Troll, Jenital Gal, Gila Monster and Thaw. I couldn’t help but notice how carefree yet corpselike they looked. Cliche sounding as it may be, they reminded me of vampires who sucked the life out of the poor trendy souls who looked up to them with awe and treated them like gods.
Amanda and Olestra went to sit at the far end with the other queens, while I sat down at the opposite end with the real Queens. Those being the downtown empress of alternative fashion Rat Field and her drag king wife, Do-Do. They made for an odd couple, Rat being old, tobacco stained and scary, with green skin and bright fire engine red hair. Do-Do was an abnormal goddess, pure in her function as a desirable object and willing to be used by anyone that could take her to the next level.
Sitting closely beside them was Spam Goldwyn, the renowned nightlife photographer, Screaming Banjee Abel, a used up hag trying to cut it as a house music singer, club promoter and unbeknownst to Michael, the star witness in the police investigation on him. There was also Daisy Dexatrim, the illegitimate daughter of Jack Nicholson, Christopher Walken or Lee Harvey Oswald, depending on which night and what drugs she was on. They were all sitting like vultures, picking at the flesh of anything they could sink their long Lee Press-On claws into.
I sat down next to Rat and Do-Do, ordered a very large glass of chilled Tequila, straight up, from a very cute waiter I might add. Then I eased my way into the flow of conversation that seemed to trickle around the table, a sinful stream of misused and abused situations both fictional, real and unrealistic. Michael had jumped off the table and was now sitting directly across from me.
I glanced around the restaurant and noticed people staring at our table, Michael in particular. I knew what they were saying even though I couldn’t read their lips. I was having dinner with a murderer and no one could quite believe he was getting away with it, especially myself. It was all just a little too trippy and way weird, even for a connosouir of freakazoids like me. I didn’t even realize Michael was talking to me until he stood up from his seat, pulled down his Power Ranger pajama bottoms and peed into his wine glass as a woman at an adjoining table screamed and started choking on her Portebello mushroom salad.
“What the fuck are you doing Michael?!”
The voice came out of nowhere and we all looked up to find Eric Goodbar, the owner of Bowery Bar staring at Michael in disbelief. As he shook the last drops from his penis and pulled his pants back up, Michael raised the wine glass and took a long swig of his own urine, smiling at Eric as the befuddled club owner just scratched his head and quietly giggled.
“Oh Michael, isn’t your fifteen minutes up yet?” Eric said, then turned away.
Michael just sat down and grinned broadly, dumping a pile of cocaine out of a vial he had fished out of Jenital gal’s lunchbox and snorted it as loudly as he could off the table. No wonder he wasn’t worried about being caught. Nothing ever seemed to happen to him, no matter how hard he tried.
“You know what would have been really funny?” Michael asked me.
“I should have offered Eric a sip of my piss...I think I have Hepatitis!”
He started laughing frantically, his eyes twitching from the coke, his hands wringing around each other so tight, the skin was a mixture of swollen red streaks and clammy, ghost white skin. I looked at his face and noticed the way he seemed to look like two people at the same time. Good and bad. Sad and happy. Sorry and mad. He was the male version of Sybil, except it was hardly entertaining. Fascinating, though. Sickening. And scary. Very scary.
A waiter arrives with bottles of red wine. He’s followed by several more carrying large pizzas and plates of mixed greens. I grab a bottle and fill my empty Tequila glass with the warm scarlet fluid. Everyone settles down and once dinner is served, the table returns to it’s unsteady streams of conflicting conversation, most of which end on a did Michael do it or not note. I tried my best to appear subtle as I casually listened in.
“I see their giving us the club kid menu,” smirks Rat as her and Do-Do pick at a strange looking pizza topped with what looks like canned shrimp and onions.
“What did you expect?” cuts in Daisy Dexatrim. “Caviar? Please. They know Michael is going to run out on the bill so they’re probably serving us leftovers from last night.”
“Or last year!” howled Screaming Banjee.
