Hardly Halloween   (2015Oct31)


Saturday, October 31, 2015                                              12:09 PM

Oh, the dreaded day is upon me! While I comfortably hide in my house every day, crippled by social anxiety, poor social skills, a compulsive suspicion of others’ motives, and simple shyness—I am secure in the knowledge that there are boundaries to a person’s property—If someone knocks on my door, I don’t have to let them in—I can say, “Go away.” –and no matter how rude of me that is, they legally have to go away.

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But today, the normal rules don’t apply. Today I must put on a full set of clothes—I must accomplish my full ‘toilette’ and present myself, smiling wide, to whatever crowd of monstrous children inhabit my doorstep. I must have a bowl full of bribes for my own protection. And worst of all, I must engage with all their parents as if they were common sights upon my doorstep with a frightening attention to my health and mood—I must say I’m fine and ask them if they are also. It makes me shudder.

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I miss the old ways of childhood. When I was of school age, I knew every kid in a thirty mile radius—I wandered near and far, and so did they—we mingled in the way only those unfamiliar with their surroundings have a need to mingle. But now I don’t know my next door neighbor—with a handful of exceptions, I don’t know a soul in my neighborhood—and while I’m exceptionally anti-social, they too are anti-social by virtue of being grown adults with ‘things to do’. We are all more likely to form our social-circles based on old school ties and our present place of work. Indeed the modern mode is to accept ignorance of our neighbors as part of the ‘hominess’ of being at home, where no one will ‘bother’ you. I am acutely aware of this because I’ve been unemployed for so long—I have no workplace mingling, no new employees to meet, no old employees to say goodbye to.

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So when I have to look across the ‘connecting costumed kids’ at the complete strangers that are my neighboring parents, I feel both disappointed and extremely uncomfortable. People freak me out. They sometimes believe the strangest things. They sometimes staunchly oppose scientifically-accepted realities. Some of them even carry firearms—I guess—or so I’m led to believe. There are lots of people who are a little crazy, but not so crazy that they’re locked up for it—they just wander around, having lives just like the rest of us—but they scare the bejeezus out of me.

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Halloween is spooky alright.

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