Convergence 2, 1996

Transcribed from my travel journal in November 1999. This was my second Convergence and my first meeting with the cmu.edu's, most of whom I've become good friends with by now. 13 of us carpooled from Toronto to Boston, and I began to grasp the beginning of the formulas that govern goths and road trips:

Start Time = Estimated start time + (half an hour * number of goths)

Duration of drive = (Number of km / top speed of slowest car) + (number of bathroom breaks * time taken to get all goths back in cars)

With 13 people and three cars, it took forever to get to Boston, but coming back, with one car and three people, even with a stop in Montreal, it went much more smoothly.


Thursday August 8

I took the day off and did errands to get ready for the weekend. Laundry and last minute shopping for some quilt batting for the ambitious plan to make an alt.gothic quilt, and getting soaked in a downpour while walking to the bank to get US money. I picked up a spare pair of fishnets and a cumberbund and grabbed a quick bite to eat back at home while waiting for Siobhan to pick me up. I waved to my land lord on the step as I brought my stuff out, a bit of a production since I was bringing my sewing machine with me for the sewing bee. Sio showed up and we got all my stuff loaded in her hatchback and headed up to Downsview station, our staging ground for the trip. She hadn't been able to get the shocks changed on her car due to having a ton of other more vital work done, so the trip was bound to be a bit of a bouncy one.

Mark was waiting for us as we pulled into the parking lot at the station, and Dave/Midnight soon arrived with Nancy/Delirium. Ryan and Sara showed up soon after, but we had a bit of a wait for Matt, Siani, Jen, Chris and Thea. They had to pop off and get gas before we headed out, delaying our departure even more. I'd sort of added in extra time for getting ourselves organised, but it was still hard to wait around before getting on the road. We were going to drive through the night and get to Boston in time to take a nap before the festivities officially started on Friday night. We headed out to Hamilton to pick up the last of the crowd, Kevin. We took over a Tim Horton's, briefly losing Dave as he peeled off to put some air in his tires. We managed to get all three cars (Sio's, Dave's and the van that Siani borrowed from her parents which held the bulk of us) across the border to New York state at Queenston with no problems. We hopped on the I90 and took the toll road all the way across. I drove for about 4 hours, and took a 2 hour nap at one point, and we stopped at various rest areas for food and bathroom breaks. Herding everyone back into the cars got harder and harder as the trip wore on and body parts became numb from sitting around. The van couldn't go over 110kph or it would start shaking, so we zipped across NY at a relatively sedate pace.

Friday August 9

We made one final stop at a racing themed diner for breakfast in Massachusetts to get all the cars and owners matched up again after the various shufflings to relieve drivers. Siani ended up driving the whole way since she was the only one who could spell Dave on his manual car. I'm sure there's a picture somewhere of us all standing around her as she was collapsed on the ground in the parking lot, dredging up strength for the home stretch. She spoiled the wonderful eulogy by getting up after we were done, but we did need her to finish the drive to the Susse Chalet. We dragged the guys away from the video and pinball games and managed to survive driving through Boston/Cambridge and found the Susse Chalet okay.

Siobhan, Dave, Kiernan and I shared a room, as did Nancy, Ryan and Sara, and Mark was across the hall. The van inhabitants lucked out and got a suite on the first floor since there were no rooms left of the size they requested. I took a shower and changed into clothes for a nap, but then I made the mistake of finding Nancy and going down to the lobby to get maps and such. The staff were very helpful and I got a colour coded T map to guide me around the public transit system in Boston. I found Cossak and Lisa/Opalexian and bounced around with her or a while. We ran into Amy/moses and Danielle/NoPulse23 who had driven 18 hours from Michigan and were in a room just down the hall from ours. I spotted Charles and Natalia checking in and Melody and Zach were in the room across from ours. I tracked down EdVamp and eventually found Kit, who I knew from my trip to New York the year before. I met Jihad and Thad in the lobby, and Althea also arrived around then. I amused myself by reading the signs on the room doors, as everyone had a personalised one telling the world who was staying where.

I never did get that nap, and Lisa and I went around waking people up at around 5pm. I changed into my version of a tuxedo and we waited in the lobby for Lisa to get ready and join us on the T for the ride to Man Ray for 7. Nexus arrived then, her flight having been delayed. We eventually accumulated a large crowd and headed out, passing Petro and Barb on the way to Alewife station. We dropped some people off at the Liberty Cafe and headed over to Man Ray, where I was told to go to Man Ray, went back, found Cusraque and got my ticket. It hadn't been mailed out to me since a pile of ones got mislaid in the shuffle, so at this point I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I stopped for a bit and chatted with Gabriel/V.Endure. Polly (in a pink prom dress) and Nexus arrived as we were talking, and Gabriel introduced me to Mike Heish who would be coming to Toronto at the end of August for a visit. I also talked with Thad for a bit, and we went back over to Man Ray for 8, but the doors weren't open yet. I got carded (no surprise there), but got in and had my ticket punched in short order. There were some lovely plums, bread and strawberries on offer in the vending area, and I picked up an official t-shirt for my SO who hadn't been able to come. I'm still kicking myself over not getting one for myself, but I was on a budget that trip. *sigh* I bounced onto the dance floor in the industrial room and danced to a long mix of an FLA tune, but after that I wandered throughout the space over the course of the evening, alternative between the vendor, industrial and gothic rooms.

