was driving batman around today; took him trick-or-treating in the main neighborhood of west-side-carbondale (glenview, for those who know the town) and was surprised to see a street-carnival type atmosphere, people all over the place. trick-or-treating is not dead, though it was a little slower in our neighborhood, where there were some dark houses. houses get completely dark if they don't want a constant stream of kids coming by- the rest of us light a punkin, lay in supplies of candy, and take on all comers. easy for me to say- i've got enough kids, i usually do ok one way or the other. matter of fact, we still have candy around from last year, or at least from christmas, and it all kind of runs together after a while. batman scored big, but his sidekick, the lion, age 2, didn't do so well; he had gone down to the strip mall over the weekend, participated in a candy-giveaway, and in a pet store, with chirping birds all around, a dressed up woman was giving him candy from a bowl. it was quite a scene; he didn't know quite how to take all the costumes, including one of a young alien lad who walked into the store with him. well, anyway, a large and quite well-made gorilla jumped out from behind the birds, and stole all the candy from the woman! the poor lion was traumatized, and refused to trick-or-treat all weekend. his reasoning was, if he got a bucket of candy, a gorilla would come around and take it. this was quite upsetting. even the gorilla knew that he'd crossed the line. but alas, it was too late.
so, by next year, he'll be totally in the groove, it's not that complicated. it's all about getting out there, meeting the neighbors, people i see sometimes but barely talk to, and life is too busy, but i would like my kids to know there are people out there, besides the ones in my immediate circle. it's good to bump up against a few random ones once in a while, a cinderella, a flash, or maybe a joker, or maybe their parents. i feel like i hardly live here, i so rarely go talk to the neighbors, but, the least i can do is welcome a few visitors once in a while. it's a pretty place, wide green lawns, trees changing colors, a gentle breeze across the soccer fields as i drive toward glenview- the trick-or-treat street party. but a blowing leaf jumped up at me, while i was driving- the sun behind me maybe caught on it and it seemed like it was something jumping out at me. just a leaf, crisp and weightless, like a spirit, i guess. from then on, i kind of stuck with the two-yr.-old- didn't even look at some of the costumes. when you're trying to make sense of a world, you don't need this stuff, i guess...
but then, from an earlier post, i'm getting an education about guy fawkes (faux), and bonfire night, november fifth, and the custom of burning effigies, sometimes of the pope, but with no ill will intended, of course. from a site full of guy fawkes verse, here's one that caught my eye:
St Catherines School
(to the tune of Clementine)
Build a bonfire, build a bonfire.
Put the teacher on the top.
Put the prefect in the middle
And we'll burn the bloomin' lot.
-Mark Thompson, ten, St. Catherine's School, Lore and Language, vol.4 #2, July 1985, "Rhymes and Songs for Halloween and Bonfire Night". Ervin Beck, p.13.
but what do i know? they sing all kinds of stuff, i guess, or used to anyway. i may be just picking up on general jumpiness of this small hard-partyin college town, but getting thrown in there with the pope, the prefect, & guy fawkes is not apparently something to aspire to. my problem, really, is that for halloween itself, i've got no costume. never do, never did. i have very few truly repressed parts of my personality- there are either parts like hillbilly or hobo, that are not repressed at all- and others, like soldier or vampire, that just aren't even a remote part of me- there's no repressed me dying to get out, whatsoever. told everyone at work that i was dressing up as a normal person- that i did a bad job, as usual, but at least i was still fooling everyone, as far as i could tell. the crisis comes to a head this weekend when i actually have a party to go to.
maybe i'll be the pope. or the guy. or maybe, the bonfire. don't know, i'm kind of at a loss.
have a good holiday season...drive safe- but park diagonal.