Rants & Essays

Convergence IV - The Toronto Chronicles (Or at least mine anyway…)

By Marcus Pan

I have decided to begin writing these on Saturday, the second day of Convergence IV and my third day in Toronto. I woke up this afternoon, about 1:30 I think it was, and after grabbing a bite to eat with Axel, OmarD (The Thief of Always), Eyes of the Abyss and being joined later in the meal by Ruhiel, Dranith and Ellen, I then returned to my room to do some writing and relax a bit while the others headed off on various shopping excursions. I have plenty of cigarettes, a couple coffees from the donut shop down the road and have recovered well from the long lasting party in my room last night where Dranith invited me to unzip him. You'll have to ask him about that yourself.

I intended to post these as I write them, but alas the Executive Motor Inn seems to be based on a Centrex phone system rather than a POTS system and I have as of yet been unable to reach the outside world on the modem. I know it's not a problem with me, as you already know I'm TAF (Techy As Fuck) :>), but I can further prove this by the fact that others such as Macross have been unable to strike up an Internet connection from their hotel rooms as well. So therefore I'm typing this into Word and will later zip it up onto alt.gothic once I arrive home (or sometime very soon thereafter).

I'm going to cover my trip as much for my remembrance as to provide entertainment for you all. Therefore, considering that it may end up rather long, I'm going to annotate it into sections and post it in separate descriptive headers as well as I can. I have no clue how long it will end up as I just started so I can't say what to expect just yet, but I fear it may end up fairly lengthy. So anyway, there's no better place to start than the beginning…

The Launch

My last day at work that Wednesday, Kim and I searched on a last-minute basis for an army helmet we could stencil or paint the A.G.S-F lettering onto, but alas one could not be found. I left on Wednesday night with ghoulie and Scott. Ghoulie showed up at my door about two hours later than originally expected, but that was ok because Scott got out of work and into his house to prepare for the trip about two hours later than expected. So it worked out pretty well. We left my house, ghoulie and I, around 10 or so I guess it was to arrive at Scott's to pick him up…he was fortunately not all that far from me. Now, I had met ghoulie before, on my trip to Philly South St. that some of you might remember me mentioning where I got my eyebrow pierced (something I've been meaning to do for quite some time). So I knew what to expect on the drive with her…a whole lot of talking. But pleasant talking that was good to hear and seemed to shorten the trip somewhat. Scott I had never met yet, but there he was in his sandals and white socks. This had the effect of me nearly confiscating his Goth Card, but I decided not to. It was about 11PM when we left his house and headed for Rt. 287 to head to the Great White North.

The Drive

The drive was rather uneventful for the most part. We stopped to eat at Perkins, an interesting place that was unfortunately fresh out of intravenous lines for their "Bottomless Cup of Coffee" (I asked). I also noticed a little-known Murphy's-Law type of situation. If you leave your kids at home to go out and end up at a restaurant or diner, you will always be punished by the Gods That Be by being sat next to the nearest screaming children. Loud little buggers…and quite a buttload of them to boot.

We left Perkins after our meals and not long after we were on Route 81 when I suddenly noticed myself waking up at intervals while doing about 70. This had the effect of me realizing that I really shouldn't be driving. So we took an unexpected stop at the nearest Days Inn near Scranton, Pennsylvania to be effectively soaked for the price of a room for about 4-5 hours of sleep before we headed out on to the road once again around 9AM on Thursday. Fortunately we hit no deer nor got battered by any rocks per the various sign-borne warnings. I did however notice that Pennsylvania has more road construction than any state has any right to have. Scott, who had been up this way a while back, made the note that none of the construction had moved in the fairly long time since he came this way last. And ghoulie commented, "Oh look, a mountain! I haven't seen one of those in a while." She doesn't get out much, you see.

We missed the Peace Bridge the first run through Buffalo and had to u-turn back to catch it…but that wasn't too bad. We stopped at the Ammex station on the foot of the bridge to exchange some of our cash and so Scott could grunt at the $125 bottles of scotch. I handed the guy behind the counter $175 American and he handed me back $232 Canadian. $232! Kick ass, I was ready! I still can't get used to seeing that I'm supposed to get $3 back from a purchase and get handed a bunch of coins, but I managed. So across the bridge to the customs booths we went. And right about here the excitement began.

