Some months ago, Mr. C.W.L. Darling – we’ve known each other since we were five, and we’re still fairly close – was having a birthday celebration. The theme – released months in advance – was “Tragic Drag”. Now, I know that he meant drag badly done, but I immediately knew that it was absolutely necessary that I dress as Miss Havisham, fromGreat Expectations, and that I do it badly. If you’re not familiar, she’s a spiteful spinster that has worn her wedding dress for several decades. She’s rather bitter.
Obviously, I would need a wedding dress, and while I used to be able to slip into a size six years ago, that is no longer the case. I also wanted to distress it, so it couldn’t be too expensive. That’s why, while waiting to see Beauty and the Beast: 3-D, Ex-Husband and I went to the local thrift shop, where we found something approximately in my size. For the next several weeks, I’d don that dress each evening, trying to simulate sixty years of heartbreak and madness in a fortnight. I slashed the skirt to ribbons while I was wearing it. I spilled several kinds of wine in various spots, set it on fire, rolled around in the mud while wearing it, and so on and so forth – I’m a dedicated costumer. Unfortunately, Ex-Husband drew the line at my drawing blood to put onto the dress, despite the fact that it would add verisimilitude. I don’t see the problem – it wouldn’t have been his.
Finally, it was all set, and the day had arrived. Now, I don’t drive anymore, and Ex-Husband wasn’t invited, and had other plans, anyway. He took me to Tacoma, where I was catching a ride with some friends, but he had to be in Seattle several hours before I was to meet them – at the Mix, as it happens – and the bar wasn’t open yet. Clearly I was not going to be wearing a wedding gown and all the accoutrements all day, or downtown in daylight. Therefore, a fifty gallon black trash-bag was the obvious solution. I wandered about the streets I knew best, found a spot of lunch, and still had time to spare. When I’m at loose ends, I tend to explore, and that’s how I found myself wandering down a warren of brick alley-ways with a wedding dress in a sack.
Two hours later, I was able to roundez-vous with my ride and get a cocktail or two. For the record, the party was splendid, although my host *did* have to assist in wrangling my train for the bulk of the evening.