My journey was dispersed throughout several days. When it came time to putting Atlas’ wardrobe together I had several looks for him. Going along with my reputation for changing throughout the day it was only natural for Atlas to have many different looks.
The Grocery store: This was a more spontaneous look and adventure. I got back from the gym this day and my roommate asked if I wanted to go to the grocery store. I had just recently purchased these awesome leggings days prior that were for Atlas so I used this as an opportunity to just go for it. Since it was more last minute I was a bit styled down. However I kept the main pieces that were Atlas, ( visor, shoes) I threw on this space tank that I made and the leggings. Before I walked out the door I threw on a glow band that was orbiting my wrist.
We went to pick up my other roommate at school he got out of class at around 7pm so it was night fall by this time. I was in the passengers seat and when he saw me from a distance he started to laugh. “You going out tonight” were his first words as. “no but we are” I laughed. I told him we were going to go to the grocery store. His response was “lest do this.” I am very fortunate to have roommates that are comfortable with my expressive wardrobe even one that belonged to Atlas. So we drove to a Food 4 Less.
The area was predominately latino and it was quite busy. My first reactions before getting out of the car was extremely nervous. The idea of going was fine but once I saw that group of people outside the grocery store a rush of emotions went through my body. I got scared. I remember telling myself Im Atlas right now he doesn’t show emotion. As we stepped out and began walking It was very nerve wrecking passing through the crowd of people as they all stared at my out of this world attire. It was an interesting emotion for me to recall because I have not felt this kind of nerve (one that involves my appearance) since Jr. high. Yes, I was able to date it back to the actual time I last felt that kind of nerve. Back in Jr. high I was still experimenting with myself figuring out who I was and my wardrobe reflected that. But i remember getting so scared to wear certain things because I would worry about what others would think of me. So that was deff a very interesting emotion that I didn’t forget.
Walking inside the grocery store ended up being better than the initial entrance. Yes everyone was staring but no one was saying anything. Im pretty sure everyone was curious as to what I was all about. Most people looked casually and tried to appear as if they were not. Children however were shameless, staring straight at me and following me in the store from a distance. I passed through a little girl that had been staring at me from a distance. As soon as I got closer to her she ran and whined a loud yelp to her mom in fear Im assuming and continued to stare. We continued to walk around and people continued to stare but they tried to act unfazed by the whole situation. We were probably there for a good 40 minutes, waiting forever in line. when finished we walked back to the car and laughed at the crazy awkwardness that just happened. Mission accomplished! I did it. Although I just got a massive amount of stares I wanted to push the envelope more and put myself in situations where people would actually say something. So I thought to myself what better place get judged can their be than a gay club.
Day of the club: This evening was the most fun. I got home right after my 3:15pm meeting and got ready quickly so I would be in wardrobe as long as possible. I painted my arms threw my outfit together and went about my day as usual. My roommate needed to go to the dorms to pick up his charger from his friends place. So I tagged along. Walking around the dorm area was so funny because it was still a bit light out and I caught several people looking out their windows to see who or what that was walking outside. Someone even came out of the balcony and just examined my appearance I assumed they were foreign since they had a german flag hanging on their balcony. It was a thursday so everyone knows thursday afternoon at the dorms begins to be very busy with people walking back from class trying to figure out who is throwing a party. So I passed several people. A couple of people complimented me on my visor. And one girl liked my legs. We arrived at the dorm and she was so excited to see me since I haven’t seen her in a while. She was like ooh “pleased to meet you Atlas” and shook my hand. (we had let her know I was going as Atlas) It was fun because all of her roommates came out to get a peek at my outfit. There were a lot of questions that turned what was supposed to be a quick trip into a much longer stay.
I had to get back home my friends were going to pre game at my apartment since power was out in all of my area except my street for whatever reason. By the time we left it was dark and the drive home was scary since there were no lights (the winds knocked out the lights for 2 days). It was fun because I lit the way with my glowing shorts. We got back I freshened up and my friends started to arrive. They all knew I was dressing up tonight and knew what Atlas was all about. So my friend came and we went to the liquor store and taco bell. Taco bell was fun because the teller was caught off guard when he saw my look. The liquor store was small and as soon as I walked in the lady smiled and greeted us. She waved when I turned my back and her husband I assume came out and randomly started to reorganize things down the isle. Im pretty sure they were a bit concerned at the thought that I might steal. I grabbed what I was going to buy and began to talk to the cashier. Asking her how her night was going, she seemed to loosen up and smile more often. I think my quirky personality caught her off guard. We payed for our things and went our ways. She never did ask me about my wardrobe and we were talking about the weather and blackouts.
Got back to my place and more people arrived. there were a lot of oohs an ahhhs and “your so tall.” But we all had a blast getting ready. I meet a couple new people that night which I introduced myself as Atlas. They were all like thats a cool name so unique (i confessed later). So it was time! we hit the road in multiple cars and made our way to the club. It was a teenage angst y club but I didn’t mind I wanted to get reactions and dance.
