The inflated, mammoth pumpkin teeters harshly over the store entrance, shuddering in the increasingly violent winds. It sharply grins below triangle eyes, it knows my thoughts; it agrees that there are far too many people below the roof, over which it reigns.
Something must be done, some of them must meet their immediate fate at the broad body of the viscid holiday balloon.
I wonder about … hope for … its falling — wiping out, crushing, all these other patrons in my way. The orange vinyl enveloping their screams and smothering their final breaths.
Now, that would be a true celebration of this macabre season; it would be just, just for my enjoyment … if nothing else.
Only if I could control the winds.
Ding goes the glass door, as an electric monster growls through a breaking speaker. Its tattered charcoal robe jittering in tandem with the crackling of Hell’s howl. An ironic welcome to a land only a tacky Satan could truly appreciate, pink pitchfork and sequined robe — on sale now.
From Hell comes with a price tag and receipt — thirteen day return policy.
The store is a gaudy catacomb of Halloween marrow: fabrics, plastics, and sounds filling this temporary space — nine months of the year vacant, like my eyes in front of all this creepy sundry … but now is the time, now is the time to join these souls, these souls who too seek disguises … escapes from the mundane reality of a postmodern dystopia wrapped in a fun-size wrapper, sweet and crunchy, on which the higher powers perpetually chew.
I begrudgingly adjoin the escape to fall’s carnal, colorful palate of dead leaves and pumpkin spice … pumpkin spice everywhere … an assault on the senses, an attraction for young bloods lost within the mayhem of commercialism.
If only I could have stayed home from this monstrous parade of purchasing prowess. If only I could have found a respectable suit online, something worthy of my oversized frame.
I pass an electric ghost, shrieking something awful; this way comes a large man, whose shirt is a scattering of chipped, metallic bones; he wears an artificially-worn hockey mask, reminiscent of 80s horror. His eyes vacant, as he wander the aisles, looking for new ways to waste his cash.
I imagine him drowning in vast water, struggling to stay afloat against an onslaught of mocking, jittering beasts.
However, I reserve not this fate for only him, for there are many customers, who deserve such a festive fate … lungs filling with liquid justice, the crystal splashes of a nostalgic celluloid lake.
Now, I pray that he snaps and takes out the fellow patrons, scattering them abound, fulfilling the void in their hearts with some true seasonal horror, the void they strive to fill with formed molds of ghosts and ghouls, alike.
I turn the corner to a surprise burst of fog, churned-out by an aggressive metal box on the floor, whose carpet is an MC Escherian pattern of reptiles, interlocking in a repeating fashion of orange and black and orange and black — reminding me of the swarming children that will fill the streets in a mere week.
Those children, who will bash against disciplinary expectations, frolicking within the hollowed rules of hallowed lore.
Their chaos fresh, year-by-year, keeping lonely homeowners on alert … sometimes I wish I could join in their venom … their annual malefactions that wreak autumn havok, autumn joy.
Autumn crimes in autumn nights….
Back to the front of the store, I find a wall of dangling masks, a plethora of scare; rubberized mayhem … how many will don these masks in malice?
How many rotten eggs will explode onto outward paint?
How many trees mummified in strategic toilet paper assault? No matter, not my problem … my problem is only what to wear.
If only I could choose.
I have to sport something in this retched game of life: I can’t just get plastered again this year in my dirty boxers — no spirit; no respect for such an act of inverted valor.
Vodka always tastes better with a shot of respect, no need to drink in shame.
Tempting … but no.
Even though vodka passes no judgement, mental morose can weigh heavy this time of year. This time of the calendar where hot girls slip on an assortment of colorful tails and ears: cats, rabbits, and endless other animals … all sexualizing triviality in the hopes to grasp the attention of a man (or woman) loaded-up on spiked punch or such — possibly at an office party that offers an escape from the mundane.
A quick break, a splinter of salvation, from the monotony of files and staples and digital collation — delaying the inevitable moment when one of them puts scissors to wrist and ends their pointless existence.
I loop the scene, dodging a cornucopia of staff and customers alike; I have no mental stamina to force small talk, to vomit pleasantries to another, another who truly does … not … care.
My head hurts.
Resistance comes naturally to me: I need no social, no smiles … I only need a costume.
My brain is beginning to break.
So, I loop the scene of spook again, until I come across a regal purple duck suit — complete with fedora and tie, a built-in strip of canary yellow.
It is a cheap fabric; the tie would not survive a day in a coal mine, but my cold mind knows it will know nothing more than my living room, lit with lights that flicker to the tune of Halloween standards, the very few that exist.
A monster mash of sounds, spinning twelve tracks per disc.
I fear that they don’t have my size, I am a big man, a large ego with small attention span — but as I slide-forward the hangers, one-by-one, in the back, on a mislabeled hanger, hangs a XXXL duck suit … I have never felt more adult.