I ended up leaving relatively early with Siobhan, Nancy and Sara, but despite a severe shortage of sleep on my part, I let them crash and wandered into the Tex.goth room since it was a non smoking area. Gabriel introduced me to a couple of people, one being Lex, a blonde that looked vaguely familiar. There was a very friendly atmosphere to the room parties, though the hotel staff wanted us well in the rooms and out of the hallways. When Gabriel took off to her local acommodations, I finally sought out my bed, getting to sleep at around 6am.

Saturday August 10

I woke up around 11am, missing the continental breakfast, but just in time for the graveyard tour. I dressed for the heat in a t-shirt and cut off army shorts, and for the walking in my trusty converse. I'd made sure to buy a three day pass so I didn't have to worry about paying each time on the T. I got people moving and we made it to the Boston Common at 1:05. Gabriel introduced me to Columbine and we chatted for a while. Cusraque got us moving at around 1:30. I ended up following Cris, Eric and James when I lost sight of The Hat. There are some pretty good pictures out there of the group of us, about a hundred people in black, wandering the streets and cemeteries of Boston. We held up traffic, preened in reflective buildings, and caused a poor tour operator to exclaim: "And on your right... what the fuck is that?!?". We went to the older, smaller graveyards first. I missed seeing the Mother Goose grave, but I did see Samuel Adam's. We hopped back on the T to head over to a cathedral, and I popped my head inside, off the tour, it was quite lovely. We all posed for a group photo on the steps. Back on the T again, and onto a bus out to Mount Auburn Cemetery. We made our way to the tower in groups of less than 10. I saw the 666 marker near the large Sphinx, and the chapel was very nice, people took pictures of the umbrella before it. Met Douglas and Adagio, wandered a bit with Lisa, sat in the tower for a bit, enjoying the view. I met up with James and Nexus at the foot of the tower, we found Winslow Holme's grave and then quested around for a water fountain, finding one near the entrance. I took the bus back to Cambridge with a smallish group of people and headed to the Middle East Cafe for the dinner.

I ended up sitting with Ryan, Nancy, Dave, Sara and a cool New York goth who's name I never caught. I got there early, so I had some ice cream first. It was a bit of a crush, I only had one plateful before leaving to go back to the hotel to change with Siobhan and the T.O. peeps I'd been sitting with. Dave had driven so he braved the streets of Boston yet again to get them back to the hotel. I changed into my lace body suit and poufy lace skirt, with the newly acquired fishnets rounding off the outfit. I caught a ride with moses and got back to Man Ray around 8:10, but the bands had already started. I hung out with Cossak during Switchblade Symphony, I ended up standing around most of the evening, and signed up on a lot of mailing lists. I gathered my courage and introduced myself to Lady Bathory and chatted for a bit with her and Miss Jannette, then bought a Nightmare before Xmas key chain from her in the vendors market. During the Xtian Death set I sat and talked with Dan/Ph0ebus and Geneiqau from NYC. Apparently some pepper spray was released during the set, and Kristiina was very very allergic to it. My eyes and lungs were bad, but I managed to stay till the end. Matt/Xthlc, Bradley/Raphrat, and Will/TSM (part of the infamous cmu.edu's) arrived at one point in the evening, and I managed to corner them briefly to say hello.

The staff were a bit surly when the evening ended and everyone was milling about outside trying to figure out rides and find people, they kicked us off the sidewalk next to the club. I hung around, seeing if I could cadge a ride back to the hotel, but Dave had a full car. There were five of us trying to find a ride, four of them took a cab, and I hitched a ride with Jihad and Thad. I'd just changed back into runners to save my poor feet when someone pulled the fire alarm. I went outside, grabbing my purse, but then we decided to find an alternate venue, and Matt/Xthlc, Amy/moses, Paul (a local) and Danielle/NoPulse23 took off to Dunkin Donuts. It was freezing in there, so Amy and I huddled under her jacket while eating our icecream. Matt told us a long long joke, and Danielle told us a short version of a long long joke.

Sunday August 11

At dawn, we headed back to the hotel, where Paul found Marc Sane and they discovered that they were both gothic Jewish lawyers. I really did plan on going to sleep at that point but Amy, Matt and Danielle were going to shower and head downtown so I tagged along. We were all tired and laughing at the silliest things, it was a fun trip. We found a couple of neat churches, a flop house with a huge tower, and lots of closed record stores. Danielle flaked out at this point, heading back to the hotel. The rest of us hopped on the T to North Station and went into Boomerangs, which looked neat but was closed also. We ended up eating at McDonalds due to sleep deprivation induced insanity, and Matt downed an espresso. We got back on the T and headed back to Alewife.

