I wanted to get that wish out there, though my heart isn't into it right now. Normally, I love Halloween. Right now things aren't exactly normal. Where I work, we ussually do an inventory on the Saturday closest to the end of October. This year, for the first year since I've worked here, inventory falls on Nov. 1st. So, while my wife and I are hosting a party tonight, I will be excusing myself at 9:00 pm, so that I can be to work by 5:00 am tomorrow morning. In addition, I have many duties for inventory that require long hours. Truth is, I'm too bushed from work to enjoy my favorite holiday.
The second thing sapping my enjoyment of All Hallow's Eve, is the weather. Dave may be having a great time with this ... I absolutely am not. Wednesday I wore a jacket to work, today I wore my parka. We seem to have skipped that creepy windswept milieu, with leaves blowing and horror lurking in every shadow, and gone straight to the tundra before Christmas. Even evil spirits are smart enough to stay underground tonight. Face it, if its too cold for my Husky to want to be outside, no Werewolf is going to prowl tonight. (For those who think I'm idly kvetching, which I am, I offer that Bozeman's high temp today is projected to be 10 degrees colder than that of Barrow, Alaska, above the Arctic Circle. Just sayin...)
Somehow, I seem to have missed performing all of my rituals. As the leaves fell, I failed to reread either "Dracula" or "Salem's Lot". I've watched only one b-horror movie in the last week, but I did fit in a viewing of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". I loaded Undying, but only just started a game last night before bed. (Most of my other scary games just fail to creep me out anymore.) So I've started to ask myself the "old man" question. What has happened to me?
I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have time to be scared anymore. Really, what is fun about Halloween if you can't be at least a little scared of what isn't rational, normal or sane? Its rational to be scared of the moron who thinks he can drive 70 MPH on ice. Its normal to be scared of a human monster who hurts others for profit. Its sane to be a little scared of getting a horrible desease. Halloween is none of that. We've tried to make it that with all manners of theory concerning the symbolism of our own mortal stand against impending death. Terrific and accepted and academic and ... lame. That isn't what Halloween has ever been about for me, just as it isn't what the holiday represents to kids. How many 11 year old trick-or-treaters are scared of their own mortality? They may be scared of dying, but only in horrible and evil ways, at the hand of some beast from beyond the grave. But that's a far cry from the sterile view that I, as an adult, have been left with.
A very good friend once clued me into the view that nature's job is to kill us, and nature always succeeds at its job. I agree and concur. But the one thing that has never failed to creep me out is that thought of things over which nature has no control, things that are beyond death, things that come back. This is the fear of the irrational, the fear of the fantastic, of the psychotic. This is the creepy chill along the back of your neck that doesn't comfort you against your own mortal resolution, it shreds that comfort and tickles your spine with the confetti. This is the fear that haunts you in the places where shapes aren't lit and your animal brain makes you brother to the schizophrenic who sees the unreal. This the fear that makes midnight grow from a point on the clock dial into an entity of itself, a form of time, a form that wants to devour ... you. The Witching Hour, Satan's Churchbell. Its just a point in time, until the fear grabs it and shapes it.
This is Halloween, dipping our reason into madness just enough to make us giggle and want a little more before we flee back to the safety of real life. I haven't been able to do that this year, because real life has proven a little stronger than my fear of "what comes back". That makes me feel a little sad, a little tired and a little old. So I'll sit here in my office, listen to some Darkwell and write this screed. I may not feel the way I want to, but I mean it sincerely when I wish you all a Happy and frighful Halloween.