We arrived and parked. As we were walking we passed through a motor home and some drugged out hippie started to yell at us when he saw me he started to say stuff in words I didn’t even understand. We all laughed and said he was doing some form of ritual since he had had a candles lined out. Not phased by what he said (since i didn’t understand) we continued to walk to the club. We went into a Tommy’s to use the rest room. I managed to walk passed the people looking at the menu without them noticing. I did catch the eye of the security guard (which I thought was weird to have at a fast food place) I didn’t need to use the restroom so I wanted outside. The security guard literally followed me all the way to the other side of the of where we walked in to the restroom and just stood there. He probably assumed I was up to no good but I just was waiting patiently dancing to the radio music the had inside.
We finally got to the club as I waited in line everyone was staring crazy at me so I gave them something more to stare at and turned my lights on. I told myself I was going to try to play the part this time acting robotic and oblivious to this world. My friends said if anyone asked they were going to say I was foreign. We got our tickets and walked in. At this moment I felt the most fun. I felt really good with all eyes on me walking into the club. It felt just like the end of a makeover montage where the character arrives to school and the camera slows down I walked down the center and ALL eyes were on me. I swear they even cleared a path as I walked through it felt so good. After we passed the initial entrance my friend even came up to me and was like “were teen royalty, the plastics” (referring to mean girls).
The night was full of stares but this time people were actually coming up to me asking me questions and complimenting me. asking if those were real tattoos? Telling me they loved my look. I enjoyed the attention. We were hanging out at the bar for a period of time when some guy came up to me and asked a numerous amount of questions. He ended up buying me a drink which I was shocked at because that never really happens to me. We chatted for a bit and I made my way because they were playing my song and I wanted to dance. I had one drunk guy come up to me, our conversation was funny so i remembered it.
Drunk guy: “okay Lady Gaga”
Drunk guy: “wrong day its rhianna night”
Atlas: “processing” (literally trying to figure out what to say next)
Drunk guy: “whatah!?”
Atlas: “I don’t understand who these characters are you are trying to promote”
Atlas: “Pitiful mortal”
I walked away and he did this flamboyant hand swoop as a walked away I was smiling at the thought that I kept my composure. There were several more instances like this where I tried to talk as robotic as I could but none as good as this one. I had a hard time staying in character. I did say processing a lot as well as negative and affirmative. Every time I saw people looking at me I tried to act as oblivious as I could. Sometimes when people complimented me or said something rude I would just look directly at them and tilt me head in confusion. At the bar when people were staring I was grabbing object looking examining them. Picking them up, touching them all cautious. Just to play the part a little extra which was fun.
We ended up dancing the rest of the night and as the night came to an end we made out way outside. I asked my friends to take a couple of pictures of me and they wanted to join in. What was an intimate picture with my friends ended up turning into a crowed of people hounding to take pictures with me as if paparazzi. (i felt like a celebrity). So we all collectively agreed to grab something to eat. We all went back to the cars and I went back with my group. I was happy with how the night was going so far but I guess I thought to soon.
We passed through the same Tommy’s fast food joint as we walked back to the car. We ended up coming some guy eating a burger on the side walk just standing there. He yelped when he saw me and my friends giggled. He was struggling to keep his composure ( he was probably wasted). They he continued to try to kick me. We all thought he was joking until he yelled “get the fuck out of my neighborhood you fucken fagot” At this point I figured he was homeless referring to a random sidewalk on hollywood blvd. as his neighborhood. My friend then yelled “omg Benji run” So I did as he ran after me trying to kick me. My friends ended up running right behind me when I turned back my friend was on the phone calling the police telling them that a man tried to assault us. I was further ahead and thought wow this would be a perfect story for my project but I needed a picture. So I grabbed my camera and zoomed as close as a could. At this point he kept his distance. Until he saw my camera flash which I accidentally forgot to take off. When he saw the flash he came right at us again and ran full speed. My friend then yelled again “omg he is chasing us again” thankfully the car was close and we frantically ran into the car as fast as we could. He ended up running in the middle of the street and my friend who was driving charged straight at him. He didn’t move though so he wiped the car really fast around him and my friend yelled out the window “fuck off” I looked back as we drove off and he was still standing there. Which confused me. He was probably sick or something caught off guard by my appearance. By the end of the night we went to a taco stand with seating and the staring continued. A couple of drag queens came and looked at me confused. They probably figured what the heck was I supposed to be Im dressed up but not as a girl. I was in the in between which confused them. This ended the night as Atlas. I went out a couple more times in my hometown when I visited but none of the night compared to this one. I also ended up going out as Atlas for my halloween costume which was very fun. No one guessed who I was everyone thought I was sexy TRON hah well they had the right idea.
Atlas for me exudes confidence, he is a rare breed of his kind and is used to the attention. I had a lot of fun becoming this being that was so inspiring in itself. Of course There were stares but thats because we are so accustomed to wear certain things. When someone chooses to step out of that fine line its called a costume. Its why fashion has ready to wear and couture separate. No one would wear couture everyday. I always think In my head why is that. Why have we grown so far away from what is more expressive to something more conformed. I wonder If some aspects of the future I invented will come true. I certainly hope that we can live in a world like that soon. In the meantime I will continue to do what I’ve been doing, Atlas may be a costume but, he’s more of a Tuesday for me.