On Fear.

I don’t remember ever being much of a fan of Halloween. Perhaps my fondest memory of it as a kid was my dad taking me and my friends out to the wooded backyard behind our house to tell ghost stories around a campfire while we roasted marshmallows for s’mores. He told the best ghost stories, and he always had the dramatic intonations of his deep bass voice just right to make them just scary enough.

But, costumes and trick-or-treating were never really my thing. I guess I was too shy. I also hated the day after Halloween, seeing the neighborhood all messy with shaving cream on the streets, toilet paper in the trees, smashed pumpkins, eggs on cars, and mailboxes lying next to driveways. The worst for me was seeing jack-o-lanterns that I just knew someone had spent hours carving lying in bits on people’s doorsteps. I just never saw the point of all that, even when I was young and stupid.

Since meeting Billy, we started a tradition that turned me slightly on the idea of Halloween, if only for its cynical approach. We would go sit outside at Señor Swanky’s on Bleecker Street for hours with a pitcher of beer and some good friends, watching everyone in the Village walk around from party to party in their costumes. The best part of this activity was when we had a beer or two in us and we started heckling the costumed passers-by. Most appreciated the attention – after all, any hairy old man dressed as a ballerina in a pink tutu and tights must want SOME kind of attention – but I will admit I think we offended the guy dressed as a mammogram machine when we started saying something about the fact that he’d only dressed that way to get a good look at women’s boobs all night. Hey, in Greenwich Village at 11pm on Halloween night, that seems to me like it would be a valid assumption. I guess we were wrong.

This year the weather is perfect for sitting outside and imbibing but instead I’m home with all the lights turned off, pretending not to be here. We didn’t even have the money to buy candy for trick-or-treaters this year. I usually like seeing the kids in costume, and this year it’s even warm enough that they don’t have to wear jackets over them.

I guess the trick’s on me this year, however; I had to pay my tuition bill instead of drink beer. Oh, the horror!


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