“Frankly, I’m amazed they gave him a reservation. What with everybody talking and all,” says Rat, as she takes a giant bite out of the supposedly day old food and washes it down with a hearty gulp of wine.
“Trust me, Michael still has pull,” counters Spam. “The question is, for how much longer?
Screaming Banjee suddenly stops devouring her own sloppy slice and puts in her two cents.
“Well I happen to know Michael’s days are numbered.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” purrs Rat.
“I hear the police are getting ready to arrest him as soon as they gather a bit more evidence.”
“And just where did you hear this?” asks Daisy, a pit of pizza cheese dangling from her front teeth.
“I have my sources,” Screaming Banjee shot back and then returned to her own slice, suddenly consumed by the need to suck it down her throat as quickly as possible.
I jolt back into myself when the sound of Tina Turner screaming “I am the acid queen...” blares over the sound system. The queens at the far end of our table start screeching in delight and Cliche, Miss Demeanor and Lucresia all hop up on the table and start serving us with their best Tina-mations. The rest of the restaurant starts applauding and screaming for more, so Endurance, Glory Hole and Fierce Ruling Diva climb up on top of the table as well, kicking slices of salmon and yellow pepper pizza onto the floor in the process.
The entire room becomes an eruption of noise and spontaneous combustion as the queens effortlessly segue into the next song and the crowd goes absolutely mad, forgetting for a moment that there might be a murderer in their midst. Michael is more than aware of the sudden change in the room and fearing his loss of spotlight, grabs me by the arm. Before I can complain, we have shoved our way through the crowd into the tiny bathroom off to the side of the DJ booth.
Michael is spilling a pile of coke on top of the lowered toilet lid as I adjust my eyes to the bright fluorescent light. He sucks up a few lines and hands me a rolled twenty. Without even thinking I crouch down on my knees and suck up the remaining white powder. Now, not only am I dining with a murderer, I’m doing his drugs too.
“Do you miss me?”
The question stunned me, but after grabbing the vial out of Michael’s trembling hands and helping myself to a few more lines, I came back with the only answer that made sense.
“Not even a little...”
“Not even a little.”
He looked sad for a moment, then stood up and turned towards the mirror. His make-up was fucked, so he pulled a few sprucing items out of his pocket and started reapplying sequins to his flushed face. I wanted to say something. Anything to break the strange silence that had fallen over us as we both began to tweak from the blow and the toilets cramped quarters. I made a move to leave, but Michael stopped me.
“If you leave me right now, I’ll kill you.”
“You don’t think I would? It’s not so hard. They say it’s easier the second time around.”
“Shut the fuck up Michael.”
“Cause you sound weird. Fucking crazy.”
“Are you afraid of me? Everyone else is. It’s actually quite entertaining. When people hug me now they do it in the strangest way.”
He pauses to inspect his almost finished reflection, until he notices a stray sequin slowly slipping down his cheek. With a dramatic flick of his fingers he plucks it off and continues.
“It’s as if they can’t wait to get away from me. Like I have Leprosy or something.”
Michael continued to apply more sequins to shaved brows, never once taking his eyes off his own face as he addressed me.
“You think I’m some fucking get over queen! You think you’re too good for me now!
“Fuck you Michael.”
“You used to fuck me...you used to do a lot of things.”
“I still do a lot of things.”
“You don’t hang out at the club anymore.”
“It’s closed, remember.”
“It re-opened. And besides, I don’t hang out there anymore either. There’s still a lot of other places to go though.”
“I’m over the scene.”
“You seem to be over everything. How come you don’t hang out with us anymore?”
“You and the freak patrol?”
“You used to be a freak. I knew you only showed up for the free food.”
“Don’t forget the booze.”
“How could I.”
Michael finally finished applying his face and turned to me.
“So why did you come tonight?”
“I was curious.”
“Because you think I’m a murderer. Don’t you? Well they haven’t even questioned me yet.”
“They will. They always do.”
