[Manic Mondays] Dracula’s Ball

posted in: Manic Mondays | 1

I don’t go to the club much anymore.  For one, it’s about impossible to get anyone to come with.  For two, I work a lot of ten hour days that start at 7a and I’m 35 now so generally speaking, if I’m not out of the house by 8p at the very latest, I’m not leaving.

I spent a lot of time in my twenties in Philly (the city Jesus loves last, as per Ms. K.) thrashing around The Trocadero and Shampoo not wearing much of anything, usually a mini, a baby blue fishnet top that glowed under the blacklight and a white leopard bra that also glowed with stompy boots with sparkly laces.  Sometimes, it was school girl cool, sometimes it was something crazy like a Heidi dress made out of shiny PVC with white ruffled eyelet fabric that barely covered my ass.  Like you do.

I would drink mostly shots because I was trying to get somewhere if you know what I’m saying.  At a Dracula’s Ball once the bartender was supposed to be making April and me midori sours but it was from a strange bottle and April said, “This tastes funny, I’m not going to finish mine” and I said, “I finished mine, I’ll finish yours too” and then proceeded to spend the rest of the night tripping, sitting huddled on the floor against the wall watching the lights.

Dracula’s Ball was once something almost straight out of a Vampire: The Masquerade campaign which thrilled me to no end.  The Elder Goth Statesmen & Women would come dressed in their absolute finest (because they could afford it), everything from cyberpunk to corsets that cost more than a car payment to full latex to full Georgian outfits with side panniers and powdered wigs.  They would hold court downstairs in the tiny alcoves while the kids would be upstairs in the open air part bumming cigarettes, spinning glowstick poi and making out in the hot tub (I would only put my fishnet clad feet in, any more than that I was sure to wind up pregnant with an octopus or something).  In the main room, girls with long blond dreads, electric tape over their nipples and platform boots would dance on top of the speakers.

I loved that when I danced, I could be dancing with nobody or with any of the four people nearest to me.  Goth dancing usually maintained a space bubble which always pleased April and you were never quite sure who you were dancing with and if someone was chatting you up or not due to all the preening and posing.

When we found out that Rasputina would be playing the Troc for Dracula’s Ball for the first time in a loooong time (Melora has a love/hate relationship with both the Troc and Dracula’s Ball, mostly on the hate side), Jow and I knew we would have to go.

It was smaller than it used to be, people didn’t dress for it the way they once did but money doesn’t flow quite as freely for most of us to buy expensive clothes.  I wore my velvet Tortured Souls dress that I used to wear with nothing under it (we also didn’t have camera phones then) but a bit more modestly than I used to.  After all, I’m not twenty anymore myself.

It was lovely, haunting an old haunt.  As I drove, I murmured about this song or that song being a good omen for the night and we drank straight shots of whiskey and red headed sluts when we got there.  Having been drinking at home for some time now, I can tell the drinks were massively watered down because it took four shots to get anywhere.  When they played The Cure, I ran down the stairs to dance, getting winded far too quickly unlike the Elder Gothic Stateswoman who looked close to my mom’s age with long lovely tatter black skirts who didn’t even break a sweat.

Rasputina came on and we rushed downstairs again as I slithered like a snake to the front, Jow’s hand clasped in mine.  Daniel was playing with Melora and oh!  I am so in love with him.  He was absolutely dreamy in red bloomers, a corset and pvc heeled boots.  A tiny blond female drummer I had never seen who had a truly ethereal soprano voice. It was a short set and I appreciated that Melora had zero fucks to give about what others wanted from her.  She played two unreleased songs and a few newer songs.  She didn’t reach back into the vault until the entire theater vibrated from both floors stomping the floor so hard for an encore that I wasn’t sure if the whole theater would crash down around us.  Then she played Jow and my song, “Hunter’s Kiss” which was incredible with the drummer’s counter part to Melora’s and Daniel’s furious bowing.

Afterwards, Jow wanted to dance and a Depeche Mode song came on and I was dreamily trancing out, vaguely dancing with a coterie of young bustle skirted girls and an industrial guy when Daniel strode out and Jow totally broke Srs Goth Face by laughing so hard he almost fell over.  “YOU’RE LIKE A TEEN AGED GIRL!  YOU’RE HILARIOUS!” he hollered.  “YOU WENT FROM ELDER GOTH DANCE TO STANDING LIKE A DEER IN A HEADLIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DANCE FLOOR, COMPLETELY UNMOVING!  YOU LOVE HIM!  YOU WANT TO HAVE TEN THOUSAND BABIES WITH HIM!  GO TELL HIM!  GO TELL HIM!”  “I don’t even know what I’d say anyway,” I muttered, glaring at him.  “I LIKE YOUR BOOTS?  YOU PLAYED A GREAT SET?”  “Where were you with these great ideas before he left?  He’s gone now anyway.  And you have to be up at 7a tomorrow anyway, jerk.  Let’s go home and we’ll get disco fries and taylor ham on a hard roll with gravy on the side.”  And with that, lighting a clove on our way to the car, we headed back out into the night.


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Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


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