Spooked on Halloween

for Eduardo

The Pearl Street Mall was a sea of little ghouls and goblins each carrying a plastic pumpkin filled with colorfully wrapped sweet substances of bodily abuse, a manic high soon to plummet into screams and sobs.  That parents enable this is the mystery of Halloween.   The wild swings of my emotions, rafts of delight pummeled by waves of desperation, didn’t need sugar for fuel.  Just being there was enough.  Carlos was ardently directing Fatu, a punker winged insect of some cute variety, to the best candy hauls.  Jenny was trying to keep pace but kept running into kid-dragged women she hadn’t seen for years, torn between catching up and keeping up.  Somewhere in the middle, fifth wheel (not even fifth business), I watched the punker insect (the sweetness in my life) honing in for another drag on a sugar source.  My unbound love for her curiously embraced my unexplained desperate need to find in the crowd a mate, a peer.

Joy buffeted by waves of pain threatened to wash me out to sea; stalked was I by the “undertoad” that sucks on you drawn to the odor of emotions leaking uninvited from their cave.  Alone, isolated, unmoored in an ocean of kids and young parents.  Smiling and laughing while silently fighting to swallow the bile-tasting ache for lost life, for time past, for uncertain future.  Desperation joked with fear, flirted with pain, masked by a smile, as I reluctantly grasped my aloneness, a specter in the middle of this mob.

In the sea of cute monsters and darling robots herded by smooth-skinned dark-haired vibrant bouncy-stepping laughing young parents, scanning for a mate, a peer with a light in the lighthouse even, turned up only bent-shouldered wrinkly scaly-skinned sallow dim-eyed shuffling caricatures of aging humans.  Guess my mates were wearing costumes, too.

Sam Gill

October 31, 2010

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4 Responses to Spooked on Halloween

  1. Krista says:


    Wow. Your pathos here is pretty incredible. It is very real; your diction allows me be captured into a moment of time. Would it be possible for you to write a short piece (like the one above) about a moment raising your own kids when they were younger?

  2. admin says:

    what, Krista, you’re being the teacher now giving me writing assignments? ha! why not. Well, I wrote that piece because Eduardo asked for it and I had a few themes on my mind that I thought I’d like to write about. I was interested in not only trying to capture something of my feelings, but to also write around a couple sets of images/themes. So it was a writing exercise, but it was also a genuine effort to express something I’m increasingly feeling in my life. Thanks for the comments.

  3. Ericka says:

    Your writing intrigues me. Perhaps I should visit your blog more often.
    Have you ever thought of writing a children’s book? You should.
    Also, i think your smiles in your pictures should be bigger. (Unless they were taken on one of your “okay” days).


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