Halloween, Driven Away

[[image:hollow_mini.jpg::inline:1]]So that’s it. It’s over for us. We have tried everything, but it’s finally kaput. For five years we have stood vigil, but tonight it all came to a disheartening halt.

Published November 1, 2007 by C.I.C.L.E.
By Liz Elliott 

[[image:holloween_inside.jpg::inline:1]]So that’s it.  It’s over for us. We have tried everything, but it’s finally kaput. For five years we have stood vigil, but tonight it all came to a disheartening halt.

It’s sad really. Our neighbors would rather haul their kids off in the car to far away neighborhoods, than walk in their own and keep it local. Is it that we no longer want to engage with each other in our very own communities? Is it the lack of sidewalks on our block? Or is it the fact that the grass is greener on Hill Street than it is on Ackerman Drive? Hill Street, where the lots are large, the homes grand, and the candy bars are rumored to come full size. The bastards!

Are we so removed from our communities that we no longer have a relationship to our neighborhood, or with our neighbors beyond our own driveway? Can we blame our private motorized isolation tanks for aiding and abetting our escape from intimate relationships with the place in which we dwell?

We watched tonight as our immediate neighbors all hustled costumed children into these coldhearted tanks without even a nod of acknowledgement. Yes, we stood there like lonely hanger-oners in our matching skeleton suits, (thank god we got them at half price), and our large bowl of Redhots, Lemonheads and Jaw Breakers, as princesses, bears, and pirates paraded out before us and plunked themselves into SUV’s and “light” trucks for a night of reckless abandonment.

Then, as all hope faded, our spirits were resurrected by the sight of our neighbor’s leased Lexus pulling into her driveway–surely she and her kids would come over. Shockingly, our offer of candy was rebuffed.

“We have already been to the mall”.

Oh the absolute heartlessness! Did all that indoor walking from store to store wear them out so much that they could not bear to walk 15 feet more to engage with someone they actually knew? Rather, she would just have her children believe that Halloween is a greedy business, and you have to drive miles and miles to a big fat parking lot to enjoy it.

Sure, Shay and I are pathetic for staying home each year, waiting for the one or two or three kids that might pop by during the night, but how could we abandon them? We remember the horrifying Halloweens where no one was home, (or pretended not to be), and what was supposed to be a glorious night of candy pillaging turned into questions of one’s worth. The darkened homes and the scarcity of sugar supplies often was taken personally. Halloween could be the best night ever for a young mind, or it could be a miniature version of dark night of the soul. No, we wouldn’t let it happen! Someone on this damn street was going to be there for them–we would not let a pillow sack or unsustainable plastic pumpkin bucket go empty. But the writing was on the wall, every year fewer and fewer parents dared to escort their children down our street.

Last night, Halloween on Ackerman Dr. came to dead stop. And we stood on the darkened street, illuminated by the flickering light of a poorly carved jack-o-lantern like dejected children of yesteryear, as the last cars full of sugar-stoned kids blasted down the roadway in their hollow search for the distant land of Milky Way and Bit o’ Honey.