Friday, April 27, 2012

The Day I Cried for Missing Halloween

I was angry at my mom for some reason. I don't remember why. But it was October 31st at around 7 p.m. I laid on my side, on the black couch with my knees to my chest. The white paint on my face smudged against the sofa, creating fuzzy patterns.  My black cape covered my body. My plastic vampire necklace dangled at the end of the sofa. I could see my mom walking around in the dining room, grabbing her purse and doing other things with a concentrated face. I never know what my mom does so long in the dining room every day.

"Lets go," she said. My sister stood next to her, smiling with her black lips. She was dressed as a witch. "No," i said. Or something like that. She asked me again, but I just stood silent, frozen in the same position.

They went trick or treating without me. In the South Side of Chicago, 26th Street is filled with stores who give candy away to children on Halloween. No one ever really went house to house like how you see on TV. I didn't care that they left. But after about 10 minutes, I felt like crying.

I had just turned 12 on October 16th.

(I wonder where this is.)

I laid in the same position. Frozen. Thinking. "This is it," I thought. "This is the last year I'm going to be a kid." My last Halloween as a kid. I loved Halloween and everything that came with it. For a few months, the ground would be a mix of orange, yellow, red, and brown. Its the only time where the dull, grey, gum filled cement is eclipsed by nature. You get the feeling of being in the woods. The feeling that the city and all of its problems and suffering are far away.

People have worries in the city. Especially adults. Maybe even married adults more. They walk along these cement sidewalks with a blank face. Looking forward. What do they look at? Nothing probably. Just at emptiness. They walk without focus in their pupils. They're not really thinking about the present. Just about their destination and what they would do once they arrived. I breath the cold, fresh air. Cold enough for a sweater, but not cold enough for a jacket. I liked feeling cold anyway. It made me know that I could feel. It made me feel alive.

Halloween and autumn.


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I remember coming home from school a few days before with a box of caramel apples. They sold them at school every October. When I got my box from the teacher I walked across the hallways, looking at the bulletin boards on the walls. "Happy Halloween!" The walls would say, with a bunch of turkeys made by students by tracing their hands and decorating them.

And I could appreciate all of this I thought, because I was 12. Because I was 11, 10, 9. I really had nothing to worry about. I was just a kid. Before every holiday I used to cherish as a child soon became another day. Another square on the calender to put an "x" over in the morning.

"Maybe if I run, I can catch up to them," I said. I looked out the window and it was pitch dark. I was scared. What if someone kidnaps me. And after staring out the window for so long, my eyes began to lose focus until I couldn't see outside anymore. But I saw my faint reflection. My dull, white face. The kind of dull white that appears when you paint the walls inside your house, but you can faintly see the color it was before. It needs more coats. I needed another coat. I felt fear, sadness, and shame peek out of my white paint.

So I sat back down. I wanted to cry. I was alone in the house. I wanted to cry out my face paint and let my emotions come out through the paint.

You might think, "Oh it's no big deal, you were still only 12." But it's the day where I felt like I lost my innocence. Where I would soon be one of the millions of people who walk on the man-made cement and worry about everyday things. I don't know how other people feel like when they realize they wont be a kid anymore. I thought 12 was the cut off at the time.

(Let him out to play.)

"We're back!" my sister said as she came through the door. She dumped all of her candy on the couch and we both just looked at them. I felt envious of her because next year she would still be a kid. I wished my birthday was on September, and not October. "Was it fun?" I said. "Yeah, you should've gone! I saw our friends there too."

But I can say that when I turned 13, I still ended up trick or treating. I can say that maybe I'm not a kid anymore, but I still occasionally see my 12 year old self. I see him when I laugh with friends. I see him when I see kids trick or treating. He never really left. We're still all the other ages we once were. Oh they're there. Waiting to peek. Waiting to look out at the world from our seemingly now wiser eyes, below our troubled brows. But most importantly, I see him when I walk with fresh air in my lungs. Worries, problems and all.


When did you first feel like you weren't a kid anymore?

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