Monday, January 07, 2002

In the days of innocence, before the fall of the twin towers, I dived into the night in New York. With me on that journey into places I would never see in clean, well-lit Volda, were Hanna, the lovely Finnish goth-girl, matthew, my faithful companion in NYC, and dub, the photographer. Hanna and I started at her place in Greenwich Village, a dingy little appartment close to NYU illegally sub-let through a friend under the pretense that she was his sister, drinking and dressing for the evening. I needed her to lace me into the outfit - and she was happy to oblige, while getting help with her own hooks and buttons and laces. I can see why women who wore oldfashioned complicated outfits had maids... Apart from the fact that it's fun to prepare in company.

Hanna was a wonder in black, from her hair by way of her lipstick and to the pointy toes of her laced boots. The corset over a flaring black lace skirt and the long black gloves with the tiny buttons at the wrist turned her into a dark Princess - one of those who don't wait for the knight in order to be saved, but with dark and wicked intent. I was in simpler blacks, carrying clothes for conferences rather than the outrageous dens into which we were to descend that night. Still, on heels I easily top 6 feet, and there's enough of me to claim attention even when dressing fairly conservatively.

Hannah and I went on our way first, and due to an error, we had to wait for the guys to catch up with us. At a bar close to the place we were going Hannah lost her silver choker, a wide glittering chain resting like a collar about her neck. She gave it to me, asking that I fix it and replace it. I pressed the links back in shape - my hands are strong and the metal was soft - while talking to her, for some reason both of us looking quite serious. Then both of us rose - we were too tightly laced into our outfits for either one of us to bend much to accomodate the other - and our movements took on a careful, formal choreography, every movement deliberate and quite graceful as I stepped close to her, she bowed her head at my approach, and I fastened the choker about that slender neck offered to me.

As we both sank down in our chairs, we discovered that the guests in the bar were applauding us. Later, in the club, we were told why. They thought I had collared Hannah that night, made her my property, and with matthew and dub at polite attention, I suddenly had an aura for which I was not prepared. In the eyes of the clubbers, many of whom had been waiting in the same bar as us: If Hannah was a Princess of Darkness, I was the Queen, the ruling Lady with My little court wooing for My attention, and they circled to join...

It was an odd night, and I walked on floors sticky with substances I would not wish to learn more about outside of a laboratory, surrounded by people who could have as easily come straight from a fashion show as crawled out of the nearest medieval dungeon. While I am quite comforted that I'll never encounter anything like it in Volda, or even in Bergen, where I go to feel what it's like to be urban, it's good to have seen that I can still be surprised, still learn something new about humanity, and still see myself in a new and different role. dub, the former paparazzi of NYC clubs, took our pictures and made a slick little collage, as dark and odd and tasteless as that night was. Here we are, matt, me and Hannah. the Princess of Darkness:

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