The Search

I pulled into the booth and was asked a bunch of typical questions by the cute blonde chick in the booth. After seeing her, the idea of receiving an anal probe during a contraband search wasn't so bad. So she asked where we were going, how long we were staying, do we have any C4 in the trunk…that sort of thing. I told her we didn't have any C4, but were however going there this weekend. Eventually she wrote out this ticket and sent us off to the side to park. Into immigration we went and handed over our birth certs and photo ID cards. They took these into the back room after asking us the same questions presumably to do some computer searches to make sure we haven't blown up any embassies or anything lately. He came back and gave us the ticket the cute blonde wrote up and told us to give it to one of the border patrol members standing out front shooting the shit and doing fuck-all else. Over to my car they went and started to poke through things a bit. He gave me the "If you have any drugs and we find it we'll take your car. But if you give it up, we won't take your car," speech and I told him that no, I had no drugs. He even made me ask ghoulie and Scott if they had stashed any kilos anywhere while I wasn't looking. You can guess the answer.

As him and another guy were poking around a bit they came across my bracelet upon which is attached a piece of brass over which is engraved a full-flavored cannabis leaf. This is the point where he went ballistic. They told me what they found and I stood there and shrugged…"Yay, a bracelet. Bracelets can't cross the border?" Off to a back room they took the three of us where I got the car speech again and we had to remove our boots (Scott had sandals still…the ungothiness of them paid off threefold with the convenience of not having to undo a bunch of tightened straps). They felt up our feet (no, really), had us dump our pockets and rudely went through our wallets and tossed things back to us across the desk to put back together ourselves. After satisfying his foot fetish the guy lets us back outside where three more people, including another cute blonde, was going through the entire car and everything in it with a fine toothed comb. They looked under wheel wells, opened packs of cigarettes to go through them individually and left heaping messes in my trunk including the scrunching up of my goddamn suit I intended to wear to the formal tea party…those bastids! Finally, an hour and a half later, off we went. The only consolation being that they wasted their time on us. Hah! And I didn't even get my anal probe.

The Arrival

The first thing to catch my eye as we were cruising down the Queen Elizabeth Way was the "Maximum Speed" sign. It stated the maximum speed was 100! Woot! Down goes the gas pedal and we're nearing 80 when I realize that in Canada they use the metric system…it's 100 kilometers per hour which translates into about 60 mph. Off to the right I can see the needle building that Toronto is famous for. It's RIGHT THERE! We'll be arriving so soon because it's RIGHT THERE! But it's goddamn misleading…you have to circle to Toronto so it took more than an hour due to traffic. Pissed me off to make me think the city was so damn close and then torture me for an hour with the building RIGHT THERE.

We arrive in Toronto and find the Executive Motor Inn a little after 4PM. I check in and am put in room 116. This room affords a nice view into the parking lot where during the weekend we witnessed various black clad types going in and out of the hotel at all hours of the night. Or at least for those I was conscious. We get comfortable and I head out to a party leaving ghoulie and Scott to find their respective roommates, none of which arrived yet. It was at this party where there was a bit of melon fondling, Ron attempted to get someone to grill Leonora while he was out getting more hooch and I unfortunately missed the molestation of Charlotte by Faith and the Muse. Damn it! I also discovered that I had somehow become an American representative in Casper's drinking contest. This will probably kick off on Saturday or Sunday night, so I can't write about it yet, though I can tell you that I will most definitely lose. Horribly so. Fortunately, the pie eating contest I mistakenly got involved in has been forgotten thus far. Oh, and I can't forget how Sheryl took Cusraque's meat. Lady B allowed it, however, because she got to watch. And the grilled garlic burgers did rock…

The Search for Ellen

Later that night I find myself at the Toronto airport on a quest to find timly grae, Dionysia and Ellen the Metamorph. It was during this drive to the airport when I looked in my rearview mirror to find what I perceived to be a train bearing down on the ass end of the Ford. You see, trolleys and cars share the streets here in Toronto, much to my dismay. This provoked my weekend's mantra, "Trains do NOT belong in the fucking street!" which has been yelled so much over the course of C-IV that everyone else got tired of hearing it. I yelled it at various intervals anyway. It got so common an event that people would be afraid to mention they took a trolley to anywhere.

