The tricking and treating is over, the witches are in from their flights. The candy wrappers have been strewn about, littering the floor beneath every kid’s bed as they sneak pieces from their stash. And the extra hour has been graciously welcomed as we reach the darker days of autumn. It will be another 364 days until it’s socially acceptable to dress up however you choose, no exceptions. Or to knock on strangers’ doors in expectation of some delicious sweet.
The Eve of All Hallows is one of my favorite holidays: the excitement of wearing a costume, the lighting of the pumpkins, the spooky decorations made to scare even the most collected passer-by. And of course, the crowning moment, after lugging home that pillow case full to the brim, of counting the bounty. I like to think my number was often somewhere in the 300 or 400’s, but that could be my mind only imagining that much.
This year I was a Greek goddess, digging a white sheet out of an old pile in the garage to make a toga. There hasn’t been a Halloween when I didn’t dress up, even if it was only the desperate, last-minute head through a hole in a trash bag (pretty lame, I know). I’ll admit I trick-or-treated a few years more than most do (there are some perks to being not-so-tall and having a juvenile-sounding voice behind that mask)… but I’d do it again if I had a chance.
And then there’s the next morning. It’s funny what (and who) you find wandering the streets through the rain, searching for remnants of the previous night’s festivities. Wine glasses half-finished, the bottles collected on the doorsteps. Smashed pumpkins, burned out or moldy from a slightly-too-premature carving. The token partier, still dressed as a cow, just not ready to be done with the night. Don’t worry, it’ll be back next year. And as always, I’m sure I won’t be planning my costume until probably around 5 o’clock on the day. Wouldn’t want to ruin that element of surprise.