Michael started to cry. Quietly at first, then followed by loud sobbing wails. I don’t know why, but I felt sorry for him. He was so fucking pathetic and lost. It was hard to tell if he was even aware of how sick he really was. The next moment surprised me even more. He kissed me on the cheek and threw his arms around me. As I moved my head our lips met and for a brief second they locked and I kissed him back, until my mind exploded with a ripping sock to my senses.
I pulled away, but Michael grabbed me tighter. It was all I could do to breathe. I had to get the fuck outta that bathroom. His lips were still on me and his saliva streaked my skin. I was freaking, completely tweaked and ready to spew, so I bit his lips as hard as I could, until the bitter flow of warm blood rushed through my teeth and spilled all the way back into my throat. Michael started to scream as I broke free of our embrace, but all I could do was laugh, temporarily driven insane by my own surprising actions.
I felt behind myself for the doorknob and then found the lock. Once released, I pushed open the door, stopping only to take one last look in the mirror. I was met with the reflection of Michael and myself, both of us dazed and dripping blood from our mouths. It reminded me of how earlier I had realized that everyone on this fucking scene was a vampire and Michael was the biggest one of all. The roar of the room blasted into the now open bathroom doorway and I looked at Michael one last time before heading back to the table. He was saying something, but I couldn’t hear him, he was speaking so low. Forcing myself to focus, I read his lips as he repeated himself.
“They’re never going to get me.”
I wiped my blood-stained lips and spit out as much of Michael’s evil presence as I could. As I made my way back to the table, I felt everything I had eaten in the past two days suddenly rise to the back of my mouth.
“Where’s Michael?” Jenital Gal screeched as I tried to walk past her. My response was to puke all over her as she sat there and screamed.
Somehow it all seemed appropriate. I stumbled out of the restaurant, but I wasn’t ready to go home. Instead I fell into the back of one of Michael’s waiting limousines and grabbed a bottle of Cuervo, which I poured down my throat, hoping to numb myself out. I sank into the cool leather seats and closed my eyes, falling into a nightmare filled sleep from which part of me hoped never to awaken. I didn’t wake up until almost an hour later when I realized the limo was moving. I opened my eyes to see Michael jerking off some young and extremely strung out baggy panted raver.
The jerk off session ends when Michael realizes the kid is too strung out to come. He signals the driver to stop, opens the door and shoves the poor kid out into the middle of some serious midtown traffic. I look out the window and stare in disbelief as the kid struggles to pull his pants back up and not get run over. Michael is laughing hysterically and preparing to shoot up. I must be in hell or having the worst nightmare of my life.
I lean forward and press against the now closed limo door, but soon realize it’s locked from the driver’s seat and there is no easy escape. Michael has just sunk a hundred bucks worth of junk into his vein and all I can do is sit back and marvel at the sickness of it all. The limo seems to be in slow motion. Michael pulls out a vial of coke and tosses it to me. I greedily accept, not understanding my hunger to get high or why I am stuck with this troll in locked quarters for the second time that evening. I dump a mountain of powder upon my clenched fist and immediately suck it up. Time and space cease to exist and for the moment I am temporarily transfixed by my own sickness and not just his.
“Do you wanna know why I did it?”
“Did what?” I ask as innocently as I can fake.
“Please don’t play stupid, you know what I’m talking about.”
“No. What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Do I have to spell it out for you? I’m talking about why I killed that fucking pathetic drug dealing scum, Lucifer.”
“Please don’t, I really don’t wanna know...”
“Yes you do, everyone does. Now shut the fuck up and listen. I need to tell someone and it might as well be someone who doesn’t give a fuck.”
“How lucky for me.”
“He was my lover.”
“My lover, dumb ass! My piece, my fuck friend. Only there was one problem.”
“Lucifer had the fucking plague...he was positive. We barebacked one too many times and low and behold, I tested positive as well. That motherfucker never told me he had Aids. All he ever said was ‘Michael, I love you’. Well fuck him!”
