Monday, November 26, 2012

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder

This was our first year in the West Bottoms during the Haunted House season. While not a fan or a participant we have enjoyed watching. Lurking I suppose at those who did. There are 4 houses within a few blocks of the loft and our "deck-dock" (not a term you will find in the dictionary) is a great place to watch people. Thanks to one of our neighbors in the building, Paul Morgan, we have chairs, tables and outdoor heaters.
We waited with great anticipation for the openings - expecting huge crowds and revelers dressed in all types of costumes.We were told that in years past the lines extended around the block of people waiting to get in. This year, I don't think haunted house goers got their Obama money. Except for the weekend before and on Halloween night the crowds were a bit sparse. Saturday was the last night for this year and The Beast did have a nice long line that night.
  Chainsaw man
But, that doesn't mean we didn't have fun.We have had dry, mild weather here. A jacket most nights made it comfortable. People walking by didn't know if you "lived" in the building and many stopped to talk. It was like having your own private deck, dropped in the middle of entertainment and maintaining all the comforts of home. Well, almost! Bathroom, frig and usually Bailey.
Zombie Girl
Many of the "actors" actually volunteer to do the haunted houses. They run September and October. It is like a big dress up party watching them arrive and the one's we have met really put their all into it. As one put it, "it is just too much fun having a job where you get to dress up and scare people".
Snake Man at the Beast
We enjoy the West Bottoms. The good, the bad, but most of all the interesting. Life gets so stagnant and beige so easily. We both fear getting beige as much as getting old. Since you probably wouldn't be reading this unless you know me - I know many of the "campers" or what some call homeless. The choices we make in life - turn left or turn right today - get us where we are and make us who we appear to be. Their stories are much more than you might imagine. 
This is Coop and White Eagle - they stopped by and chatted on Halloween. White Eagle went camping 12 years ago and hasn't gone "home". Their head gear flashed bright blue and yellow lights. We discussed the organization of their very socialistic way of living. Their camp, each person has certain responsibilities based on their talents - one picks up aluminum cans, one looks for wood, one looks for blankets - and it all goes in a communal "pot". If you get lost or are passing through, you have a place to stay and a meal. It was like looking at society through a time glass and seeing how we evolved in our society only they stop a certain point. 
The antique dealers down here leave things out on the dock during the first weekend sales. LOTS of stuff. It does not get stolen. If you leave it in the street or next to the dumpster - then they know it is for them. They are an almost invisible society - parallel universe - and holes have been torn between the two but you cannot really cross over. 
Anyway, the highlight of this entire conversation was that we were invited to their camp for bar-b-que. (When the food stamps come in). They haven't figured out how to get us there because these are guarded secrets - but truthfully - being asked was quite a compliment. 
Oh and finding out that raccoon is much better meat than possum. Something that will be good to know when the zombie apocalypse comes!
No apologies for who they are, no sense that they don't live in the right neighborhood, no sense of failure. Interesting the lack of stress when I live in a stressed life daily. 
I will close this rather long dissertation with The Rat Man and his apprentice. They live 2 buildings down from us in the same building as the Edgar Allen Poe Rue Morgue Haunted House. Yes, they are live rats, yes, they are in their mouths. The large one is "Dinna". He works at the Edge of Hell and is quite an attraction. Very nice family - and because of them we have a school bus stop in the West Bottoms industrial district.

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Roeland Park, Kansas, United States
Life is short. We seek adventure where we can find it. If you would like to travel along - follow the crumbs we leave on the blog. Photographic Illustrations, bricolage art and Relic Hunting are our methods. If you don't have a good time - you aren't trying. "I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom; I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet