I know a lot of weird things. This column explains why.
by Christa Weiss
The Murder Mystery Party
Fall in New England, late October. My ex-boyfriend is bloody and I’m covered in urine. Not my urine. Like, someone else’s urine. I’m cold and I’m angry. I can’t tell for certain, but I’m pretty sure this is not how these types of parties are supposed to go.
It started innocently enough. I was dating a guy named Jim* in Providence. He was a nice and liked me and I liked his friends and hanging out in Providence. What I hated was confrontation. And crying. And emotions. Oh man, those are the worst.
Jim was a great guy who, for the most part, had his life together, but had a nasty habit of making terrible, not really well thought out decisions, on a frighteningly regular basis. We started dating because he was cool and I needed a friend and we continued dating because I have the emotional maturity of a small rodent.
After a few months together, October rolled around and Jim and his roommates decided to forgo the traditional Halloween party for a murder mystery party.
Jim hung around with a lot of musicians, peace core kids and people who worked at non-profits. They were all nutcases but they were a lot of fun, which is exactly what I look for in a group of friends, as I too, am a nutcase. They all had the type of quirkiness that I liked a lot. They were a little bit hippish but not in an annoying way. Like a conscientious way. It was nice.
The peace corps kids were another thing all together. They weren’t all those gentle out-to-save-the world-types. There were some of those (Jim’s roommates were totally awesome), but there were also a lot of people who were trying to escape things. Some were escaping addiction, or prison or mental illness or their rich parents. Some of them didn’t really live anywhere. They just sort of couch surfed between missions until they were placed somewhere new. Those kids were a little bit dangerous but that’s what made them fun.
Also, Kevin Costner’s daughters were there.
That sounds made up, but it’s not. They had gone to college in the area and were working for a local non-profit. I barely knew them but they were always very nice and made good scones.
I was always afraid to get close to the Costner girls. Most of the time I spent around them I used desperately trying to avoid ever mentioning Kevin Costner. In the back of my mind I was afraid that one day we’d be hanging out, watching TV and Waterworld would come on. What do you say, when you live in a world that just isn’t ready for a Kevin Costner with gills? I have yet to figure it out, but if I do, I think I will have seen god.
So, when I say this party with full of volatile people I meant it. Pent-up Waterworld anger is a thing you have to tread lightly around. From what I hear, murder mystery parties are usually kind of lame and are generally meant for people in loveless marriages who not longer fuck. Like, not even hate fuck. And that’s the best kind of fucking.
This party was different. Usually, when someone throws one of these things, they buy some silly kit that gives you a cheesy story and cheesier characters. I hang out with mostly creative types, so the kids throwing it wrote the story and characters themselves. Everyone was super into it. Like, unusually into it, but that’s what happens when you dress up a bunch of weirdos in 1800’s costumes and give them a ton of alcohol. I was an Asian Fortune teller because I happened to own a deck of Tarot Cards that I bought at a Hot Topic during the days when I used to have hope for my future. I’m not sure why I was Asian, or even what country I was actually supposed to be from, but for some reason that was important.
And here’s the thing. We were all having a great time. No one broke character, there was a lot of good food and booze and even the crazies were keeping to together. Perfect…for awhile.
Jim saunters up to me with one of the semi-homeless peace corps kids and asks me if I’d like to do some acid.
I tell him, “Um, I’m pretty sure that’s the worst idea ever.”
A house full of costumed drunk people who are not on hallucinogens, who are pretending to be people they’re not, who absolutely refuse to break character no matter what, is probably the most sure fire way to have an absolutely terrible time, for everyone.
“Cool,” he says, “Cuz I just did a bunch of acid.”
I knew this was not gonna end well. Annoyed, I walk away.
Even the semi-homeless kid he bought it from was smart enough not to do acid. And he’s not even smart enough to have a home.
I forget about it for awhile. I’m reading tarot cards and drinking when the ‘murder’ finally happens. Jim’s roommate is now walking around as a ‘ghost’ drenched in copious amounts of ketchup, which is supposed to be blood. It looks pretty convincing except she smells like a cheeseburger.
At this point, Jim starts to act crazy. Like, really crazy. Like, exactly how I expected he would act. He’s running around and shouting and is trying to pick fights. The acid has started to kick in.
Everyone knows it.
Everyone is trashed.
And everyone wants to fuck with him.
He gets his wish. There’s a fight, a silly, harmless one, but still a fight. His roommate throws a shoe at them, as a way to get them to settle down, but it ends up smacking Jim in the middle of the face.
There was a lot of blood. And it did not smell like a cheeseburger.
Jim runs off and we all follow him to make sure he’s okay. His nose isn’t broken but there is blood streaming all the way down his face and onto his shirt. It’s everywhere, it’s gross and he won’t sit still. He’s still yelling for some reason.
The group suddenly decides that since I’m his girlfriend it’s now my job to wrangle him. It works. Sort of.
I walk over and try to talk some sense into him, or at least get him to calm down.
He tries to make out with me.
If you’ve never made out with someone covered in blood before, know this: Vamp kids make it look waaaaaay better than actually is.
Mostly it tastes like salt. Salt and regret. I keep thinking that this ‘would never have happened if I had gone to grad school.’
I push him off.
“You need to calm down” I say. He stares at me, confused.
“Can you at least wash your face?”
“No.” He replies. He is adamant about this.
I manage to get him close enough to his room to push him though the door. He sits on the bed and immediately passes out, like a turtle on his back. A blood covered turtle on his back. I close the door and return to the party.
A few hours later party’s winding down, and people are crashing in various places. There is nowhere to sleep except next to my passed out blood covered boyfriend. “Fine,” I think, “I’ll just do this for a couple of hours, and when morning comes I can go home and rethink my life.”
I wake up early. I feel cold. Very cold. Weirdly cold….And wet….why do I feel wet? The sheets are wet but my pajamas are mostly dry…Oooooooooh no.
I come to the horrifying realization that Jim has pissed the bed.
And that’s when I realized, it was definitely time to break up.
And we did.
Three months later, due to something unrelated.
*Names have been changed to protect the not-so innocent.