The Halloween weekend went without incident, mostly because I later found out that it was seen mostly as a holiday for children and not for serious adults. I noticed this kind of indifference early enough in my apartment from my flatmates who had promised not to leave the front light on – a sign for the roaming kids that the house was closed for trick-or-treating. On Friday, I had gone into town late in the evening with a friend, and noticed how creatively many houses decorated their front porches with skeletons, ghouls and other scary stuff, including carved pumpkins with lights in them. There were kids on the road going to different houses in little plastic bags searching for candy. On their heels were parents and older ones who, as I was told, were there to keep their wards/siblings safe from prowling pranksters or children kidnappers. According to my friend, it wasn’t always like this. “Growing up in the 70s, there was not much in the news about kidnappings and the likes like we have today, and it wasn’t because the country was any safer, but because the news circuit was not as paranoid.” She said. “We went out at night trick-or-treating, and came back at dawn, alone and without our parents, and it was much more fun.”
At her own house, where she lives with her mother, a professor from the University, the front porch light was also turned off, and the only glow outside were two carved lighted pumpkins. We rang the doorbell and she went to hide behind one of the shrubs while I put up the shrillest imitation of children as soon as her mother approached the door from inside the house, and said “trick-or-treat!” If she was amused by our prank as soon as she opened the door, I couldn’t notice it as much as I saw her urgency to return to the basement where she was working on the computer. In short, I could say that for many people with even a modicum of maturity, especially those without preteen children, Halloween has become nothing but just a weekend of lights and irritating kids.
On Saturday was the Halloween parade at downtown Edwardsville, arguably the biggest celebration for the day. According to legend, it features a parade of the craziest costumes in the area. I had put the parade in my plans since earlier in the week, but when the time came, nature played it tricks-or-treat on my ailing flesh. I did not treat myself to a good sleep for hours preceding the parade, and my body tricked me into sleep. But wait, that was not why I didn’t go. Here is a better excuse: It was cold, and I couldn’t ride downtown in the inclement weather. Ben could have driven us there, Mafoya and I (who had made the plan together), but Ben himself was at St. Louis at the time, so we had no choice but to stay indoors and wait for news from those who went.
In the end, the news wasn’t so enticing anyway. The parade started late, the costumes were not so spectacular, and it was too dark to take good pictures. So there. The only pictures I will boast of from the All Saints Weekend were the ones I took some days before then, while messing around with an old mask. And of course with the large witch hat that I tried on while at Prof Rudy’s house on Sunday. His wife had worn it in the house during their bridge-playing session, and was gracious enough to lend me for a few seconds photo opportunity. She looked better in it though, and I wish I could put up her picture instead of mine. But without her permission, how could I? I think the main reason why I didn’t eventually dress up as a Pirate of the Carribbean was because I didn’t do my shopping early enough. And by the time I got to Khol’s on Friday, all they had were children’s costumes, and the workers looked at me strangely when I asked them if they had anything for adults to wear on Halloween. Oh well, I’m not a kid anymore. Or am I?