So I, in my large scope of intelligence, decide it would be best to find parking for the Ford. But somehow I ended up in the garage, which winds its way up a few stories. I even had to take a ticket when I got in…though I knew this wouldn't work. But I couldn't get out once I was in. So I take the ticket, up I go and back down to the exit after scaring the hell out of a few pedestrians in the garage. The turban-engulfed character in the ticket booth takes my ticket, looks at the time stamp, seems to chuckle I think and then hands me back my parking money much to my surprise and gladness. Off I go to find the triplet of goths hidden somewhere in the airport like a surreal version of "Where's Waldo?!"

It was by sheer luck that I found who I could. I go to arrivals at Terminal 2. I headed to that terminal only because it was the closest to the garage exit and not because I was supposed to…which I was. I park the car at the arrivals lot, get out and look up to see a black hat bouncing down the walkway in front of the building across from me. And that's how I found timly. He had already found Dionysia thankfully, but Ellen was nowhere to be seen. So we ran through Toronto airport screaming "Ellllennn!" (we all found out later that Ruhiel, arriving in the airport at that time, happened to hear a bunch of nuts screaming "Ellen!" and found it rather amusing) at the top of our lungs in hopes of somehow getting an answer. There was none. Dionysia had the idea of using the overhead speakers to page her to us which we had heard crackle to life with various unintelligible things as we ran through the building. The guy at the courtesy desk who was to page her for us asked for the name. And it was at this point we realized just how badly we organized this airport meeting. None of us knew Ellen's real name. Hell, we didn't know what plane she was on. Not a fleepin' clue. So we searched a bit longer and left around midnight.

The First Club - Savage Garden (Queen St. West off of Bathurst, Toronto)

Off we go to the Day's Inn where timly has been stationed and thereafter back to the Executive. I do my makeup, what limited amount I do these days, and off we go to Savage Garden. The club, according to the map from the C-IV crew, is a block north from King Street. This was when we discovered that the C-IV map doesn't contain all the streets in the city and the walk was longer than expected. By the time we arrived I managed to get only one beer before the bar closed. It seemed a little early for them to close…but I found out later that the C-IV crew had hooched out the club! It seems we drank them empty…or at least that's what someone told me. Do we rock or what?

The club is fairly small, but comfortable enough with a decent dance floor that allows you to slide well. I practiced my skank/industrial dancing hybrid and regained my title as The Dancefloor Hazard much to my enjoyment. Plenty of people were met at this event including David H, who I used to work with at Quantex. He was a wimp when he left…but somehow grew up to gothness. Not a bad deal…I was very happy to see him. Another highlight was when I bruised Ruhiel's knees and she decided to jump on me (get your minds out of the gutters you heathens…I'm engaged even!). From there it was back to the hotel. I'd rate the club for you, but I unfortunately wasn't there long enough to do so with any amount of accuracy.

We hit a pizza shop after the club, me with Ruhiel on the end of a makeshift leash I was tugging along, and had a bit to eat. Ruhiel decided to continually squick out timly with her tongue ring and we proceeded back to the hotel for a room party. Wanting to move out to whatever things could be done next I requested a direction in which to head. Timly's wise ass suggestion of up would have accrued a smack in the head if not for the fact that he grabbed the nearest tree and actually did so. Eventually I ended up back in my room for a bit of sleep.

More Arrivals and the Tea Party

Ellen called me the next morning and roused me out of slumber. It seems she was indeed on the plane out of Houston that I saw on the terminal screen listed as delayed. My noticing of this was met with, "Why would she be coming out of Houston?!" from the other two searchers, but she managed to make it back to the Executive without us after getting through customs not long after we had decided to give up and leave. We went for some coffee and breakfast and then came back to the hotel. We proceeded to get ready for the formal tea party and I managed to make my black suit somewhat presentable after its molestation by customs searching. We picked up timly, drove around Toronto for a bit until we found an underground parking garage where I gingerly placed the Ford ass-end first with a bit of it sticking too far out of the spot. But we were already late for the party so I left it that way.

To find the tea room we played "Follow the Freaks." By locating the various goffy looking types we were able to make our way to the tea room and have a bit of a snack such as unidentifiable finger sandwiches, a crumpet that is kind of like a hybrid of a Thomas' English Muffin and a waffle with a barely palatable cardboard flavor and some damn good tea. I guess I'm just not the cultured-enough type to enjoy something like a crumpet (and frankly I'm only guessing at its spelling right now and hoping that the Word spell checker can fix my transgressions). I had a good chat with Ren, Macross and others and finally got to meet Gwendolyn (sp?) and Lord Phoenix. It was a somewhat formal affair and didn't lend itself well to perky bouncing even after the black russian I had in the bar across the lobby. It was back to the hotel we went about 6 or so that evening so I can shrug off the formal jacket and get more comfy in my jeans and C-IV tee-shirt.

