On Halloween, I was supposed to meet a girl who works with JC, one my one of best friends. Great, I thought, this is where I’m at in life: the fix-up. Excellent. JC and his wife Laura spent a goodly portion of my birthday weekend prepping me. Not a fix-up, they assured me, just a costume party at which we’d both be in attendance. Fine.
Between telling me how funny she was, that her name was Marcy Graham but everyone called her Macy Gray, and that they thought we’d hit it off, it was a picture show.
AJC: Wow, I can’t believe you got us all tickets to Leonard Cohen tonight.
JC (thrusting IPHONE into my face): Here’s her Facebook picture.
AJC: She’s cute. I’ve always wanted to see Leonard Cohen, but the tickets-
LAURA (thrusting IPHONE into my face): Here she is at a Cancer benefit.
AJC: Okay, she’s cute in a cocktail dress. Um... but I thought the tickets were too expensive. Should we have a cocktail first, or-
JC (thrusting IPHONE into my face): Here she is with purple hair and a nose ring.
AJC: Great, she’s cute and punk and I’ll meet her at this Halloween thing and we’ll hit it off and have lots of sex and babies, okay?
JC & LAURA: If you want.
AJC: Let’s drink now. Heavily.
Anyhoo, JC and Laura had one reservation about Macy Gray; she attends church. Doesn’t cross my eyes none (no pun intended). I subscribe to the Bible passage in Matthew where Jesus says to go into your room and pray by yourself (and "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you"), but I’m not much for fellowship. As long as Macy didn’t expect me to attend with her, cool.
I was trying to decide what to be for Halloween. With an eye for the romantic, Cleopatra pounced on Macy’s church-going ways. Cleo told me I should find out what Macy Gray planned on being, then dress up as her partner.
“For instance, I’m going as Cleopatra,” she said. “You’d be Anthony.”
Of course, that’s what ended up happening (and why I call her Cleopatra), but I bring up Macy Gray because of what Cleo said next.
“Oh, she’s a church girl. I’ve got it; you should go as Jesus. The second you walk into the party, she’ll be all over your dick.”
JC took me to Casa de los Trucos on eighth street; Historic Calle Ocho, if you subscribe to hyperbolic street signs. The line to get in Casa de los Trucos stretched to the parking lot. When customers left, a bouncer would let the next few people in. Inside it was hot, crowded, loud, and festooned with every costume you could ever want, on the cheap. Thankfully, I was rolling with JC, one of those guys who doesn’t necessarily know everyone, but who knows someone who knows someone. In this case, he used to rent an apartment from the owner. He looked up the costume I needed (on the cursed IPHONE) and got us help.
Thrift led me to a Caesar costume similar to how I remembered Marlon Brando’s senate robes as Marc Anthony in 1953's Julius Caesar. Here’s a picture of the costume I bought at Casa de los Trucos:
This is no Caesar. Clearly, this costume enjoyed a previous life as a Prince of Peace costume. It didn’t sell, so the company was like, “Screw it. Sew some gold around the edges, put some leaves in the dude’s hair, and change the name.” And I, balking at the price tag of the costume I really wanted, fell for it.
It might be worth noting that Trucos is “tricks” en Englais.
When I got home and took a long look, I realized this would not do. It might be a funny sight gag for Cleopatra. Remember how I was supposed to be with Church Girl tonight? But then she’d have to stand next to me the whole night.
No problem. I haven’t made my own costumes in a while, but it’s like riding a bicycle. All I needed was a trip to Party City and a sewing kit from CVS. Fifteen bucks later, I had this:
That's me between Caesar and Cleopatra.
Marc Anthony, not the singer.