Halloween. One of my favorite days of the year. I look at it in a very commercialized way, I guess. I enjoy all the fun things about it, much as a person who rides a roller coaster and gets something out of that. Admittedly, I’m not a deep guy any more. I’m whoever I want to be, and I’m fine with it.
When I was a kid I entered costume contests and won two or three in a row.
I loved “Monster Mash” coming on the radio, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
We would go to the Sears Halloween department and buy fake blood. I’d put my Halloween mask on the handle of the vacuum cleaner and throw a cape around it. It was always unsettling going down those dark stairs and seeing this figure standing there in the living room.
We’d hang ghosts from the trees in the front yard, and blast scary music from a cassette for everyone’s benefit.
I remember being E.T. one year. My mom bought the costume for me early on, and so I was practicing my whole routine. I’d wear the whole get up weeks before, say, in the car while my mom was driving back and forth from various stores, there I would be in the front seat, a little E.T. in a robe, equipped with glowing finger. People at the traffic light would seriously get a stare down.
Every year, we’d go to any haunted house we could find. There was a revamped warehouse at Virginia Beach that had a great one. And not too long ago, I was living in Arlington, and a friend took me to her old neighborhood where there were all kinds of haunted houses to check out.
Georgetown was always a mess. Always packed. All kinds of people went up and down M Street wearing costumes. Kirtana performers were not in costume, but no one knew any different.
. . .
I suppose I’ve learned something from Cotton after all—how not to be. I’m aware of what Halloween really is, and can confidently say, “So the hell what?” I’m not about all that. If the spirits want to communicate with me—and they sometimes do, through dreams, or whatever—who am I to stop them? All 365 days I’m open for business.