I let my thoughts drift. My mind wanders to an old memory. It is a piece of white cloth with a red stain on it. The stain is not fresh but slightly faded, someone has tried to remove it with washing powder but it didn’t entirely work.
It was the day before carnival at school and I spent the evening chatting with M who had been a friend for 2-3 years at this point. We exchanged messages via ICQ - which was the messaging service of choice in my circle of friends back then. I didn’t like the thought of dressing up and was generally grumpy. I have not been a fan of costumes since elementary school but I don’t remember what soured the fun in dressing up. Bets are either the feeling of carnival being childish and immature or the dislike of the drunk masses during the gatherings in town.
M mentioned that she would be going as a vampire. Truth be told I was probably into her back then. I certainly remember making advances towards her and being rejected at some point; but I cannot figure out if that was the same year. As much as it pains me to admit, the years from school are blurry and I’m having trouble remembering whom exactly I liked at which moment. It’s not always so clean cut during puberty, as you might have experienced yourself.
I sensed the opportunity to blend in a little easier with folks in school while not being entirely dressed up and suggest that, should she go as vampire I might be the victim of her bite, with some blood, stains and all.
I’m not sure whether I asked M to wear red lipstick that day. My mind might have added that detail in hindsight to make the memory livelier. I asked my mother in the morning to help me with some of her makeup, to make a more convincing vampire victim - the usual things but not going over the top. So we stick to the kiss mouth painted on with lipstick and use a little bit of eyeliner for a different colored red. We could’ve gone for some ghoulish smokey eyes effect, I realize now.
M and I had a lot of fun parading around at school, with all the usual jokes you do on carnival. At least that’s what I prefer to think, given that I lack any detailed memories here. I would be willing to bet there were krapfen at some point and I believe I messed up my white hoodie with the jam from the krapfen. When undressing I smeared some of the lipstick to the collar of the white hoodie. Mum was never able to get it perfectly white again and asked me multiple times to give it away or discard it but I kept it for years, the stain a reminder of a nice memory.