Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cheerful Goth

I live on the wrong side of life,
I’m the one you fear as you hold your wife.
I run where the darker crowds run,
On the rain swept streets where black rain runs.

I’ll admit it: I’m a creature of the night. No, not one of those creatures of the night; sunlight does not destroy me, nor does a crucifix or a clove of garlic affect me. (My breath, perhaps, but not my physical well-being.) (A silver bullet probably does the trick, but, then again, so would a garden-variety lead bullet, and I’m not anxious to test the proposition.) I enjoy wandering at night, cool breezes moving over my hair, my face, my body. Direct sun makes me sluggish – and wary, as though God is dazzling me with the brilliant light to direct me away from the things I’d rather see. Perhaps paradoxically, the dark often shows a thing in its true light. Or a person in his true light. I prefer it that way.

And, of course, the dark is more soothing if one happens to be hung over. Not that this happens to me, but I’ve heard rumors.

As part of my becoming one with the dark, I often dress as a creature of the night. I blend in. If I have a style, it’s gothic in nature – Dark Shadows more than medieval cathedrals, however. Lots of black, and deep purples and reds. The Cure on my mental soundtrack. Of course it’s partly an affectation, but one with which I’m comfortable. Take me as I am, as they say.

But this lifestyle seems to be a bit on the…ah, depressed side, shall we say? Lots of fog, no problem. Dark, brick buildings, crumbling at the corners, with vines working their way into the mortar, works for me. But all the graveyards, and vampires, zombies, dead and undead…sheesh, and all so serious. C’mon guys, crack a smile some time! This is supposed to be fun!

So next time you see me, say hello and smile. I might even smile back.

I see things the darker kids see
Though you wouldn’t believe all that’s happened to me.
I’ve been to the backside of hell,
And I’ve played with your fear and enjoyed it well.

(Abney Park, "The Wrong Side")

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