I’ve always loved Halloween. Love? Eh, he’s never been big into it. It’s just not his thing. But our best friend Rand was always with me – he got into it and had fun with it. Since Love and I live in an apartment, we’d always go to Rand’s house on Halloween. His neighborhood had a very large Trick-or-Treating turnout and we’d take advantage of his house and yard and decorate it all up every year. We also had a tradition to carve pumpkins every year. A number of years back, we realized we should use the foam (fake) pumpkins instead so we could save them and get a collection going. Here’s how they looked Halloween 2009.
Unfortunately, when Rand passed away, every single Halloween decoration, carved pumpkin, pumpkin pattern, flameless candles and other accessories got thrown away by his parents. That included all of our items as well that we had just stored with his up in his attic. I was so devastated; it was years of memories and fun and things we just can’t ever get back.
This year, Halloween has been very sad for me as a season. It just reminds me of how much fun we used to have. It reminds me of what I’ve lost. And it’s a reminder of things – and people – that are gone forever. It wasn’t until about the 20th that I finally got out my little decorations and such. I always love bringing them out but this year, I almost didn’t at all. And I LOVE carving pumpkins and look forward to it all year. This year, I didn’t carve a single one. (It doesn’t help, of course, that all my pattern books, carving tools and such were also thrown away and I have to literally start over from scratch. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy the books or tools.)
But this afternoon, I thought how much I get a kick of out of handing out the candy to the kids. Normally, I dress up and everything. About 4pm, I made us run to Super Target and grab some candy. I put out a ghost decoration accented with some glow sticks on the door. I also put a single, uncarved pumpkin out on my balcony. It was stored in my closet which I bought after Halloween last year and which was going to go into the collection. My balcony overlooks the parking lot and I put a light on it hoping it would help signal any kids that we were giving out candy.
Not a single kid came.
I don’t know how many kids usually Trick-or-Treat in the complex. I’ve never been home for it before. But this year, not a single one knocked on my door. And it just crushed me. It felt like all that sadness just culminated in this weirdly symbolic lack of kids. It’s like…my friend is gone and Halloween is dead too or something.
I don’t know. I just know I’m so beyond sad right now and I don’t know what more to say or how to express how I feel. I just hurt and I’m sad and Halloween was just so awful this year and I don’t ever want it to be this miserable again but I fear it’s lost to me too now. I don’t want it to be but come on…not. one. kid. If that doesn’t say “dead and gone” I don’t know what more of a sign I need.
Tonight I’m left with a basket full of candy and a hollow place inside my chest.