Upon pulling into the Executive I spied on the sidewalk out front a bald shiny headed chap ensconced in leather bopping along. That's how I found my roommate, Eyes of the Abyss.

The Opera House (Queen St. East near Don Valley Parkway, Toronto)

I decided to forego driving myself and others to the Opera House (and will continue to do so for the rest of the weekend) in case of inebriation. Therefore a number of cabs were utilized to dump off entire carloads of goths at the door of the Opera House. I decided to go a little while after the doors opened up, which was 9PM, and got there around 10. The venue is quite nice and very attractive. It has wonderful architecture and high ceilings, a balcony upon which some clothing and accessory vendors were situation where I got a wonderful renaissance style shirt I plan to wear on Saturday night and four bars of which three were open and serving. I stuck to Molson Canadian bottled beer most of the night and later switched to bottled water when I deemed it necessary from the dancing dehydration. The venue in fact used to be a real opera house, although it was small as far as opera houses go. Yet it was still rather large as far as goth clubs go as we're usually regulated to small downstairs basement type of atmospheres of larger venues in some stateside places. Toronto seems to have a fairly lively and well-going goth scene.

The dance floor was pretty big, made of the original opera house floor (or so it seems) of stone slabs arranged in a circular pattern. Complaints about this usually revolved around it's sliding ability, but that didn't deter much from trying and it did seem to afford all a good time. At least mine was. The floor was bereft of people when I got there. I'm proud to say I was the first one to step out on it that night. But after an hour or so things were pretty much moving. Sheryl did the required greeting about halfway through the night and held a short contest they named "Gother Than Thou" to replace the fashion show I was originally going to help MC…cancelled due to lack of interest and registrations. With that done they introduced the live performance of Masochistic Religion not long after. The band looked pretty good…especially the front man…as far as gothic fashion goes, but they played some rather etherealistic and experimental music I couldn't get all that much into. I spent some of the time they were up there finding my shirt upstairs in the balcony.

Gregg's DJ set was very broad and included quite a number of interesting pieces from Abba to Tom Jones. I'm proud to announce that I finally managed to skank to the Beastie Boys. During one of my breaks it was Dr. Pain who gave me the best description of my style yet; "You dance like a punk trying to behave." I was also somehow talked into starting a conga line with Sheryl to Aqua's "Barbie Girl." Unfortunately Macross seems to have snapped a head-on picture of this particular happening. (sigh) On a good note however, I made my first in-person adoption with Porphyria and am happy to report that the Pan Orffanage is at a healthy 19 members at the time of this writing.

The Bastids Stole My Seat

The Opera House let out and off went a bunch of rather confused and confuzzled goffy types made up of myself, timly, Ruhiel, Dranith, Kaos, Eyes, Dionysia and Ellen. We wandered around a bit in search of food like old hunting parties of old. We didn't even know where we were going, just like old hunting parties of old. We uttered guttural battle cries, i.e. "Dennnnys!" just like old hunting parties of old. We even sent small fowl and a few normals scattering for their lives…just like old hunting parties of old. Then someone, Dionysia I think, pointed out a street sign…we were on the corner of Queen St. and Strange St. How appropriate! Timly did some skulking on the sidewalk, lying down in what appeared to be an awkward and, to some inviting, position in order to get a decent picture of all of us strange types to commemorate the find. It will be scanned and available soon…assuming it came out good enough.

Eyes immediately bee lines to the pizza shop as he was about to sit down and not get up much anymore if he didn't eat shortly. I comfortably arranged myself on some piles of boxes neatly arranged by the curb presumably for pick-up by the garbage collectors. But it was damned comfortable and we all camped out in various sitting and kneeling positions on the sidewalk awaiting the creation of Eyes' ordered calories. At this point in time a drunken party-goer came blindly blundering along blathering about something or other and haughtily inquired if we were a "sit in." Nobody pointed out that no, stupid, we weren't in anything. It was actually a sit out. And then the bastid garbage collectors came by and stole my seat, crunching it into little tiny pieces that will never be nearly as comfortable as what it once was.

