There have been millions and millions of Halloween parties.
I’ve been to dozens and dozens of them. I was thinking back this morning to
some of the better ones. The Halloween where I dressed as a ninja in this black
imitation silk thing and wound up snorting coke with a pack of strippers in my
friend Pete’s bathroom, the Halloween where someone fell off the roof and
landed right on this terrifying asshole two feet in front of me, the super
dumbass Halloween where I ate some kind of turbo mushroom/hash brownie and
suffered heart palpitations, all fine and dandy, but no Halloween holds a
candle to the Fountain of Blood party more than three decades ago in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don’t even know how that shit happened. People went
crazy that night, and I, a 15 year old fugitive, was among them.
The story begins with the fugitive part. I’d run away from a foster home in Missouri and people were looking for me. It happens. You aren’t supposed to split and cross state lines and bla bla bla. I’d fallen in with a pitiful group of losers but nearby, a bionic nest of bigtime losers were up to cool shit. Fountain of Blood was a punk/grunge/industrial band and they had a party, such was their wherewithal. And in that party, a Chernobyl guy brewed up a massive cauldron of tasty mushroom tea. I was dressed as a monk, just underwear and a Hindu-looking bed sheet, not really the right look for that kind of shindig, but whatever. One mug of mushroom tea, filled at the bottom with great slimy snails of mushroom goodness, and I lost that fucking robe sheet and became, in all my glory, a fifteen year old kid in his underwear.
The music was loud. The people were freaking out. A guy
covered in blood rushed past me at one point. A naked chick was dancing on a
table and wiped out. I went outside and lit a cigarette from the pack I had in
my underpants elastic and there, in the sultry New Mexico night, a night full
of bugs and stars, I stared longingly at a Honda Passport scooter parked
nearby. How I would have liked to have one of those, I thought. Oh just to
ride, to be free, to leave the howling pack of mad people behind me and roll
through the darkness. What fun that would be. About that time I noticed a key
sticking out of the other side of my underpants elastic and I realized that
scooter was mine.
Quick as a flash I was gone. The streets were oddly quiet for a Halloween. Some time later I stopped at a traffic light and a lowrider full of Mexican thugs pulled up in the lane next to me. We looked at each other, kindred spirits, and I saluted them. I don’t know what they were thinking, but they somberly saluted back. I finally made it home and hours later I watched the sunrise, at peace with the world. Stories from that party are told every Halloween, from Portland to New York, from Hong Kong to Cape Town. That group of revelers went on to spread across the globe. In the end, that might be the true measure of a Halloween party. Three cheers to my old pals Mike Martinez and Alan Deem, both survivors of that night, and both members of that fabled band, Albuquerque’s own Fountain of Blood.