Okay, I am pretty certain you all know me by now. If you don’t, I think I am pretty easy to read, if not go ahead and actually read all of my other posts to catch up. We will wait!
So on Halloween night there is always that one house that has decided that it was their purpose in life to scare all of the neighborhood kids. Maybe you are that person and I don’t want to judge you too harshly but, you my friend, are an asshole. I have had moments on Halloween night when I just heard those canned screams and thought “NOPE Nope nope! this is not for me!”
So when I was a big brave eleven year old (soon to be twelve though) I went to my friend’s house for trick or treating. My friend is in my grade but I am young in my grade because I started school early and she is older because she started school on time and then was held back. We are friends because I help her with her homework. (I now realize that this is not an ideal friendship situation) Her mother was working that night and my friend and I were to bring her little brother around the neighborhood on Halloween. I was all super preteen and ballsy when talking to her “Yeah, totally!” (it was the eighties) “I can’t wait!”
So my friend was legit cool and I was faking cool. Faking cool in school is so much easier because you can talk some serious shit about yourself. “So, like, I am totally going to go trick or treating with her and so we are planning to scare some of the kids that come to the house when we hand out candy!” I’m a liar and I am an asshole. We bought fake rubber severed arms and bloody worms and peeled grapes (eyes). We have every intention of scaring these kids. But the thing is I want to scare kids my age not little babies and stuff. My friend honestly sees no difference. I told her if they are younger than nine we can’t scare them. She smiles and calls me a pussy. I grimace because at this point in my life I am not allowed to talk like that. “No, you’re being the v-word!” I think because I am not at all badass.
The night comes and I get all of my things together for my sleepover at my friend’s house. My mother drives me over there in broad daylight and all is good. I get out of my mother’s car and head inside to where my friend is dressed up as a slutty vampire. I planned to go with my old standby (insensitive still) the housewife. I decided to let my friend do my make-up and I am now more of a dead housewife. Next there is a knock on her door and it is some guys (much older than us, especially me because I am young for my age in every way possible) from the neighborhood, they were coming over to go trick or treating with us because they all have a crush on my friend. They look at me and ask “Who is this? Is she your little cousin or something?”
We go to the same school. You are in my algebra class asshole. But no one knows me because I’m pretty invisible. Also, I didn’t know that these guys were coming over. I wasn’t told about this turn of events. My friend’s little brother comes down stairs and he is dressed up as a cop and he is young like five or so. I’m a little annoyed that my friend isn’t even paying attention to her little brother. That’s what we were supposed to be doing. (I am dumb and I haven’t caught on that I am here to take the little kid trick or treating she is going to hang out with the much older boys….) I go into the bathroom and see the makeup she put on my face and it is terrifying so I wash it off, I don’t want to pretend being possessed and then find out I was accidentally possessed while my guard was down sometime during the night. I had recently heard the exorcist movie playing from the other room , while my brothers watched it, and I will never be the same again. I sure as hell wasn’t over it at this point in my life. I come out of the bathroom and there is my friend laughing and joking with the boys. I see her little brother getting more and more anxious because he wants to eat so that we can go out trick or treating.
“Would you please just take a chill pill? Jesus Christ!” She says. (so super blasphemous, she didn’t mean it Jesus!)
So finally the pizza delivery guy shows up and my friend flirts with him and we get pizza for free. I am worried that the guy is going to lose his job for giving us free pizza. Now the doorbell rings and my friend and her band of douche-bags terrorize these poor little kids. They are all laughing and I am annoyed. They are just little children looking for candy. I then notice the odd lighting pattern coming from the house. This house that I am standing in!
GUYS! I am in the SCARY house…. The one that I refused to go to when I was little (last year and also probably this year, but I am in the scary house now, so not this year I guess) I am THE ASSHOLE! How did I not see it? I look at the slutty vampire with the fake teeth and the drip of blood going down her face. Her black cape and red negligee, her face painted to make her look pale. Her blonde hair perfectly styled and curled.
