a ghost and a jack-o-lantern, a witch and her black cat.
sticky fingers and lollipops. face paint and pointy hats, cameos and long shadows. pumpkins and candles, red lips and white sheets. pooh and tigger, piglet and tiny elvis. pomegranate margarita in a starbucks cup. sleepy kitty, barking dogs. ghost pops and reeses cups. deepening dusk and late night knocks.
the days leading up to it had been lacking in ways, but sunday was perfect.
the kind of perfect that isn’t planned, that just evolves, beams of unmarred happiness that ricochet off your fingers and elbows, and the bones of your shoulders and your ankles, leaving tiny dots of warmth that spread and engulf you until they intersect into a needlepoint that pierces your heart and pumps you full of euphoria. and no one else notices, because maybe they don’t feel it too, but you do, and oh my god you do, and that’s enough.
it was just good. the weather was beautiful. we lit a fire. our friends were here and everyone seemed happy enough.
and there was wine. and a nearly full moon.
and there was the feeling of floating untethered. completely and totally free.
it’s the being there and the getting there and the never wanting to leave. it’s the miles and miles of haggard pines and open fields. it’s the winding road that never seems to end and the bleached sun that never seems to move. it’s the cows ankle deep in swampy water, the charred tree that grows out of a smoking pond, branches bent in reverence. it’s that unbroken calm, unbroken still, unbroken cricket lullaby and screaming wind that carries the babies to sleep. it’s the hand scrawled signs and crooked arrows, the dirt roads and the moss that blocks out everything. it’s the sea of corn stalks and uncut grass, scattered pumpkins, and tattered hay. it’s the being deep in the heart in the middle of fucking nowhere, and it’s michi being there with you.
and we’ll come back again and again, year after year, the place we go to find the seasons. and you will pick the flowers and the pumpkins and we’ll get lost in the mazes of living growing things. and you’ll remember this place one day like a myth inside a child’s mind, with senses slightly warped and on a scale that’s not quite right. it will be our special place, our sacred place, as much our secret place as a place like this could be. and every year we’ll throw our magic in the air and under that intensifying cloud I’ll set you loose to unlock the pent up beasts that grow deep inside your heart. and when that exhausted cloud finally drifts back down around our sagging shoulders, we’ll leave it to sink deep into that fertile ground so that after a year has passed, we’ll come running back to see what wild things it grew.
I had almost forgotten what it felt like to walk outside and not gag on the waves of heat that blister your throat and and your lungs and the backs of squinted eyes. the breeze is blowing, somewhere close the leaves are burning, and the high school marching band down the street is playing…drums so loud, so deep, I can faintly feel it in my bones.
when the seasons change, they spark an internal shift, a ninety degree turn, and a thousand things come rushing at you all at once…a maelstrom of a thousand insatiable things surround you, toying at your senses with an acute intensity, desperately trying to leave behind some lingering memory. the smell of burning wood, the sound of a leaf disintegrating beneath your foot, a single note of a well played song, a feather brushing against your palm, hot pumpkin coffee burning your fingertips…the keys to a box that has been locked and stowed away since the last fall day froze into december.
I could have handled the rain. I could have handled the teething cries. I could have handled the hour late pizza. I could have handled the shitty car ride. I could have handled the chill. I could have handled the hordes of children.
But what I could not handle – what I didn’t have it in me to handle – was the middle aged man banging on my window, screaming at me to slow down in the dead of night with a tired baby in the backseat. Me, the overly responsible driver looking out for stray trick or treaters. Me, the one going 5 below the neighborhood speed limit. Me, the one who stopped to let everyone dive into the streets without looking. While he screamed, his entire group of twenty people flooded the road around my car so I couldn’t move. This asshole, the one who failed to teach his children basic safety concepts screamed at me until I cried. And with the first tear I told him to get his kids the fuck out of the road….and not blame me for his own lack of judgement.
And when my tears started, B’s stopped. And he talked to me the whole way home…mama, it’s ok.
vintage wallpaper. b’s first halloween. pumpkin party. snoopy and charlie brown. rot and decay. skulls and daisies. owl cupcakes. jack o lanterns. pumpkin seeds. two handsome boys. pizza and ginger ale. sugar skulls. blood red roses. the nightman cometh. trick or treating. baby troll. homemade soup. bags of pretzels. guitar tattoos. taco bell. silver glitter. crescent moon.
Hey you, out there in the cold
Getting lonely, getting old
Can you feel me?
Hey you, standing in the aisles
With itchy feet and fading smiles
Can you feel me?
Hey you, dont help them to bury the light
Don’t give in without a fight.
Hey you, out there on your own
Sitting naked by the phone
Would you touch me?
Hey you, with you ear against the wall
Waiting for someone to call out
Would you touch me?
Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?
Open your heart, I’m coming home.
But it was only fantasy.
The wall was too high,
As you can see.
No matter how he tried,
He could not break free.
And the worms ate into his brain.
Hey you, out there on the road
always doing what you’re told,
Can you help me?
Hey you, out there beyond the wall,
Breaking bottles in the hall,
Can you help me?
Hey you, don’t tell me there’s no hope at all
Together we stand, divided we fall.
“from my rotting body, flowers shall grow…and I am in them and that is eternity.”
alright gorgeous, let’s give death a spin.
start with a clean face. layer on a coat of thick white face paint. avoid the area around the eyes. even out by dabbing over with a damp makeup sponge. dust with a thin coat of translucent powder to set. dab one more thin coat of white paint on over the powder.
rim your eyelashes with black eyeliner and apply mascara. fill in circles around eyes with black face paint, using your eyebrows as a guide. dust black eyeshadow over the black paint with a clean (small) makeup brush to set the paint and reduce creases and shine.
paint on nose using black face paint. start with a point at the bridge of your nose and widen to just outside the edges. taper back in and fill in the space between your nostrils. gently tap on black eyeshadow to reduce the shine. Loosely aim for a spades shape.
fill in top lip with black lipstick or black face paint. fill in half of lower lip to make it thinner. outline with liquid black eyeliner. with the eyeliner, draw a line extending outside of the mouth towards your cheeks. swipe on a few vertical lines to resemble teeth.
add sugar. using liquid eyeliner, draw on scalloped edges, swirls, flowers, crosses, spiderwebs, and other embellishments. fill in color using face paint and a wet q-tip. add rhinestones with eyelash glue. style hair with flowers, braids, and feathers. wear a tiny dress, all black, jeans….do I have to explain this part? probably not.
a pumpkin patch. a long drive. a detour. a bagel and a frozen coffee. baby boots and saddle shoes. pumpkins and gourds. sunflowers and corn. mazes and goats. scarecrows and kettle corn. hamburgers and ice cream. haystacks and picked flowers. pumpkin boobs and holding hands. apple cider. story teller. boys under the bridge. late night grocery shopping. siri and shots. breaking the rules. a front row spot. a thousand jack-o-lanters, lit and glowing. lights too bright, a baby too tired. too many stares, too many whispers. and not enough time to tell all these strangers to get the fuck away from my car.