Kat and I went to work on Friday night at the Crystal Ballroom, Lola's Room (http://www.mcmenamins.com/crystalballroom). There was a "cd" release party scheduled and our task was to video someone who was attending. Kat and I are investigators.  Really.  


This is that story. It is a true story. 

We started the evening with food at McMenamins...tater tots, cheeseburger, and whatever Kat had that was healthier (does't really deserve mention since it wasn't beef ha). The doors to the event opened at 8. Festivities to start at 9. We headed over around 730 and the bouncers, if you can call them that (I could have taken them with a pinky), viewed our ID's and sent us up. We should have know how the evening was going to go when they commented something about "join the 15 people!" Not easily swayed, we head up the stairs, through the hallway toward a darkened room where two people were already leaving. Not a good sign when people leave before it starts. 

There's a bar on the west side, which is a good thing, if you can drink. Again, we were working...but I could have used a big drink. I decided later that a drink wouldn't have been tangible anyway since it could get roofied... So we find a nice table with a view of the room and do a quick scan. The room is dark, clearly no video will be taken tonight. There are about 15 people in the room, mostly dressed in black and not clearly recognizable. Not like I'd recognize them anyway since I tend to personally steer clear of those parts of town.

We spot the chick we're looking for as she mingles. She's clearly fine. Begs the question, how long do we wait. Oh, I haven't mentioned it as of yet, but, well, a big part of the evening was the music. You'd think that. But, the bigger part of the evening for me was the people watching and the "movie" playing on the big screen the entire time. Through my keen investigative skills I learned the name of the movie. It was a 1970's flick by a South American dude who clearly had issues. The movie is called Holy Mountain. Look it up. Nothing I can tell you about it will change your life like actually watching it. Really. All I can say, because honestly, I'm still a little frightened about it...is the movie will change the way you think about film. Really. Oh, and the man who I spoke to about the movie, well, the entire time he was talking to me he had his hand over his mouth. Hiding something. Just saying. 

During the evening we were sitting at our table examining the clientele. Lots of black clothing, a trio of chicks with striped socks and glitter painted on their faces, other people (if you can use that word) heavily medicated by illegal substances . And just when I figured out what was missing...you know...what the place was really lacking...HE walks in. HE was possibly the very first vampire I've ever seen. Or, at least, vampire wannabe. He was in all black, shaggy black hair, black leather trench coat, what appears to be a leather arm band thingy that goes from the hand up to the elbow, and, get this, sunglasses. He's wearing sunglasses. It's a miracle he doesn't trip over some man's ripped and tatered dress (yes, they were really wearing that). He slinks to the bar, grabs what I can only imagine must be blood, then goes to a table near the wall. There he proceeds to remove his fancy full length jacket and show off his....black MUSCLE SHIRT. I shit you not. It was horrific. 

Kat and I are in awe of the situation then point out that all we need is a serial killer. Then, as if on cue, there HE is. The fn serial killer. He looks somewhat normal. Ok, well, not normal by normal standards, but clearly less wierd than everyone else...well, if you can ignore the things he's calling sideburns and the funky glasses. He stands next to out table and as he turns towards us I try to look away quickly, but damn! We make eye contact. Crap. And, enough eye contact that he moves closer to our table and starts telling us a story about how he's got 4 friends who are supposed to meet him but they haven't showed up and goly what's this music...has it started? I give him a speil about how I think the guy on stage is just warming up but, but he's been doing it for awhile. He then looks at us and asks rather blunty, "Why are you here?" Ok, me, I suddenly get speechless and look at Kat. She says something about finding the music on MySpace and the serial killer seems passified, though it really seems like he wants to sit and wait for his friends. Unfortunately, we are smart. Well, Kat's smart. I would have invited the man to sit and probably tolerated him until he wanted a ride home, which of course I would have offered, and then he surely would have chopped me up into a million pieces and ate my liver with a nice wine. (I should watch more tv). 

The serial killer walks away and Kat and I look at each other and we suddenly say, "all we need is a rapist." And holy shit if our Rapist doesn't come walking by the table about five minutes later. He's blonde and clean cut and is wearing a black pea coat buttoned to the top so the collar can stand up and make him look extra cool. He's pretty like Bundy was before the execution. 

Oh, and, well, apparently that "practice/tune up session" we were listening to for an hour was actually the music. Yep. The man stopped playing and everyone clapped and we just looked around and were like, What the....

Put all this together with the porn/religious flick in the background (seriously, there was an ice carving of a penis and Jesus) and what do you get? I think the answer is therapy. We left around 11:00 pm maybe. I don't remember. All I really remember is me chanting in my head "Judge not yest ye be judged" over and over and over. I pictured myself in my room later that night, fetal position in the corner, rocking back and forth, chanting that. Over and over. I don't know if I will ever be able to even drive past the Crystal Ballroom again. I do know this: Vampires walk the streets in Portland. Yep. I've seen them. And, well, if I disappear or if Kat does, you know why. It's because we saw them. "Judge not lest ye be judged. Judge not....."