We ended up grabbing two cabs and headed back to the Executive as it was getting late and the guttural "Dennnnnys!" cries turned up nothing but empty echoes through the darkened streets of Toronto. The pizza was ordered from the same place we had just left…silly I know. So around room 116 we sat in complete disarray. Farmguy joined us as well as two more people whose names I don't remember and we all just hung around blathering lively chatter and unwieldy guffaws until about 4:30 that morning.

Lunch at the Bistro

It was sometime around 2PM I think. Oscar's Bistro played host to a few freaks in black when OmarD (another new arrival), Eyes and I headed out to eat. We picked up Axel at the Executive's lobby and struck a path eastward down King to the restaurant. The burger and fries were pretty good. Axel and I had a nice conversation comparing the late 80's rave scenes of England and the east coast of America together to learn that their demise in the two countries was very similar. At first the police would raid only on occasion and make everyone at the rave go home. No charges were pressed. But when drugs like Extacy began to appear the raids became more frequent and some of the organizers and security men involved in the event were actually arrested. That's how the underground travelling warehouse raves died for both of us.

And so the meal went on as Ruhiel, Dranith and Ellen joined us. After our meal we all went off on our own for the most part, breaking off into small splinter groups. It was at this time that I returned to my room and began writing this story. The day went by therefore uneventfully, various people calling and rolling through the doors of room 116 for various hellos and plan making.

Four Bouncy BandsFour Bouncy Bands

It was back to the Opera House that night. A group of us arrived around 10PM and the line wound its way outside the building and around the corner. It moved fairly quickly and I was inside before long. Tonight was much busier with roughly twice as many people as the night before. A large assortment of Toronto goths came to the show as well. The line up was excellent.

As I went in, My Scarlet Life was playing their opening set. It was brilliant. The band sounded amazingly tight and well-practiced. The crowd was pretty decent, moving well to the music with few mopers on the dance floor. Or at least there were fewer mopers when I was finished…maybe they just ran up a level. I spent a while chatting with Amy Spina from the band after the set, thanking her very much for playing for us. Like I said…they were brilliant. The perfect combination of ambient and danceable tracks. The voices of Julie Shreiber and Christy Cameron Smith gave me chills…echoeing and ghostlike. I can't say it enough…brilliant. I picked up their first CD, Trypnotica, immediately after their set and I very rarely pick up albums at shows. I've done so only three times that I remember, including this time. I was very happy to hear "This Fine Line" on the CD, which is one of the favorites they did that night and one of the first I heard when I entered the venue.

The Changelings were up next, the violin player was excellent. The female vocalist had a nice voice, but for some reason they didn't touch me as much as My Scarlet Life had. They had a much more ambient sound and I guess I was just in the mood to dance. I wandered around a bit, bought a few beers for a few people and found my way back up to the front of the Opera House a while through Rhea's Obsession's set. I must have been talking more during this set because I can't remember as much. Maybe it was the hooch.

I do, however, remember looking forward all night to the performance by Faith & the Muse. And to no avail, either. I had met them at the party on Thursday night and was quite enamored by their down-to-earth and friendly personalities. Monica and I talked a while about this or that at the party and I was impressed with them being more than pedestaled rock stars which is something you see way too much of in our and any other scene. They were wonderful company. So their set began and I found myself sandwiched between Cobweb T. Razorjak, his tassle-like hair from the one point of his head he hadn't shaved bald catching me in the back of the head occasionally. And Macross, jangling succinctly in the dim light in his leathers and chains. There's a picture of it taken by Gruamach, me being practically held up by the two characters, that should be available soon. I have to make mention of the incessant bouncing that Razorjak and I launched onto the fleeing crowd about midway on the floor from the stage. "I feel a bounce coming on," he would say…and so we did.

The Ballistic Habib

After Faith & the Muse got down they had a DJ for a bit while the club began to close down. Eyes and I continued dancing for a bit, finding it rather shocking to see the lights were on when we stopped after a song (I tend to dance with my eyes closed a lot which lends itself to the hazard well). Eventually Dionysia dragged us off. Out front we found OmarD…with pizza. So we ate it all. Poor guy. After deciding against the fetish night thing going on somewhere else (I never did find out where that was), we ended up back at the hotel wandering around again.

