I Wish in October (3)


At a friend’s on another older Halloween I had given someone a shaking fright when I rose up suddenly from a bed in the darkened room they had walked into. They had laughed and said that I scared them, and then they were gone. I had not intended it. I was in costume as a vampire: wearing pale paint on my face and clothed in a baggy suit of my father’s. I was the only child wearing a costume. I was lying on top of a bed by myself in a darkened room because the boys and a girl wearing bunny ears were drinking snuck beers and talking about people I did not know, and about sex, and about somebody had been dating somebody else; and the confluence of gossiping about people I had never heard of, discussion of things that I wanted to mean something to me but which truly meant nothing because they were truly distantly removed from my own world, and the host’s mother politely asking everybody to make me feel at home, meant that I did not really know what to do, except to leave and to lie on top of a bed by myself in a darkened room in a house I had never been in before, looking at the ceiling and waiting either for something to happen or to be metamorphosed into somebody else.

I was older. It was, newly, not only the night magic and ghost magic and dream magic that I yearned for and sighed dramatically about not reaching. It was now too the party magic; girls magic, adolescent magic. I had observed it well on the shows in my television aquarium.

The little brothers and sisters and cousins and kids had descended upon the house from every corner of the town in which we lived. I remember that they crawled in a manic way about the torchlit ornamented garden, with a detached faction of the main force, which had occupied the treehouse, declaring repeatedly that they were orcs, and loudly letting anyone who passed by know that they would NEVER GET UP, SWINE! The interest or not of the swine in actually getting into the treehouse was deemed impertinent to informing them of their unspeakable fates. I suppose that the excitement of the treehouse is the others who want to join, and the thrill of who they might be.

The most steadfast of the rabid orcs had an invisible machine gun. When it came time to go home, and the dads came to collect their children, this weapon did not prove as effective as thickly soled trainers thrown with force.

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