Tuesday, October 29, 2019
None of this maters or is important to anyone but the spectators in my interior cinema house, which oddly entertains the same guys every night. What's interesting to me is how over the decades I've likely amplified the incident, the way memory does. Van Gogh urged artists to "exaggerate the essential and leave the obvious vague." Scary proposition, that, when one's more interested in self-mythologizing than in telling the truth. The essential that I've exaggerated is Poor Joey, assaulted on Halloween, scarred and unable to continue darting down dark streets for candy; the obvious I've left vague is that the incident was likely less harrowing than I've made it out to be, is, in fact, hackneyed. It occurred, and it sucked, but was no more than harmful than any other act of juvee misbehavior suffered by unlucky kids everywhere. I used it as a pitying excuse to call attention to myself every October, and what's strange and not a little unnerving is that I now identify as a Not A Halloween Guy. I still love giving out candy at the door (though sadly the demographic in our neighborhood now skews toward retirees or the near-to, not young families), still turn up "Monster Mash," but I gave up on Halloween parties in college and later, and hardly revel in this time of year as millions of others do, virtually and otherwise. It's become a perverse identity, likely bound to issues I have with socializing, joining, wearing costumes—integral, melancholy aspects of my personality, all.
Careful what you wish for, Poor You, as you mythologize your origin story. You might end up missing a lot of fun as you grow to recognize the limits of self-pity. Bah Hallows.
Sad Pumpkin by Michelle Milla via flickr.