I staggered back to my room and slept for a whole two hours before getting up to go to the fade house party. At this point I think I decided that I was going to enter the "who can sleep the least all weekend" contest. I never said that I was all that smart, but I do hate to miss out on things. I made a small contribution to the Cauldron o Chaos gift swap that Columbine was orchestrating, and got a book of collected works by Poe in return. I owned it already, so I traded Eartha for a plaque, which turned out to be Siobhan's contribution. fade played, but it was loud and smokey in the basement so I wandered up to the roof. I had my first Altoid, courtesy of Kristiina. I had one of Evil Temptress's brownies to sustain me, then collected Purp (after some effort), EdVamp, and Siobhan to go to the Bile show. The doors weren't open at the Rat, so we went into IHOP and I had a Belgian waffle, but at that point I got tired of waiting around since Bile still wasn't on and I didn't want to miss any of the main event at Man Ray, so I took off.

I was there before the doors opened as it turned out, so I sat in line with some locals. James and others arrived and budded in. I made a paper iris and hung it on my laminate chain. Once they let us in, I browsed the vendors market, and bought a black leather and barbed wire rose. I collapsed on the couch in the gothic room for a while, and Dave found me there. Eventually JJ found me, and I found Dave for her. I watched the fashion show sitting up on the ledge with Nexus, Matt and Amy. Amy gave us glow in the dark stars and they somehow ended up on our foreheads. Ezrebet Transvestments was the best - the most fun too. The S&M show was hard to see, though Kalev explained it. The PVC was very shiney though. :) I talked with Jihad a bit, and caught Gabriel to say good bye just before they kicked us out. I snagged a ride back to the hotel with Amy and Matt. I hung out in EdVamp's room for a while with Lady B, Cusraque, Miss Jannette and others, but the room parties were quiet as the weekend wound down.

Monday August 12

I eventually wandered into the lobby to catch people as they were leaving to say good byes. The Pittsburgh crew's cab never arrived, Jihad drove them to the station but they missed the train. Jihad and I anchored the lobby together for a while until he and Thad took off for the airport. I said good bye to Amy as she took off for Salem with Dach and a few others. I dragged the Pittsburgh guys and Laudenum into our room to rest until they had to leave to catch the next train and Siobhan, Mark and I went shopping after being treated to a rant, TSM style, from under his hat. The rest of the Ontario group had taken off, but we'd decided to stay on another day.

We got into Boomerangs this time, and I bought the dress off of one of the mannequins. We went to Newbury comics, and had a meal at TGIF where Siobhan and Mark both got carded and were duly flattered. We hit the Fluevog store, a candle store, Tower where Eartha was working and I picked up a Xtian Death CD for my SO. I was starting to feel a bit bad at this point, and dragged the two of them back to the hotel. Laudenum was gone, but we woke up TSM, Bradley and Matt, poured some tea and coffee into them and they headed off. I then made the mistake of lying down just for a second. I woke up 12 hours later, having missed the much anticipated trip to the candle-pin lanes next to the hotel.

Tuesday August 13

I woke up at 10am to shower, pack and check out. I said good bye to EdVamp and he invited me to NYC for the Halloween party. We stopped for gas and alcohol, and I saw that odd liquid with crystals in the bottom of the bottle, and then got on the road for Montreal. We stopped at Sugar Mill farm where we got clove candies and ice cream. The drive through Mass, New Hampshire and Vermont was beautiful. We were stopped at the border by the Vermont cops so that their new dog could check out the car. We had to unload everything from the hatchback and they were pissy about letting us dig through the pile to get sunscreen as they kept us standing around as the dog went nuts over a tea bag. The cops were dubious about Mark's face powder, but I don't think they noticed his huge stash of Aquanet. We finally made it to Montreal and promptly got turned around in the maze of one way streets. We made it to X2O and Rio eventually, just before they closed at 6pm, but they didn't have my size in the lace up the side jeans, though Siobhan grabbed some velvet leggings for a present. I had poutine in the cafe we stopped in for dinner, then we got back on the road again. Siobhan drove to the Ontario border, and I did the two hours from there to Kingston - lots of semi's, fog, construction made it an unpleasant task. I gave up at Kingston and dozed in the back as Sio finished the trip. We dropped Mark off first and then I was kicked out at my place. My first action was of course to go online and write email. I got to bed at 4am and was up again at 6:45 to get to school/work since I had to pick up assignments.

Overall, it was an amazing weekend, though it was far too hard saying good bye to everyone as they left. I ended up sleeping only 23 hours in 6 days, which averaged out to 4 hours a night, skewed by that 12 hour power crash.


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