Michael grabbed the vial back from me and dumped some coke onto his clenched fist, snorting it up between swigs of the half empty Cuervo bottle I had started. So at least one of the rumors was true, half true. Everyone thought that Michael had infected Lucifer, but in fact it was the other way around.
“So you killed him because he gave you Aids?” I asked, slightly shocked, but more amazed, incredulously absorbed by the bewildering circumstances unfolding before me.
“Of course that’s why. Isn’t that enough?”
I didn’t know what to say so I shut the fuck up. Michael sank back into his own seat, temporarily purged of his guilt and ready for his next high. Not a word was uttered until the limo came to a sudden stop. As I looked out the window I realized we had pulled up to the front of the E-Coli club. Michael instantly regained his composure and sprung to attention. In a flash, he leaned forward and kissed my surprised mouth. I recoiled in horror, but his sickening smile showed how oblivious he was. He hopped out of the limo and I blindly followed.
I looked around and noticed a long line of ultra scary bridge and tunnel types waiting to get into the club. Behind our limo, five more had pulled up and an avalanche of New York’s supposed club finest, including Michael’s dinner guests, poured out of them. Everyone appeared super fucked up and my coke soaked mind was freaking from the sheer spectacle unfolding before me. Boris Brahns was standing at the door like a nervous father expecting his first born and motioned for the doorman to let Michael, his little Rosemary’s Baby and myself into the club.
E-Coli was a poor imitation of Slimelight, lacking the most important thing; Meter’s money. Now Boris at least had Michael and his sick crowd, but without Meter’s cash flow it could never work. My first impression upon entering was hardly promising.
The club was chock full of imitation club kids, wannabes, hangers on and posers, as if the real ones weren’t bad enough, high on the illusion of grandeur that their sorry souls could hardly support. Michael led his now lengthy posse through the main room. We were like a freak parade and the entire club was riveted, staring at us as we made our way through the crowd to a secret staircase at the back of the club. I guessed we were about to be granted entry into the VIP room and once we entered through a door at the top of the stairs, I knew I was correct.
A group of well-worn club denizens were crashed about the dimly lit room, sprawled across several leopard print couches that looked as if they had been salvaged from the Goodwill. A small bar was set to the left while an even smaller stage was situated to the right. This was one bare bones VIP room I thought to myself as I removed myself from the herd, pulled out my flask and sat down on one of the couches so I could suck the whole demented scene in. Polynesian Acid House music was being piped in from a hidden speaker system, a bit too loud to actually allow conversation. It really didn’t matter, because this crowd couldn’t give a shit about what anyone was saying anyway.
I shook a bit from the Tequila washing down my throat, but it was chilling me out from all the coke and Michael’s confession, so who the fuck cares. I looked down at my watch and saw that it was getting close to four a.m. If I left now, I could make it back downtown in a cab to my corner bar and knock out the last bits of my consciousness. I get up and walk towards the only other door in the room, assuming it must be the john. Turns out it’s one of those co-ed situations, you know, girls, boy, drag queens, two stalls, one urinal, bad lighting and the stink of a thousand scary situations. I loved the place immediately. It made me feel warm and safe, like a nest for sick club freaks like me.
I locked myself into one of the stalls and sat down on the toilet. I raised my legs and placed the soles of my black booted feet on the door in front of me. I took another swig from my flask and looked back on the past evening. It was almost funny, if it wasn’t so goddamn sick. I closed my eyes and almost fell asleep, until I heard the shuffle of several feet swish into the bathroom and into the stall next to mine. I took a deep breath and listened in on what turned out to be quite an interesting conversation.
There were three voices. One was Michael’s. It was slurred, thick with drugs and it’s own demonic tinge. The second voice was laced with a feminine daintiness, but it was questionably male. I recognized it as Lucresia Elizabeth Gabor’s and she sounded just as fucked up as Michael if not more. The third was definitely a mans and it sounded the most messed up of the three. Macabre, tortured and torturous. I instantly knew it was Thaw, perhaps the most demented member of Michael’s inner circle. He was leading the discussion, angrily questioning Michael.
