…and they drink a lot. Well, I did. Honestly it wasn’t that bad, except for trying to find a suitable costume for my character (a gangster hit man posing as a gambler. No, really.) To be honest, the amount of characters and all the “clue” pages and background story were just too much to get a handle on with a martini or two in hand. I noticed that the crowed really divided into two groups: Those that took it seriously and those who didn’t. Guess which camp I was in, which made it a bit uncomfortable when people would approach me “in character” asking what I knew about the money or the body or the affair. And on a secondary layer, when you met anyone, you weren’t sure if they wanted to know your real name or that of your character. On the plus side, the food was very good, and most of the people were very nice, and the view from this apartment was spectacular. The oddest moment of the evening was meeting an honest-to-god right wing nut in the kitchen, who kept moaning about those no-good Occupy Wall Street people and how under Obama the country was careening towards “socialism”. I swear, he actually used those words. After berating him for a few minutes, I had to get out of the room he was in, or the night was liable to turn into a real murder mystery (minus the mystery).
Although I am admittedly somewhat of a geek, I was never the type to engage much in fantasy role-play of any kind. I was never into DnD, never dressed up as a favorite comic book character for Comic-Con, never wanted to be a blacksmith (or wench for that matter) at a Renfair. And with the developments of virtual reality and the internet, I have likewise never felt the siren call of Second Life and its ilk. Not to put too fine a point on it, but even in the bedroom I couldn’t be less interested in pretending to be a fireman or cable repair guy in some elaborate getup or setup. I kind of like interacting in the real world as myself, and feel a little silly when playing a role.
So it is with some trepidation that I agreed to go to some type of murder mystery birthday party this evening. I am not exactly sure how I got roped into it, to tell the truth. I was invited by a good friend of a good friend of mine to a birthday party and I RSVPd before knowing that there was anything special (or odd) about it. As far as I knew, I was just agreeing to come to a party on a certain date (tonight). Ok, maybe I didn’t read the original invite too closely, but let’s just say it didn’t become all that clear to me until I received an email informing me of my “character” and suggestions for what I should wear. This was followed in the mail a few days later with a secret letter (addressed to my character) that is not to be opened until this evening. Since this is some type of murder mystery, is it too much to hope that mine will be the character who has been murdered?
It is in trying times that you find out who your real friends are. I am grieved to tell you that I apparently have no friends. I was told by the host that I could bring someone along with me, but NONE of my so-called friends would agree to it after hearing the setup. Nurse me through surgery? No problem. Help me move? Check. Loan me money? Of course. Go with me to a wierd role-playing party? See ya.
When I turned 40 about a year ago, A few friends from (very) far away places made an extraordinary effort and extraordinary trip to come (literally) half way around the world to come help me celebrate in Thailand. One of those very dear friends, Maureen, told me at the time that no matter where I was in the world, I was obligated to come to her 40th the following year. And so I came back from Mexico (not very far at all really) to attend her birthday bash last night in Glendale. It was a lovely party, with all of her friends (and a few of mine) in attendance, great food and great fun. Happy birthday, Mo! You deserve all the happiness and love there is to be had.
I had been thinking that it might be nice to throw an intimate goodbye party of some sort with a few of the friends I have made here. All this past week I was trying to decide the best way to accomplish it. Perhaps a party at my apartment? Meet out at a bar for drinks? A fancy group dinner? It took me until Friday, but I finally decided on the perfect combination of casual, fun and tasty. I would invite a group of friends to meet at my favorite taco place, El Califa for an informal goodbye. I sent out the email and awaited responses. It turned out that Daniel was in Brazil, so he couldn’t make it. Ditto for Javier, who had to leave to go to the US on Saturday morning. Gerardo and Roberto told me they already had plans and unfortunately couldn’t come. And I didn’t hear back from Bernardo, Raul, Israel or Mariano, so they obviously weren’t going. Well, at least Salvador and Rocco were coming. That was, until Rocco called Saturday afternoon to let me know that he wasn’t, in fact, coming. That left just Salvador and me and El Califa. Oh well, I thought, and as I prepared to leave my apartment it began to rain, heavily. It was really starting to feel like that SATC episode where Carrie turns 35 all alone. I arrived at the restaurant soaked and broke into a fit of laughter.
Some new friends took me to a gay party in the neighborhood last night. It was a lot of fun and really interesting to see what gay life is like here, especially after spending a year in Asia. It could not have been more different. The rare parties that I would go to in India were very closed affairs. Usually when talking to people there one would see how incredibly afraid they were to be public in any way. They would tell stories of their family “duty” and plans for marriage. They would talk about how unimportant it was to be able to live openly. There were a few rare exceptions of course, and I think these people are very brave (and necessary). Here in Mexico, attending this party was a completely different feeling. It was lively and open and I doubt there was anyone in attendance who felt the need to be particularly discreet. Everyone was very friendly and although such environments are a huge challenge when trying to speak Spanish (because of the chaos and noise), I felt very comfortable and welcome. Mexico has a reputation for being a culture of machismo, and perhaps this is true in many areas, but it also seems a culture that is changing rapidly in this regard.