I keep forgetting that today’s the big day, to be honest. It’s been nearly a month since the kids and I went to the pumpkin patch, and the gourds we picked out that day are still sitting here, uncarved. Now that they’re back at their mom’s house for the week (the kids – not the pumpkins), there won’t be any slicing and dicing and removal of slimy innards happening (again, just in case you’re thinking serial killer, I’m referring to the pumpkins). This is the first time we haven’t carved pumpkins in…well, forever. It’s not that I’m feeling all “bah, humbug” over the holiday. I love Halloween! Time just sort of got away from me this year. I’ve been so focused on the job search and our incredible trip to Seattle that anything else seems almost inconsequential. Plus, the kids haven’t gone trick-or-treating in years, and I have never had a single costumed person show up at my townhouse door. At least when I was working I had an excuse to dress up for the day. When you’re alone and have no plans, it’s harder to get into the spirit of the holiday.
Speaking of, last night was the first time in nearly two weeks that I was alone for the evening. I didn’t expect this to bother me; after all, it’s the life I’m used to. One week with the kids, one week just me. I always sort of relished the peace and solitude. But while talking to Tara last night, I started to feel overwhelmingly lonely. “Once you get a taste of something, it’s hard to let it go,” she said, and that sums it all up perfectly. Life feels so good when we are together, and not just when we’re exploring caves or attending rock concerts…even the ordinary, day-to-day stuff is more meaningful. The Saturday evening we stayed at her mom’s house, playing cards and drinking wine and laughing over the fact that I was getting my ass kicked so badly, was (despite the ass-kicking) a highlight of the weekend. When Tara and I are together, I feel full and complete in a way that is hard to describe. And now that I’ve had a glimpse of this other life that’s out there and waiting for me, it’s hard to go back to what has been my reality for years. I’m no longer satisfied with being on my own, not when there’s a fantastic person in my life I can share things with. I’m content knowing that our long-distance relationship is a temporary thing and we’ll be together someday (hopefully) soon, but that doesn’t help with my impatience. Life is too short as it is!
Anyway. I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent there. Bottom line is, I haven’t been this happy in a long time…if ever. All the pieces are falling into place. I’m even getting calls for job interviews – and yes, that’s plural. Knock on wood, but I believe a change is brewin’…and it’s about time!
And even though those pumpkins we scored from Sauvie Island are, as Rusty called them, nothing but “props” this year – we didn’t completely ignore the fact that it’s Halloween. Saturday night I made a batch of stovetop popcorn and we had a mini chocolate bar or two (I always buy a couple of bags just in case, and we had to try them – for quality control purposes, you know?) and we watched my favorite horror movie of all time, The Shining. It’s become an annual tradition to put that on sometime around Halloween. I never tire of Jack Nicholson’s performance – he was born to play Jack Torrance! This time, Rusty and I started to notice all the symbolism in the movie. Symmetry, the use of mirrors, the color red – Stanley Kubrick put a lot of thought into his film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, and while the author has famously declared his dislike for the movie, I think it rocks. I get that it doesn’t stay exactly true to the source material, but it’s a compelling and scary masterpiece in its own right, and thickly layered with metaphor. When Lloyd the bartender is serving Jack a drink and he mutters “white man’s burden,” for instance, this signifies a racist persona that I had never picked up on before. I actually paused the DVD at that point and did a little Googling on my smart phone. Learned that the scene where Jack kills Dick Hallorann with the axe is especially representative of this; we have a black man whose crumpled and bloodied body comes to rest upon a Native American tapestry (never noticed that before!), a visually symbolic clue to Jack’s racial intolerance. Like I said – deep, man! And just so ominously frightening, the way the tension builds up slowly. The howling wind, the beating heart. The Shining is the perfect Halloween film.
Hope your day is boo-tiful!