So, finally, a posting from Marin county where we landed in August. I know. It’s been a while. I’m averaging a post every three months, well worth the 200 dollars a year I’m giving to WordPress to host the website. I told myself last year if I’m not posting at least once a month then I’m taking the site down. Well, it’s been a year and I just gave them another 200 dollars with a promise to myself that I’m going to post at least every two weeks. Reverse logic, but I’m thinking I’m going rogue. No more of these attempted polished gems that I’m imagining some editor from the New Yorker seeing and contacting me about after traipsing all over the internet to track me down. “Yes, Mr. Scott, we’re wondering if you have anything longer we might be interested in, oh and by the way I have the names of a couple of agents who would like to talk to you.” Instead, I’m going a bit more punk.
We did Halloween of course. Some ups and downs. I was struggling with the tail-end of a man-cold. Not a cold, but a man-cold, which is an entirely different beast. It’s like comparing a Prairie rattlesnake to the Mojave variety. Only one is deadly. Hence, struggling with the man-cold, I couldn’t smell toffee apples if put under my nose and wrapped in garlic, and Barry White’s been camping in my windpipe for three days. Not at my best, had a long day dealing with 16 year olds who no matter how many times I cough and splutter enquire not after my health and instead concentrate on asking why I’m wearing a neck scarf. So I’m feeling a touch jaded, a touch sorry for myself, and I’m supposed to traipse around Fairfax for two hours sans alcohol. Oh, and it’s raining.
It’s not about you my wife reminds me, who’s dealing with her own head cold (though it’s not a man-cold) and when she says it she’s already in full zombie regalia plus make up so it’s more than usually intimidating. She’d be intimidating dressed as a rose petal, but that’s not the point. The point is that the kids absolutely love it. Of course I’m coming I tell her, but don’t expect me to dress up. Unacceptable response, and ten minutes later she’s got me in a wig and the kind of long down coat that people in Minnesota sleep in. What am I supposed to be I ask. Everybody’s slightly off-center neighbor she tells me. Well then. The kids are eleven and almost four, so right at the optimum ages where it’s not too spooky nor too cheesy, and the rain’s an added bonus. The 11-year-old’s a little sceptical about putting on full zombie attire cause, you know, she’s at that age where she’s beginning to think about what if I see so and so from school, so she insists on wearing her Converse and putting on her favorite sweater under the shredded zombie t-shirt, but she’s sufficiently in the spirit of things. And for about an hour it’s actually fun. I get to stand in the street under my umbrella that’s about the size of a studio apartment and watch the kids scamper in and out of this decorated house and that decorated house while all the other parents look at me a little strangely cause my umbrella’s beyond Marin’s specifications for umbrellas, not to mention more interesting than my costume. In the rain I probably look a lot like their slightly off-center neighbor just, you know, out for a walk. And then it starts to pour. As in torrential. The kids are still loving it, but most of the adults are gently trying to persuade them that going through their candy at home and sorting it into piles according to color or weight is actually the funnest thing about Halloween. I’m certainly up for that, alongside hoping that we got a good haul of Nestle Crunch.
The 11 year old certainly loves that moment of getting home way after bedtime, dumping her candy out on the floor and organizing it. And it was certainly priceless to put my 4-year-old to bed and have him tell me he’d loved getting wet, even when his underpants were wet and that when he got home from school tomorrow he was going to have some Dots and then maybe a Kit-Kat. After that he wasn’t sure, but I was under strict instructions not to touch any of his candy. Okay I said as I closed his bedroom door then promptly went into his stash for a Nestle Crunch followed two minutes later by another one as I waited for the water for my hot toddy.