Ever later I'm heading to my room. I'm in another wing of the building, off the parking lot and have to buzz a separate door to get in. As I head around the corner there are suddenly a dozen or so raggedy looking goffy types high-tailing it around in as complete silence as a crew of black clad, chain dangling, big-haired excited types can manage. Which really wasn't that quiet…but they tried. It seems that the desk clerk, who we've nicknamed Habib as the weekend wore on (this, for all know, could be his real name actually), has started screaming and throwing out partying types on the second and third floor of the hotel. They even tried to begin some strict "no visitors" code, which didn't wash. I had headed out for a soda or something after I let the bunch in the room and had to be buzzed back in. For some reason he wouldn't buzz the door again…so I went back to the lobby to complain. After following me to the door in person this time, first sending a high pitched, "You…You go to sleep! Go to sleep!" at one of the balconies, he let me in the wing of my hotel. I opened my door and as he was about to ask me something about how many people are in my room I placed it against his forehead in a rapid sweeping motion.

So more fun began from here. After getting a door slammed in his face because I wasn't in the mood to deal with him, he called me from the front desk to tell me that he was going to charge me $250 for that night because I had ten people in my room. Then he hung up. Curious, I counted and he was pretty close. A lot of people were there, but the difference between us and the 2nd and 3rd floors is that everyone was quiet somewhat. There wasn't even any alcohol around. This was mostly because all the loud people were chased out of the 3rd floor and ended up in my room in a fit of silent shock…but I digress. Anyway, I called the front desk back to tell Habib that, "My lawyer will crawl up your ass with a microscope." That was a direct quote, by the way, and it sent Dranith and Ruhiel into hysterics because they were nearest the phone. He got even angrier and hung up again…go figure. So off to the front desk I go. After pulling a rather tough good cop / bad cop thing on him, which really is quite difficult when you are alone, the 116 wing wasn't bothered much again for the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately, everyone was pissed enough about the whole hotel management bumbles that they had left. (sigh) So it was all for naught…but at least it was fun. However, he didn't get an anal probe either…just so you all know that.

Bunnies and Scavenging at Movenpicke Marche'

About two or so I was called by Charlotte from the C4 office to be told that Axel was DMing an RPG set for a little while so we ended up at my room, 116, again playing an RPG called, I believe, "Bunnies and Burrows" or something of the sort. In it you play, well you guessed it, a bunny. The theme of the game began with us bunnies being experimental types trapped in cages for testing different drugs and chemicals on. Sad, yes, but it made for some interesting role playing chances. As an example, my fighter bunny was impotent due to various contraceptive testing done on him. That pretty much pissed him off so he'd go barreling into things without much will to live. Dranith however had a scout who had this strange tendency to scream things like, "Zoink!" at the most inopportune times…think of Pinky of the Brain and you get the idea. Curgoth's bunny was on a permanent acid trip and played it well. Charlotte's bunny had cancer and because of the various cancerous bulbs sticking out of her back she could carry more than the rest of us. There were others as well.

And so we went, laughing all the way, getting a stoned monkey named Dylan to help us open doors and windows and eat the insides out of attacking rats. We made it as far as an autopsy room, hopping along in our bumbling way with Dylan who suddenly fell ill and now had to be fixed by the cancerous healer bunny and, well, it was dinner time. Sorry if this short description was rather disturbing or confusing, but that's what happened.

Dinner Sunday night was at Movenpicke Marche'. It wasn't so much a restaurant as it was a chaotic marketplace. There were a number of shops situated in the center of the building kind of like a flea market and you went from one to the other randomly until you found something that looked good. I wanted to be sure and safe, so I stuck to the guy making the fresh little pizzas. They were pretty damn scrumptious. The coffee bar served some damn good java too. But it wasn't enjoyed by all of us simply because it was so confusing. The flyer for the place itself even stated that you'll begin to "get it" after "22 visits." No shit…22 visits. Unfortunately, I wasn't all that hungry and planned on leaving the next day.

Ghoulie and I went together and at times random net.goths wold come scurrying by with cameras snapping pictures of us in hopes of using up the last of their film. I recognized only a few. I had brought my laptop like some kind of Geek From Hell in hopes of being sat down and served like a restaurant…I wasn't expecting to practically forage for dinner. I suppose its nice for most folks, but every now and then you'd catch the occasional sneer from the townsfolk as they bent over their freshly strewn salads. A few outside even stopped to glare into the windows at some of the others seated in rooms along the outside of the establishment. I doubt they were just hungry. Fucking rude.

