The Eve of All Hallows

It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright. ~ Erin Morgenstern

It began with a trek across the street to one of our favorite neighbors, the traditional first stop in our Halloween trick-or-treating adventure. Each year they took the time to turn lollipops into ghosts – each Charms Blowpop or Dums sucker was wrapped in a tissue, then dotted with two black eyes and strangled with a ribbon. In the summer, they had a magnificent rose garden, which I’d visit on my own. As the first stop on Halloween, it was always the most memorable, before the houses began to bleed into one another, and darkness blunted the sharpness of my memory back then. Our Mom would talk with the neighbors for a bit while we got antsy and eagerly made motions to continue on our candy-toting way.

We walked up Pershing Road, not yet minding whatever get-up we had got-up in – plastic masks or blinding hoods be damned. Shuffling along from house to house, it was less about the candy for me and more about the fun. Peering into the lives of other people in our neighborhood, if only for the briefest of looks and portals, satisfied my voyeuristic nature, while the drama of walking along fall roads as evening descended appealed to my soap-opera-like yearning for measured danger.

The candy was a nice bonus, but there were years when I took a few pieces, hid it away in a desk drawer, and forgot about it for months on end. For that one night, my brother and I were bandits in the night, as my Mom or Dad walked a little ways behind us, and that mattered to me more than a sackful of sugar.

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