The guys: one as a werewolf with a rubber mask with the yellow eyes that look deranged, and gloves that make his hands hideous and like wolves claws, he was wearing a flannel shirt and jeans and work boots. Another one is wearing a hockey mask splattered with fake blood, he is dressed in all black as if he is planning to rob houses later on that night. A third guy with a mask with worms coming out of festering wounds and one eyeball that hangs from the socket, he is in tattered clothes.
Then there is Me in my nightgown (which is very little house on the prairie) and my pink house coat, hair in curlers and my slippers that were crotched for me last Christmas by my mom. I am completely out of my league!
Next I hear the music. It is the score of my nightmares….you know the one….the exorcist score…I don’t know who wrote it and I’m not looking it up because I am totally certain that it was satan and I don’t need to become acquainted with him. I hear it and my heart begins to skip a beat, which it normally does because of the heart murmur but it skips another one too because I am shit scared. I look at her little brother who ate half a slice of pizza so that he can say that he ate before we went trick or treating. The guys all are ogling the slutty vampire and I am not really jealous it’s just that this night has not turned out to be the night I had in mind.
“Can we go now?” the little cop speaks up.
“Hey, why don’t you have your cousin take him. I mean she isn’t doing anything!” the werewolf says.
You literally cheated off of me today in algebra you fucking prick.
“Do you mind?” My friend looks at me sympathetically. “I mean someone really needs to be here if we get trick-or-treaters.” she bats her eyes at me and thinks that would work on me. Honestly, just asking me works. I am not one to say no. I am also not all that charmed by her. I now see her little game. She is manipulative as fuck..I look at her and I nod because I feel bad for her little brother.
“You ready?” I ask the little cop.
“Not with you!!!” he whines.
Great! Even the little kid doesn’t want to be with me. Awesome! I look at my friend and she sweet talks him into going trick or treating with me. So Funny story, this is the first time I had been out trick or treating by myself…or at least as the oldest. I was considerably braver when I thought my friend was going to be there. Now it is me and her little brother out together. We are about the same size. I am now suddenly aware that the entire neighborhood is in some awful, let’s outdo each other with the Halloween decorations and terrifying theme, competition.
My nightmares are realized and THEY ARE ALL THE SCARY HOUSE!!! With the Exorcist score playing in rounds from one house to the next. Terrifying black strobe lights as far as the eye can see. And Let’s not forget the screams, the blood curdling screams beckoning for help from beyond the depths of the darkness. I honestly thought of walking this tiny cop to the gas station and buying him candy myself.
I have to be brave. I have to be brave. I walk up to the first house and there is a horrible face looking back at me from the window. “It’s just a mask. It’s not real, don’t run screaming, you are going to be fine.” I tell myself. I feel the blood rushing into my ears and my fight or flight is saying “kick him in the balls and get the fuck out of there!”
I look at the little cop and he isn’t even a little afraid. He knocks on the door.
“Can I help you?” the terrible creature asks.
“Trick or Treat” the little cop sings out.
“Well, I don’t know how you feel about spiders and snakes, but let me see if I can find any real food for you!” the creature walks away and grabs the candy dish. We take our candy and go to the next house. By the third house I realize that it is all of these men with their polished “Dad jokes” and silly puns ready for us. They are more corny than anything else. We make it all the way through the neighborhood and we head back to their house.
When we get there the door is opened a crack and there is nothing but the strobe lights and the exorcist score playing. I look over and I see a mask on the floor. I call out “Guys?” I get no answer. I walk into the house shielding the little cop with my massive seventy pound body, I am wearing my back brace, though, so I have some protection if they go for the stomach area or the back…mostly the trunk which is where most of the vital organs are.
“Hey, are you guys here?” I listen and there is footsteps.
I walk toward the footsteps and there was a white whoosh that passed down the hallway. What the fuck was that? I call out “This isn’t funny guys.” Nothing. No giggling! No whispering!
I see my friend and she is laying in a pool of blood. I go over to her and flip her over to see if she is breathing when someone yells behind me. One of the guys is being hurled off of the banister by what appears to be an actual demon. I go running over to him and the little cop is crying and screaming. I check the guy who is wearing the hockey mask and there is more blood all over it and him and on the floor underneath him.