It was at this dinner that it was decided that the scavenger hunt team "Nice Boots" would utilize my laptop to win a few points for scavenger hunt items. Now the hunting list didn't have a laptop on it, of course…that would be silly. We're NET.goths! But what it did have was a "250 word essay about 'Why I Love Convergence.'" A bit of quick typing into the top of the story you are reading right now and the Toronto Chronicles became the item they needed. Also on my laptop was a journal entry that I wrote before I began these chronicles on Saturday afternoon, and that was on the list as well. So after straightening this out with Gruamach and Axel, we took off for the hotel. I had less than an hour to get dressed, apply my makeup and catch a cab up to Clinton's so I could be there by 9PM and get the scavenger hunt items in on time for "Nice Boots."

Clinton's (Broor St. West off of Bathurst, Toronto)

I make it on time to register my items for "Nice Boots," who lost against "The Merricks" (sp) because they actually got an ice cream truck. Yes, the whole truck. Coffin told the driver he'd get a bunch of people buying a shitload of ice cream (and he did) so he showed up in front of the venue with the truck. Being that it was 10,000 points and most other things weren't near it, they won the Convergence IV Scavenger Hunt. I stashed the laptop under the seat of Gruamach's kick-ass truck and we headed into Clinton's. Or at least tried.

Clinton's is small. Quite small. Much too small to accommodate a few hundred Convergers bumbling through the doorway cracking fingernails and swallowing others with their hair. Eventually Eyes and I fought our way inside. There was a bar just inside, a laid back one, and beyond that a hallway lead into another chamber where Lady Bathory was DJing an 80's Goth style of music. The room was small and the dancefloor there was dubbed "The Plank" by Dionysia. I didn't attempt it being the haphazard type. But there was another room downstairs so Eyes and I checked it out. Also small. But a few comfy couches here that we sat down on for a little while and chatted with Kelly Watts and Chris. Eventually we tried the pool table there. The dancefloor down here was also tiny, but at least it didn't resemble a plank. There was a little more space. Gregg's ambient/ethereal DJ style was a decent start to the evening and led well into Tapestry's more industrial and violent set.

Eyes and I left rather early. I made my way around the tiny club, sweat pouring down my head like someone turned a hose on me, and said goodbye to anyone I could find. I got thoroughly yelled at by Casper, Ron and Raphrat and after some time spent wandering around finding people ended up outside and hailing a cab. And this was the Cab of Death. In this one ride Eyes and I took back to the Executive we nearly hit a van, the cab refused to go into reverse and instead tried to hit the van again, we nearly ran over a drunk guy who told us to thoroughly fuck off and tried to take out other things on the streets of Toronto on the short drive specializing in various girls wearing super-short shorts. What was most peculiar, however, was the driver kept turning towards Eyes to discuss his techniques of "alertness and defensive driving." Did I mention Eyes was in the back seat?

I guess I left early because I just burnt out. I had done so much drinking dancing and bouncing over the past few nights and not enough sleep that I just slammed a wall while at Clinton's and just wanted to sit in a bit of less-violent atmosphere. It happens…I know. Say it all you want. Ron was the first. "Pan's a pussy." Bah.

It's Over

So Monday morning comes quickly…quicker than wanted as is always expected with these sorts of things. Ghoulie has been crashing in my room the past couple of nights so getting her ready to go wasn't tough at all. And Scott showed up just before 9, right on schedule. He had a big gash on the right side of his forehead. He still doesn't know how it happened, but I think it has something to do with the scotch he picked up on the way. By 10 AM, after a few goodbyes to Ellen, Edvamp and a few others who were in the lobby and/or around the outskirts of the hotel on our way out, we're off. By 11:30 or so, the US Customs guy is waving us through without a problem and Canada is left to our backs.

So, to the organizers. I think you did a better job than any of us ever expected. That's the sentiment that I've heard expressed constantly and throughout the city wherever we ended up at various times during the weekend. And this sentiment was echoed constantly. I had a better time than I've had in so long. This is a weekend that I will never forget. Thanks to Sheryl, Gregg, Siobhan, Charlotte and the other volunteers for working so hard to put it together…and thanks to everyone else for dragging their asses up there to make it happen.

Thanks to the following people who helped in some way with this document by adding to it, amending it and listening to it on Saturday night: OmarD, Eyes of the Abyss, Dranith, Ruhiel, Dionysia and timly (he read).