Halloween.... a love story
In 1970 the most important person in my life was my best friend Joyce, and Joyce, my bestest ever friend really really loved Halloween.
Joyce was as fair as I was dark. She had shimmery golden blond hair and a ton of freckles.
And like a true best friend she loved everything that I loved and loathed everything that I loathed.
Halloween was Joyce's very favorite holiday, and the love wasn't for the candy or for the adventure of roaming the streets after dark with parental permission..
To Joyce the appeal of Halloween was the idea that a person could become anyone or anything they wanted for that one special night.
Joyce had a flair for the dramatic.
This particular Halloween she was being very (very) secretive about who or what she was going to become.
As for me, caught in the middle of a creative drought and my usual I don't give a shit what the hell I go as for Halloween, I'm only in "it" for the goods mind set Marmie and I decided that I'd be a greaser sort, like the Fonz (from Happy Days).
After a couple of weeks of Joyce annoying me with her stingy non sharing of details Halloween finally arrived.
It was nearly dusk when we heard a soft rap on the door....it was Joyce and her 6 year old brother Ronald.
Ronald was dressed this Halloween as a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like... right down to a strategically placed black mole and an over stuffed brassier.
Joyce waited until the hysteria over Ronald's costume died down before making her grand entrance.
She was inside a HUGE cardboard appliance box...her head protruded from a hole cut in the top and her arms stuck out of holes cut in the side.
"I'm a TV!!!" she announced proudly.
She pointed to the top of her head...her mother had fashioned a set of rabbit ears using a headband, pipe cleaners and aluminum foil balls.
The front of the TV box/costume held assorted sized buttons and knobs...(remember, we had no remote controls then..).
Joyce was proud as hell of that costume.
During our trick-or-treating the box mostly proved to be a big pain in the ass... Joyce figured out pretty early in our trip that most porches were too small to hold her and the box so she'd stay down and the rest of us would go up to the door...
(Hey, don't go feeling sorry for her yet... people did send extra candy to her, in that huge box and in all her glory she was impossible to miss)
There was only one other thing besides the candy that I liked about Halloween... I got a kick out of being able to see all the neighbors up close, being able to take a peek into their houses..
Some of the houses smelled as wonderful as they looked, potpourri or sweet burning candle smells poured out the doors when they were opened.
Other houses smelled as they looked too.... stinky cabbage, fish or what the gawd awful hell is that smell??? smell.. (stinky diaper? dirty dog...?)
Once out of view of those houses we'd look at each other and plug our noses...
The final house on our haunted journey that year had a large porch... we all went up the steps and using our perfected harmony sang "Trick- oooorrrrrr-Treat...???!!!"....
through the window we saw the homeowner... a huge, balding man struggling to get out of his worn recliner..
we waited for what seemed like an eternity for him to get to the door...
when he finally arrived, we all took a few steps back and to the side to allow him room to open the door...
we later figured out that the man's screen door must have been mounted for a left handed person because when he opened it it swung the wrong way and hit the side of Joyce's TV box...
with one fell swoop Joyce was knocked off balance, she sailed up and out and right into the man's bushes...
she squealed like a pig and kicked her feet and flailed her arms... she reminded me of a roly-poly bug on it's back...
she was too damned heavy to flip herself right side up...
with the exception of Joyce we laughed ourselves sick... the large man laughed so hard he cried.
The man's wife came out of the house and helped him to rectify our traveling television...
she brushed Joyce off and straightened her bent antenna and sent us on our way...
Joyce's body wasn't hurt, but her pride had suffered greatly.
Not one word was spoken on the way home, I was scared I'd go hysterical with laughter...and Joyce was scared she'd cry...
Once home, we spilled our candy filled pillowcases out onto the carpet... and life, as usual, was sweet... and trouble free.
(Dear Joyce... thank you for this memory and a lifetime of more..all sweeter than the next. There is no one in this whole wide world I'd have rather grown up next to. Thank you for the love. It is returned, tenfold. xoxo)..
Happy Halloween all.... (watch for those creative costume types)