“All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.”
― Christopher Morley
Halloween in the City, 2013
Harry Potter, the cat, the soldier and the monster went trick or treating tonight in the city. At the first house, they forgot to say trick-or-treat and thank you. At the second house, Harry Potter rudely asked how many pieces of candy he could have. At the end of the first block, the soldier dashed out into the street without looking to see if any cars were coming.
Six blocks later, it started to drizzle. The monster decided to go home early. The soldier just got more determined to fill his bag to the breaking point, and he began to run between houses. The cat got lost. And found.
It was a night of excess. Harry Potter and friends ran down brick sidewalks, filling sacks with candy. They chomped on fresh Krispy Kreme donuts outside one famous historic mansion, and paused at a popcorn machine outside another. They accepted huge Hershey bars from a strange taciturn man, and light-up necklaces from a lovely old couple who wanted them to stop and chat for a while.
They never thought it was odd that grown-ups were trick-or-treating alongside them, and they didn’t notice any public intoxication. They were indifferent to other people’s costumes. They took the decorations and noise and lavish excess in stride. It was really just about the candy.
They finally split up and walked home. The cat realized she had lost her tail. The soldier wanted to count his candy. They took baths and got into their pajamas. They talked about donating candy to real soldiers. Then their room was filled with red, white and blue flashing lights and sirens. The cat and the solider ran to the window to watch police fill their little street. They watched the police throw a man up against a police car. The police parked their police cars and motorcycles on the sidewalks and talked loudly about a missing weapon.
The cat said Halloween was a 10 out of 10. The soldier said it was a 30 our of 10 because he got to see an arrest. He is going to tell his entire class about it tomorrow.
This is Halloween in our mad, gallant, beautiful and grim city.