In which Mim does Halloween the Montreal way
My Halloween started off with some good ol’ grocery shopping where I was served by a partially decapitated checkout chick. A corpse bride unpacked a box of long-life milk, a mime served me at the deli counter, and an Elizabethan Queen offered me a cheese sample. Like many other stores on Mount Royal Ave., the supermarket had been transformed into something dungeon-esque with spider webs, bats, pumpkins and skulls, but it was the costumes that impressed me the most.
On the way home I came close to death. I walked past him—the Grimm Reaper, that is—standing in front of a dépanneur. He held a scythe in one hand and a diet Coke in the other. Further down the street I passed a witch with five animal children trailing behind her and then a sailor smoking casually on the corner.
When night fell the kids came out. I could hear the trick-or-treaters from the eighth storey of my apartment building. Later in the evening, I went to my friend’s on the tenth floor to transform myself into something non-human. The day before, we found out that we happened to be dressing as the same thing: a pale, white-haired, stripey-suited Beetlejuice. What were the chances? We are both from Melbourne (but had met in the apartment elevator one evening in September), so perhaps it was some spooky telepathic Australian thing that only happens on Halloween. Although we were going to separate parties, we decided to get ready together. Sharing grey hair spray, white face paint and three metres of pinstriped fabric we created two very different Beetlejuices.
Just before midnight my flapper friend showed up with gin and a deadly amount of Halloween candy. Only at 1:30 a.m. did we finally rock up to the intended destination: Metropolis on Ste-Catherine St. for a Halloween event called First Kontakt. All kinds of creatures lurked out in front, but inside, it was another world. I admit, the night was a little hazy. I met a moose, may have been hit on by a gangster and (I think) was insulted by a zombie. Despite there being hundreds of people (perhaps over a thousand), I managed to bump into a university friend in the middle of the dance floor. Engulfed by a sea of people dressed as villains, sinister creatures, something sexual or something deceased, I felt like I was at the centre of post-apocalyptic madness.
Luckily I got home in one piece. Just. People sprinted for taxis like animals chasing after prey. A girl literally bared her teeth at me as she told me to get lost—“this is mine.” It was so hard to find an available cab that I didn’t get home until 5 a.m. I hear that the after party went past 7 a.m., so in that respect my evening was apparently pretty civilized. Montreal, you sure know how to Halloween.