Can we talk about this photo for a minute? Or maybe fifteen minutes?
I don’t know who that is.
I don’t know who took the photo.
I don’t know when it was taken, or where.
I just knew that I had to have it.
As mentioned in prior articles, there are eBay sellers who deal exclusively in “found” photos. These are personal photographs that for whatever reason fell into the laps of eBay sellers. It’s not a particularly hot market, but there are apparently enough people willing buy these photos to merit listing them.
Anyway, that’s how I came across this one. It cost seven dollars. It’s gonna be the coolest thing to add to my 2016 tax deductions.
At first glance, it only seems to be an unremarkable photo of someone in a Halloween costume. But first glances are l-i-a-r-s. A closer inspection reveals enough nutty shit for me to write 4000 words — half of them hard-edged adjectives, and almost all of them in caps.
The more I studied this photo, the more it frightened and intrigued me. Like a Twilight Zone episode with great set dressing, there was something not quite right about literally every element. It broke no rules, yet it bent them all.
The photo felt less like a candid and more like Exhibit A.
I believe it was trying to tell me something.
I also believe that Six Feet Under would’ve had a better fourth season if THIS was the photo that fell out of Michaela’s weird book.
Notice how the costume mixes “cheap” with “pro” in ways that no real Halloween costume ever would.
The mask looks like some rinky-dink $10 deal from a random pharmacy, but with a such a perfect fit around the wearer’s left eye, it seems likely that additional makeup and possibly even prosthetics were used.
If you’re willing to use prosthetics, why bother with a Three-Eyed Zombie Seaweed Guy Who Kind Of Looks Like Destro mask in the first place? It’s like buying a seventy thousand dollar car and then slapping some radio station’s promotional bumper sticker on its ass. No, nein, nie. Nien Nunb.
Further complicating matters is that “robe.” It was obviously just a cheap vinyl cape worn backwards, but that means the person who wore this costume would’ve looked totally ridiculous from the back.
There are limits to what I will believe. Ghosts, sea monsters, space aliens? Maybe. But not this costume. It’s a distraction. A diversionary tactic. I want it to stop.
Then there’s the eerie light emanating from the monster’s torso. Merely an artifact of flash photography? I think not. The light fits too organically into the folds of that cape.
I recognize that sort of collage from my sister’s ancient bedroom. Erratically assembling photos from fashion magazines was nothing out of the ordinary, but it does seem a touch odd that a person who wore that sort costume would’ve created that sort of collage.
Unless it was just a regular retail poster made to look like a homemade collage? Even the boring subplots keep thickening.
While true that the creature may have in fact been a guest, I recognize that posture. You can only pull off that posture if you own the place. When you lean like that, it’s the human version of spraying.
So no, monster isn’t visiting.
Monster is home.
We may then theorize that this hideous beast was actually portrayed by a lovely young woman, and that this photo was taken in her bedroom.
But who took the photo? And do you really believe that this girl would’ve gone through so much trouble to give an “in-character face” while standing next to a wall full of illusion-crushing paper fashionista heads?
I cannot buy that.
She looks perturbed because she is perturbed.
You’ve heard of a cry for help? This was a glower for help.
The dark area on the door is actually a mirror. (Brightened here for clarity.)
I’ve determined that the creature/girl/whatever should’ve at least been partially visible in that mirror. But she is not. Of course she isn’t.
Look at the whole photo again:
Now look at an extra spooky darkened version of it:
I will never know the truth. Not the slightest bit of it.
I’ll never know when this was taken, or where it was taken. I’ll never know who played Three-Eyed Zombie Seaweed Guy Who Kind Of Looks Like Destro, or if it’s indeed accurate to say that anyone “played” him at all.
The eerie light, the diamond-cut model heads, the missing reflection — I’ll never have a firm grasp on any of these things.
Maybe it’s better that way.
In fact, I’m sure it is. Because while I cannot categorically state the genesis or meaning of anything in that photo, there is one nagging truth of which I am 100% certain:
I know too much already.