It's late in the afternoon. I am twelve. School got out a while ago, and for the last couple of hours, we have been performing a strange annual ritual, for the mother of my best friend, Aaron. She grew up in Virginia, with it's woods, and it's beautiful Autumn leaves. We live in a relatively new subdivision, in Sandy, Utah. Even after almost a decade, there really aren't many trees, to speak of -- and there are no trees in Aaron's yard. So each Autumn, his mom sends us around the neighborhood, with rakes and garbage bags. We rake, and bag leaves, throughout the area, and bring them back, and dump them on Aaron's front lawn - so his mom can have a pile of leaves to play in.
We had the parade and the parties today. Before we left school, we watched The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It would not be Halloween, without Ichabod Crane and Brahm Bones. I wonder if Brahm was really the Headless Horseman? The walk home from school is about a mile. We live at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The foothills are carpeted, in scarlet and rust. The golden light, of the late Autumn afternoon, lights the aspens in the front yard a brilliant lemon. This is my favorite time of Halloween. The wait is almost over. It's like Christmas Eve. The anticipation of what's coming is almost always greater than the payoff.
I sit in the front room, and watch the sky. In the east, it is becoming cobalt, in the west it is on fire. I'm getting anxious. It's not the candy, really. I'm not opposed to candy, mind you, but I never eat all the candy I get (and we get a lot!). It's the adventure. It's going out without parents (I honestly don't remember parents ever coming with us -- I'm sure I'm wrong). Aaron, and I are ninjas this year. This will be our last year to trick-or-treat. We know this, and we're okay with it. Tonight, it's not about the candy, it's about Brandi Holbrook. The most beautiful girl in the sixth grade. We intend to follow her, in a ninja like manner, for the whole evening. We may pick up a pillow case or two full of candy along the way, but that's just a bonus. This is how boys express their undying love -- by doing the creepiest things that they can think of -- like stalking.
I'm sitting in the living room, pondering all of this, watching the sun slide into the Oquirrh Mountains. I throw on my Legend of Sleepy Hollow record on the turn table, and spend the last half hour with the superstitious folks of Tarry Town.
Our neighborhood is the ideal Trick-or-Treating neighborhood. It is stocked full of kids (literally, hundreds my age, or close to it) and hundreds of houses, lining many long, straight, streets.
The sky is dark, dark blue now. It's almost time.
I've got my ninja costume on.
I've got a good, deep, pillow case, (which this year, will only get about half full, when we give up on the candy, in order to concentrate on the twelve year old, girl of our dreams).
I'm waiting for the first knock on the front door.
That is the signal.
There it is.
And that, my friends, is 31 posts in 31 days.
Have a wonderful Halloween!