The sound of someone, probably Michael, Hoovering something up their already stuffed nose reverberated through the bathroom as I groped in the dark stall for the pen that I the writer always kept on me. At first I couldn’t find it, but after some frantic searching, I turned up a thick black Sharpie. At first I considered writing on the stall door, but my eyes fell on an extra half used roll of toilet paper behind me on the toilet receptacle. I grabbed it and proceeded to write everything that I heard coming from the next stall on the thin tissue paper. Where’s the fucking Charmin when you need it? It hungrily soaked up the ink, slowly expanding each letter until they took the shape of disfigured bubbles tattooed on TP.
“What the fuck is your problem Michael? Have you gone out of your goddamn mind?”
It was Thaw and he was seething, his words jumbled and thick like a man foaming at the mouth. Michael seemed to ignore him, for the vacuum like sniffing continued and the sound of something chipping away against metal could only be one of them cutting up more lines of coke.
It was Lucresia cutting lines on top of her Hello Kitty lunchbox that was making the noise. Thaw couldn’t handle being ignored by Michael any longer, so he tried to knock the lunchbox off of Lucresia’s lap, but Michael stopped him just before the coke blew across the floor.
“What is your fucking problem Thaw?” Michael screamed, then burst into fits of laughter, wearing his insanity as comfortably as a cardigan.
“My problem is that every-time I turn around, you’re telling someone how fabulous it is that your getting away with murder.”
“That’s not what I’m saying!”
“It’s what people think!” piped in Lucresia as she wiped her chalk white nostrils clean.
“Shut the fuck up Lucresia!” Michael shot back, but Thaw was hardly satisfied.
“If anybody finds out...”
“Finds out what Thaw? About how you helped me cut off Lucifer’s head because I was in too much of a K hole to finish up the job?”
“Shut up Michael, this is serious.”
“About how you told me that Lucifer deserved to die because he was spreading the plague and that we could get away with his entire stash, which incidentally, you finished after a few weeks without sharing even the tiniest bit with me?”
“You never told me that part Michael,” Lucresia purred, searching through her lunchbox for her waterproof mascara and hopefully some more coke.
“It gets better, believe me,” hissed Michael, grabbing the mascara out of Lucresia's hand once she found it. As he started to apply it to his already clumpy lashes, Thaw grabbed him by the throat and slammed him against the wall.
“So now you’re blabbing everything to this kiddie pimp cunt?” Thaw said as Michael struggled free of his grip.
“Fuck you Thaw, you’ve fucked half of those little boys, with or without Michael, so cut the self righteous crap,” Lucresia snapped back as she swiped the mascara away from Michael and began applying it to herself. “You’re just as fucked up as Michael. For all I know, both of you freaks could kill me right now and I could end up a headless cadaver like Lucifer!”
“Cut the crap Lucresia, can’t you see you’re just egging him on,” said Michael as he pushed Lucresia off the toilet seat, sat down and pulled a bag of K out of his pocket and snorted the whole thing at once.
“So Lucresia knows everything. Who else does? How many more Michael? Do you think we can kill them all like Lucifer?”
“The thought had crossed my mind...” Michael mumbled but Lucresia cut him off.
“Well get the fuck over it you freak, because Lucresia Elizabeth Gabor ain’t goin’ out like that!”
“Chill out Lucresia. Thaw’s just a little hot under the collar. He forgets that he’s in this just as deep, if not deeper, as I am. Right Thaw? Right?!”
There was a long uncomfortable silence punctuated by the familiar snorting noises, which almost seemed to serve as a second language for these crazy K heads. I was getting a huge cramp in my ass from sitting still for so long, but I was afraid to make even the slightest move in case I made a noise and they heard me. The next sound was as unexpected as it was frightening. There was the thud of a hard thump against the side of the stall, accompanied by the sound of Lucresia’s screams piercing the air. I held onto the toilet with one hand while my other continued to write down what I was about to hear.
