Ahh Halloween a chance to frighten small children and hear the joyous sound of preteen girls shrieking. I spent this All Hallow’s Eve as I often do at my sister’s house.
I arrived in torn plaid flannel oversized pants, a Hawaiian style shirt, red suspenders, heavy boots and a fake bald head over hair I’d pinned every which way to keep it under the flesh toned cap. I’d whited out my eyebrows, eyelashes and lips with the intent to finish my freaky clown makeup once I arrived at my sister’s. She said she preferred if I wore a clown mask, not clown makeup, so I picked out the most frightening one and obliged. I was with my people, a team of freaks, who once were good looking, I swear.
Several uneasy parents and kids and a couple of tears later, I was sweating profusely beneath my rubber overhead mask to the point where it trickled down my face to splatter on the dead leaves that rustled as I awkwardly limped in modified zombie style toward the gullible candy collectors for the last time of the night.
It was time to go home. Dressed as I’d arrived with the exception that the flesh tone pancake makeup had eroded in spots from the sweat, I got into my car. I called my husband to see how things had gone in my absence. Had he picked up the lettuce for the rabbits’ breakfast as I’d asked. He had not.
It was after nine pm but not quite ten and I knew I could get to the one open grocery store. My mind’s debate continued til I reached the parking lot. Before I left my niece commented that I’d put those Walmart shopper pictures to shame. I’d taken off my bald head and my sweaty hair hung in moist tendrils. But I didn’t have time for a complete redo before the store closed. Within mere minutes the doors would be locked, I needed to act immediately. To enter the store that was not far enough from my home, and where I am acquainted with many people was a necessity. But do I quickly try and throw on a little lipstick to my otherwise pasty mottled face would that help or be creepier still. Once seen like this, the memory would not be easily forgotten, or do I just bag it and go as I am knowing it is after all a day of unease and I may as well feel it, too. In any case my strategy would be the same – shop quickly, some might think furtively, avoid making eye contact, and depart with my lettuce. There were no self checkouts so obviously I had one more person to scare. Make that two as a bag boy suddenly appeared to assist with my one item purchase. I shopped; I bought; I left. There is no doubt that the animals’ needs supercede my own protection of my public persona.
Happy Halloween Stop and Shop cashier and bagger. Mwaaahahaaha.
(c)Alison Colby-Campbell Text and Photos