Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Wanderings: Halloween

I had a lovely, quietish weekend of readings and dance performances and a nice little housewarming and snow and a book sale.  And tonight, back from my teaching class and the madness of West 4th Street, maybe I'll do a little reading, a little editing, and a little memorizing.

And also, I'll be fondly remembering some past Halloweens:
My first one, taken with a Polaroid camera. #HipsterSince1986 #NotReally
My 21st, taken during the greatest party every thrown at SLC.

But perhaps the Halloween I am most fond of remembering was the one I spent in England half a decade ago.  A few days before the holiday, Carlea and I were accosted by a small child screaming, "Trick or Treat!" in what I remember to be a monster costume.  We said, "Aww!  How cute!" and then meant to walk on our way.  Only, then the child's mother accosted us, too.  "Well, go on.  Give him something," she said.  And as we sort of flailed about saying, "Well, we don't have any candy, since, um, it's not Halloween right now.  And, um, since we're on the street, and not sitting patiently by our door, we can't really give him a treat."  She then informed us we were supposed to give him money.  Oh.  Culture shock, I guess.

We had a really fun party that evening, and for the second time in my life, I drank too much, and had to be carried home.  I woke up the next morning, not hungover, and probably we roasted some vegetables and read a bit, and talked.  Oxford was like that.  There was an incredible costume shop that closed last year, and on the way home from it, you could walk through a tiny graveyard.  Oxford was like that, too.

On Halloween that year, Neil Gaiman wrote the most wonderful op-ed article in the Times, and it seemed to really encapsulate everything I was feeling at the time.  I still think it's wonderful. You should go read it; it's called "Ghosts in the Machine," and it's wonderful.  The disquieting shadows he mentions, the haunting nature of October, the reminders that we live - Gaiman's prose is far from perfect, but his passion for stories, for narrative and immortality, is incredible.  Go read the article, and then have a very happy Halloween.

1 comment:

  1. I love both the pictures! You look like your having so much fun in that second one. Although to be honest, if I had seen baby you in that clown costume, I probably would have run away screaming and crying.