28 September 2007

Lamenta Says....

A few months ago, I played a game of monsters that conjured Lamenta, a new and odious character to add color my life. I love Lamenta, but she's basically like the caricature equivalent of rain on your parade.

Monsters, in case you are not acquainted with the practice, involves a community composition of a monster portrait. The game is divided into rounds, depending on how many players are available. During each round, players are responsible for adding a portion of a monster body. In a game with four players the rounds are traditionally head, torso, legs and feet. Each player gets a piece of paper and drawing utensil at the top of round one. Drawing monsters ensues.

When a player is finished drawing the particular monster bits of the round, the page is folded over so just a hint of the drawing is revealed. Everyone passes their page to the left (because any good debutante or stoner will tell you its good etiquette), and the next round begins. Lather, rinse, repeat. At the end of the four rounds, there is a great reveal of an oddly pieced together monster. The results are often quite amusing. As an added bonus, you can follow the game with a monster naming ceremony.

Lamenta was borne unto me one rainy Portland night at My Father's Place, a dive where the air is thick with smoke and the waitstaff serves up cheap, greasy spoon breakfasts to be washed down with whiskey in the wee hours of the morning. Sure, playing monsters seems like a childish barroom activity. I have to admit there is a great amount of overlap in the venn diagram of life comparing drunken friends and kids I used to babysit. Indeed, playing monsters was a favorite babysitting activity.

I don't remember exactly what Lamenta looks like, but I remember her to be a bit stodgy. I think she wore a bowler hat with a flower and wellington boots. Her face was contorted with misery and her jaw slack. She looked every bit like a wretched, self-loathing sourpuss. We added a caption of "Lamenta says..." and a speech bubble of an epically proportioned, "WHY?" Now, my friend Ben and I prompt each other:

"Lamenta says..."

"Whhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiyyyyyyyyyyyyy?"

Lamenta's voice sounds much akin to Marguerite Perrin, in case you have not heard this exchange. If Marguerite is a God Warrior, Lamenta is a Soldier of Misfortune. She's coincidentally a great scapegoat. Forget Aunt Flo coming to town... when Lamenta comes to visit, you can be certain the apocalypse is nigh.

Today I've oft been reminded of the plight of Lamenta. Sure, I'm not crying out with threats of doomsday, but I'm on the verge of a major crank-a-thon.

The day started out with a 5:15 am phone call. It was a wrong number. Which is particularly annoying when you are awakened with blaring thoughts of bad things happening to important people. Nothing like a good flash of panic to start your day! I spent most of the morning feeling jumpy and wound up. Needless to say, I didn't need any coffee this morning.

As an added challenge, the overnight overnight showers exacerbated my fall allergies. Being relatively new to the hay fever phenom, I refuse to do smart things like taking an anti-histamine before I leave for work or avoiding the urge to itch your eyes. Now I've busted up my left eyeball. It hurts, and it looks as if there is a big air bubble between the white eye bits and the film that rests on top of it. It's gross and uncomfortable.

While I'm nowhere near as miserable as Miss Lamenta, I'm still reserving the right to bitch and moan as I please.

4 comments:

Mead said...

If it's any consolation, Ms. C, your account of your travails made for very good reading. I hope it was at least somewhat stress-reducing for you to write it, because it was it weirdly homeopathic for me. I had a discouraging evening tonight at the theater, in that the person I went with dumped me during intermission for someone more fun (I guess) and I sat through Act 2 by myself and slinked home with my tale between my legs and then I read your post and I thought: well, at least KC & I are being miserable together.

I think I'll change my blog's name now to The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.

Kurt said...

Mrs. Perrin haunts my dreams

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