“Why did you hit him Thaw?! screamed Lucresia.
“Cause I’m sick of his shit,” answered Thaw as he knocked Michael upside his head one more time. Michael collapsed further into Lucresia’s hardly able arms, then his body began to twitch as he suffered one of the numerous seizures which seemed to afflict him on a daily basis these days.
“Oh shit, is he having another one of his spas attacks?”
“No thanks to you and your bad temp...” Lucresia cried.
Lucresia never got to finish her sentence. Thaw pulled out a knife and plunged it straight into her screaming mouth and out the back of her thick hairy neck. I ran out of toilet paper at the exact same moment that I noticed a stream of blood start to trickle from the next stall into mine. Lucresia had stopped screaming and Michael’s seizing body hit the floor, where he bounced for a few more seconds like a fish out of water. Lucresia’s now dead body collapsed upon Michael’s, smearing him with the river of blood that continued to flow from her neck.
Thaw unlocked the stall door and rushed over to the sink. He washed his hands over and over again, muttering something unintelligible to himself. After a few moments he turned off the faucet and dried his hands, obviously frustrated that there was still blood not only all over his clothes, but splattered on his shoes as well. He cursed aloud then ran from the bathroom, probably out of the club. Wouldn’t you if you had just stabbed someone to death?
I was frozen in fear, repulsion and utter fascination. I didn’t know what to do, but when Lucresia’s blood soaked arm seemed to move under my stall, I cried out loud and bolted, pausing for a moment to take in the whole sick scene that had played out next to me. Lucresia’s eyes were wide open, suspended in a frightening look that made me sick to my stomach.
Michael was starting to come out of his seizure and the last thing I saw were his pleading eyes as he struggled to escape from under the weight of Lucresia’s body. The look he gave me cut into my sub-conscious like a laser ripping into steel. I immediately ran from the bathroom, clutching my wad of toilet paper and shaking as if I had been locked in a freezer for eternity.
The VIP room was still packed with posers and trolls, the air thick with attitude and the stench of European cigarettes that made me want to puke. I fairly ran through the crowd, looking straight into the faces of people I used to call my friends, even though they were hardly even acquaintances. I hated them all, yet without them I was alone, lost in a world where people got up and went to work just as I was usually heading off to my third after-hours. I was hardly above any of them, yet I had fooled myself that I was. Only now I had a roll of toilet paper in my hands that was going to buy me the easiest and hopefully guiltless exit from a scene that I had come to deplore.
Nobody even looked twice at me as I ran down the staircase, through the club and out the door. It wasn’t until ten minutes later, when I was sitting in a cab and not realizing that I had already told the driver where I was going, that I snapped back into reality and told the driver once again to take me to The New York Post. Once we pulled up to the newspaper’s offices, I fished a crumpled twenty out of my pocket and casually tossed it through the partition. Then I waited for five hours until the offices opened and walked into one of the weirdest situations of my life.
The next days Post had the slashed neck of Lucresia on the cover and an exclusive interview with me, the star witness. For the next week the papers were full of stories about Michael the murderer. Every club troll worth their weight in body glitter tried to squeeze their own fifteen minutes out of it and many succeeded. The police picked him up after he had a seizure in Rat Field’s trendy Ninth Street boutique while trying on a pair of foot high lace up stacked platforms. He nearly broke his neck.
Thaw is still somewhere on the run, hopefully the moon for all I care. But just in case he ever shows his face, I always watch my back. Especially when I’m trolling through dark nightclubs, where the people you think are your friends may turn out to be killers and a dead drag queen in the bathroom is just another passing fancy.
Yeah, I know. I was gonna quit going to clubs and clean up my act, but you knew I really wouldn’t. I’m just as big a sucker for all the phony bullshit and insincere thrills the scene has to offer. It’s all grist for the mill, any kind of mill you want. Pervert, fruits and freaks preferred. And they all lived happily ever after.