Monday, October 09, 2006


When I was seven, I decided that Halloween was my favorite holiday. The really weird thing was that I decided this sometime in the spring, when a lot of kids would say that Easter is their favorite holiday. I mean, either you would say that Christmas is your favorite holiday, or you would say that they are all your favorite, and so the next one about to arrive or the one that has just past must be your favorite holiday.

But no, we were in school that day, and we were taking down these colored papers that we had taped to the windows. Most of these papers had fall leaves stuck in between the window and the paper, so that the color faded except where the leaves had been. And I was holding this piece of paper with the colored shape of the leaf, and I wished that it was fall again so that Halloween would come. And that's a strange thought to have in the spring, since most of the rest of the school year you wish for it to be spring so that school would end for summer vacation.

For most other kids at the time, the thing they liked most about Halloween was the candy. I like candy just as much as the next person, but that was never really it for me. I liked putting on a costume and going out with my friends to run around the neighborhood in the dark. I just knew that when I was a grown-up I wouldn't wait til Halloween, and I would walk around the neighborhood in the dark on a regular basis.

I still like dressing up in costumes, and I've found reasons besides Halloween to wear them.

But the walking around in the dark bit...well, my feelings on that one have changed over the years. At one point, darkness became a way to hide the fact that I was kissing someone. Later on, the sun going down was really no big deal.

But at some point it was something I was really afraid of.

Nothing really bad like that has ever happened to me, but it does make me uneasy at times. My brother lives a couple of blocks away, and because of the awful parking situation, it is pointless to drive to his house (unless it is raining or something) so we often walk to his place. We used to walk to his place every Friday night.

Sometimes I walk by myself now.

The gates are all locked, and I'm sure it's perfectly safe, but sometimes it just doesn't feel that way.

Sometimes I am so unnerved by it all that I can't seem to get to sleep alone in my own bed. Silly. But the only place I've really felt safe enough to sleep by myself was my old upstairs apartment. I suppose someone could have murdered me in my sleep there, just as they could here or at the house I lived in before the apartment. It just seemed to me that if someone wanted to murder me in my upstairs apartment, they'd have to want it enough to bring a ladder with them, and that would probably make noise and they would get caught.

I used to really love being outside in the darkness.

I guess that's one of the things that people miss when they talk about the good old days.

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