Rorschach’s Journal: July 12, 2012
Hotels smell. Not always conspicuously of waste and rot, but inevitably of troubling memories. Our Comic-Con hotel reeked of bad consciences…and fish parts. Nestled in the festering heart of a dilapidated industrial complex, a place where fish are gutted to feed to larger, performing fish in a nearby aquatic prison, the fear of being likewise unburdened of our insides hung thick in the air. Casting off the encumbrances of travel, and feeling the merciful relief of putting back my face, I began the trek to the train station; those who stay in cushy resorts on the convention grounds…they are soft. Boarded the train with bevvies of costumed heroes and villains alike. These people are unafraid of me. Convention center bursting at the seams like a poorly made corset, spilling the fleshy excess into the street. I am recognized; hear my name called in conspicuous whispers.
Badge line, not a fan of registrations. Too “on the grid” for my taste. Learned quickly that negotiating Con is a minefield of awkward encounters. Humanity funneled through greasy chutes of wares and exhibition; chutes alive with stink and supposedly inadvertent groping. I stalked the floor, aghast at the sheer number of cosplayers and undiagnosed pathological hoarders. The arteries of aisles expanded and contracted every few moments, but all seemed content to contend for space. How are they so happy? Many were eager to be photographed with me; not usually one to warrant cordial welcomes. Mural in middle of exhibition hall, a towering tribute to we Watchmen. I see my own face several feet high, queasy at the heightened publicity.
In bad need of fix, my addiction calls. Wander over to Mondo booth, expecting to have to rearrange the bone structures of a great many other loyal customers to obtain my drug. Shocked to see the locusts had yet to descend. Further adornment for the walls of my sanctum acquired; tremors and irritability retreat…for now. Wander into Hall H, the holy mecca of Comic-Con. A place where the pop culture faithful worship upon the alter of hype. Typically they claw each other to shreds to stand where I am. I find the temple deserted. Day appears to be coming to a close, the time has come to venture back to the dank, dark hole we call lodging. I have never felt more at home.
Just prior to foraging for sustenance with consummate lunatic Robert Fure, tragedy strikes. My face, the fabric of my identity develops a tear. Panic sets in like a hot current of tiny syringes. Food can wait, I must be healed. Man approaches me in drug store, I assume a beggar come calling for alms. Not until he has begun to babble as he wanders down the aisles that I notice the head wound. The bleeding is profuse, his actions erratic. I cannot remove him in my current disguise. As I leave I hear him ask clerk for assistance. I suggest stapler.
Back in the precarious quiet of the room, I set to work mending my flesh. Can’t help but recognize synchronicity of the night’s events. My own wound pulses, I fumble with needles and thread and mutter until it can be stitched. Just as tragedy has been averted, a cacophony of bangs and blasts permeates the room. Could be the celebratory fireworks from nearby sea park…could be the awakening of the local criminal element. The ambiguity is comforting.
Tomorrow is another day, and I will now be able to face it. Pun intended…to cause pain.