“We need to get out of here!” the little cop cries. I look at him. I realize at this moment I am looking like the most unlikely hero in all of the world in my ridiculous housewife costume with curlers in my hair. I check the guy for his pulse. He has one and it is strong. LIKE hammering strong. I hear them all start chuckling a bit. Apparently my cold fingers on his neck tickled him. They are all laughing while the little cop and I are trying to sort out our feelings. Relief, anger, fear, and rage.
“What were you going to do? Give me mouth to mouth?” the guy laughs.
“You would like that wouldn’t you?” another guy mocks.
“From her, ewe gross!” he responds.
Excellent my Halloween is complete. I have been rejected, humiliated and frightened. Good times!! I look at my friend who is laughing and AT ME because it definitely wasn’t with me. I realize in this moment that she was never serious about being my friend. She knew I was a fraud. I wasn’t cool enough for her. I look at the kid I was hunched over and said “Your frucken…”(I tried to use the f word and it just wouldn’t come out. I was too inexperienced, “…pulse gave you away. I suggest that the next time you guys try this nonsense on someone, you don’t do it on a person who knows where your carotid artery is.” I grab my things and I begin to pack.
“We were just joking!” my friend says and tries to play it off that she isn’t really an asshole.
“Yup!” I say.
“What’s a carotid artery?” one of the guys asks and he now realizes that I think he’s stupid.
“Read a book sometime and learn things!” I look at him deep into his eyes and I say “By the way I am the one you cheat off of in algebra. I am the little seventh grader that is in with all of you seniors taking your class. So the next time you think of working on someone’s empathy maybe realize where that empathy comes from. I have been through some shit and you think that I haven’t learned how to check a pulse just for fun right???” (I did, I am the type of girl who learns to check for a pulse just for fun because I am truly a nerd. I am a seventh grader taking math with seniors.) “This is a skill I have acquired out of a need to know basis.”
He looks at me and I can tell that I hit a nerve. “Shit! I didn’t know. Okay!”
“You didn’t need to know!” I say and I smile because I realize that I have hit my stride of coolness. I am talking real smack now and I have got their attention.
“Hey, calm down!” my friend looks at me and she can tell that I am really upset. “We just thought it would be funny. That’s all!”
“Funny for whom?” I ask.
She looks guilty. I see the little boy cowering in the corner and I point to him “For him? Do you think he is having a good time? Use you’re head!”
I walk over to him and kneel down “Are you okay?”
“Did that scare you?” I ask because I am concerned but also to make them all feel bad about what they have done.
He nods again.
“Out of fear comes bravery. Bravery only happens when you are afraid. Remember that!” I give him a hug. I go to walk out.
“Can you stay?” he asks.
Ugh. I didn’t want to leave him with this group of assholes. I stop and I look at him. “I will stay with you.” and I say rather loudly as if I am still coming across as badass “SOMEONE HAS TO CHECK YOUR CANDY FOR RAZOR BLADES AND INJECTION HOLES!” Yup that ruined it. I walked with him with my arm around his shoulder like the nerdy kid that I truly was. I never should have tried to pretend to be cool with the coolest girl in school. She could see right through it.
I am not badass! In fact I wasn’t even close to being cool. I was just glad that I didn’t actually piss myself in all of that excitement. I actually learned to check for a pulse from one of my mother’s nursing books, but I was so enraged that I wanted this band of misfits to think before they pulled this shit on someone else. You never know someone’s story! They didn’t know me at all. They just thought they did. I was the sweet, easy, gullible, little smart kid and easy prey for them.
Moral of my story: Don’t be the asshole on Halloween! Also out of fear comes bravery, for without fear there is no need to rise to the occasion. If you are one of those people who hates the scary house on Halloween, it’s just corny dads who have stored up all of their dad jokes and silly puns for this occasion, they mean no harm. Also the carotid artery is the place where you check for a pulse in your neck. If you have a nice strong one chances are you haven’t been harmed severely by being hurled from a banister. If you want more information about anything, you can find it in books. Why did I read my mother’s nursing books before I was eleven years old? Because they were lying around and I was not athletic!!!
Until next time 🙂