The Devil throughout the ages has acquired many disguises and habits, including lists of his favourite things which he scrupulously records in his unreadable scrawl and constantly updates, littering surfaces with these papers for he's never been a tidy person, despite his groomed appearance, no matter what disguise he dons, which suggests the contrary. His fingernails hygienically short; his chisel jaw clean-shaven or stray hairs trimmed and combed if concealed by whiskers; his bald head polished or shiny locks allowed to flow, be ruffled by the wind or tied back; and his body washed and scented, a dab of cologne behind the ears, on the gentle beat of the throat and on the delicate inside of the wrists where it throbs. There was an age when this would have made the Devil an effeminate man, but with the passing (and possibly the repeat) of time it simply means he's once again in touch with his femininity. Emasculated, yet having pride in the cut of his cloth; his hips swaggering as he owns a new masculinity.
cut of his outer cloth, the pieces weaved, stitched with thread and
worn, were in a word masterful; exact to every inch of his being,
whichever being that so happened to be. There was no puckering, no
gaping, no raw, unfinished hems or trailing strands from the dark
velvet, floor-sweeping hooded cloak he once habitually threw over his
head and shoulders, to the selection of tailored business suits and
bowler hats. These days, he was a little more street-wise,
smart-casual or assumed a fashionable genre: the country rock star
with designer denim jeans and cowboy boots, the daredevil
motorcyclist with red gloves and white, rather than black, leathers.
Sometimes he wanted to meld, sometimes he wanted to scream.
would irresponsible of me to imply that he always imitated the figure
of man; he did not. He kept separate closets for his other less-used
identities, in which hung garments to fit the myriad of womanly
shapes and the heads of beasts. Pretending to be either was more
draining and more time-consuming than that of man, especially
considering the many lumps, bumps, curves or angular configurations
that could be contained in the tenderer sex.
image of man he felt far more comfortable, more at home in his body.
And women were, despite their progressive wiles and the older ones
Shakespeare had recorded, far easier to deceive. They were still
Eves, willing to be tempted by a whispering snake and a tree heavy
with ripe fruit; whereas Adams were, as a rule, more carnal, needing
to be persuaded by the right temptress in a tight-fitting or
revealing dress who could meet their fickle desires. And as for
beasts, they were for extreme measures; as a last resort when no
other human mask proved seductive enough, but generally the Devil
preferred to avoid those with animal fantasies.
was, however, a disguise the Devil prized the most, saving it for
special occasions or when the long game had to be played to win a
certain lady, particularly those that read or had over-active
imaginations. For them, it wasn't so much the camouflage but the
thought and the daring; whereas the Devil enjoyed the stealthier
element and the air of mystery it gave him. It was no lie to say it
was not of his own creation; he'd borrowed the inspiration from an
The costume itself was simplistic: an all-in-one black bodysuit with
a black ski mask, black leather gloves and squeak-free plimsolls. He
moved like a cat, he looked like a robber, but the women he was out
to woo never spied him at this crucial stage; his mission was to
avoid direct bodily contact yet leave a very noticeable trace of his
presence. And like the fictional image he impersonated, the gift he
left was usually a box of Milk Tray topped with a crisp calling card
with a stamped motif of himself with horns, to which he
added further mystique by stealing the orange creams and pralines
from each layer.
Devil was not, as you might now imagine, a chocolate fiend; he does
have other vices which better fit his depicted character and which I
cannot describe here at length, but amongst these are some tastes,
which once discovered, he cannot bring himself to sacrifice to
Picture Credit: Daily Mail, 2012