The earliest Halloween I can remember, I was no more than five, since I remember my neighborhood and friends before we moved during kindergarten. I had a bag of candy, we always used pillow cases, and I ate all I wanted and stuffed my lunch box with candy and by day three it was all gone. I had a friend, same name as me, who claimed to still have Halloween candy 6 months later.
Last year was the first Halloween we took the kids trick or treating. I love Halloween. By November 1st the kids didn't remember or maybe didn't realize they had any candy left and stopped asking for it (I think we allowed them each 3 pieces Halloween night) and they didn't get much anyway because they were so spooked and moved so slow. Anyway, again, by day three the candy was gone, Jerry and I ate it all.
This Halloween we are in a DuPont Circle hotel in DC. Jerry and I have been watching slasher movies on cable for days. The house cleaners had the kids' costumes in a bag destined for the dumpster, but I rescued them anyway. Like last year, the kids dress up in whatever I scrounged up from this and that. Since we are within walking distance, since the neighborhood is crawling with homes and kids, since the streets are full of fall leaves, we cruise Georgetown Halloween night. God, what did these people do to get so much money? I couldn't help but stare past the door and the person holding the door, past the candy bowl, and into these prosperous homes. The beauty compels me. (I have to mention that my mom and I and then Jerry and I climbed the infamous M Street steps in Georgetown made famous by the Exorcist and Alfred Hitchcock.)
Tsega as giraffe hybrid, Sira as lion king hybrid, Bereket as the 4 eared puppy dog.
The sun shone when we started in our costumes, so, needless to say, people smiled and laughed as they passed on the streets. This made Tsega nervous, he asks, why are they laughing to me? Funny he cares, since lately they think everybody on the street wants to be entertained by them. Waving, greeting, gesturing, posing, posturing, performing. I am the one in front with the face, looking back and shouting, avoiding eye contact. I'm not exaggerating. I feel bad because I can't control my kids very well, they frighten me on the street (danger! danger!), then a stranger shoots me an engaging smile, means to say through a glance, You've just made my day by exposing to me the cutest damn kids, perhaps triplets, at least twins, that I have ever seen. And that winning smile and bright eyes meet my unattractive grimace. My mouth cracks to smile.
Anyway, Day five after Halloween. Hell of a lot of candy left. Contemplating throwing it away. Kids demanding candy candy candy, crying, insulted, injustice. Unlike my mother, I take their candy bag, hide it, eat it, Jerry eats it, I pretend there's none left, Jerry and I pass each other pieces behind their backs, make loud noises as I tear a wrapper off. I can't keep eating this stuff. They can't keep eating this stuff. Maybe I'll donate it to the hotel lobby. I think it's faded from memory by now, anyway, I just tell them it's all gone now. I love Halloween. Like, spooky.