Halloween was one of my favorite holidays when I was growing up. I would get excited about finding a costume to wear. A few of my memorable transformations were of being a clown, a witch, and my many interpretations of a gypsy. Being a gypsy was my favorite. I would usually find something in my closet, mixing and matching clothing that I bought for the beauty, but no where appropriate for my self-conscious self to wear them.
But Halloween changed that for me, allowing me to set aside my insecurities and unleash some part of myself through costume. I would make my eyes smoky with dark eye shadow, lots of rouge on my cheeks, sparkling eye shadow, and bright lips of a sultry red. I was transformed.
Of course at some point, I stopped dressing up and admired Halloween from a distance. It didn't feel the same anymore and the neighborhoods I passed through didn't have decorations outside to enjoy—something about it felt lost. But that is no more. I’ve been seeing some great Halloween efforts this year.
This Halloween—for me all of October is Halloween—feels different in a good way. I may not be dressing up the way I used to but I have my orange and black knee high socks ready to go. I already wore the socks once with a pair of flowing pants that came just past the knee so you could see them. That day I had my brown Portland shirt on to match my rust colored pants. I felt like a fall leaf. When I was walking, a lady was with her friend and she seemed to be deep in their conversation. She turned to me and said in the most cheerful tone, "Girlfriend, love those socks!" I smiled at her and said thanks somewhat meekly.
And just yesterday I bought a pair of black boots that come just below my knee. They have a pink zipper. Pink is not my favorite color, but I was thrilled that they were just my style: Simple and fun and there’s something about boots. I can still fit into a girls size four, so I got a deal on them at Target! I saw a pair of striped tights on the way out, so I now have magenta and black striped stockings as well.
For around our apartment, I bought a cute little stuffed bear-- he's only about three inches high--he has on a pumpkin costume. I put him on one of the bookshelves that our television sits on, so we can see him all through October.
The other way I'm celebrating this year is by revisiting Edgar Allan Poe's short stories. I am also trying to read other scary or dark tales. And this I am sharing with my significant other. The other morning with Poe on my mind, I remembered how much I love "The Tell-Tale Heart." I thought this might be a story that my significant other would enjoy so I asked him if he wouldn't mind my reading it aloud to us. I enjoy reading aloud very much. I told him it wasn't that long and I proceeded. I sensed out of the corner of my eye that he was engaged but I wasn't sure. When I reached the end of the story, I appreciated how much more of an impact it had on me reading it aloud and when my significant other said that he really enjoyed it, I was pleased. I said that I'd love to read another Poe story aloud later that evening. Some months ago I had downloaded a free e-book of Poe's stories on my Kindle and other free and inexpensive collections. Last night I excitedly searched for a few others to add to my e-book collection. I always have fun searching the Amazon Kindle store.
I already have Flannery O'Connor's short story collection, "A Good Man is Hard to Find." I thought to myself, he might really appreciate this title story and I would enjoy reading it aloud. I began it, but O'Connor writes much longer short stories than Poe. He was curious how many more pages and as I flipped through the Kindle to see, he jokingly said "that's not short, that’s a book." I laughed. I asked if he was enjoying it. He was. We agreed to stop there and continue tomorrow. He thought we were going to read more Poe. I said that I wanted to see what he thought of this story first.
What’s funny too is before we had started reading O’Connor, I was started to get cozy while we were watching a little TV and my eyes were closing and he said I was a sleepy head and I said, no just resting my eyes and then I popped up and that’s when I said, are you ready for our short story?! He said, “I thought you’d never ask.” He was half kidding. He knows I get a little crazy about books and reading and all of it. We muted the tele and off we went to story land for a little while.
Hopefully we continue our out loud reading regime past October. There is such enjoyment, an elevated intimacy in reading aloud together, of sharing stories I love, and discovering new ones together.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is on of my favorite movies and this song popped into my radar and fits in my little box of October. Here is the clip in the Jazz club where they sing “Tu vo' fa' l'Americano.” It makes me want to jump around and sing with them!
Tu vo' fa' l'Americano