Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Food Bank Halloween

I hope everyone survived Halloween. I have friends who can't stand it and friends who ignore it and friends who are so into it that they plan and make their costumes for a month in advance.

This year I went as a fibromyalgia sufferer in flannel pajama bottoms, a XXXL white tee shirt with a warm fuzzy sweatshirt over it, baggy socks and mattress head hair. I was so into the spirit of my duds that I took myself off to the food bank to stand in line with the rest of the halt and lame.

I stood next to a perky older gentleman who was witty and pleasingly snarky. He was very entertaining as he pointed out how young people have no clue and don't realize all that they are wasting in life.

Behind me was an old geezer pushing a urine-soaked double baby stroller. I presume he brought it to carry his groceries in but the smell was so overpowering that people all down the line were holding their noses and gagging. One lady, probably high on meth, hyperactively announced to everyone that she couldn't take the smell and was leaving. Her friend said, "Don't leave me in here!" to which she replied, "Why not? I don't know where I am anyway!"

Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and the jolly camaraderie was infectious. One young man joined us and crashed the line telling the urine-geezer "I should slit your throat from ear to ear, Nigger, for dragging me down here so early in the morning." This statement, although terrifying to me, made the whole crowd including the geezer laugh with joyous abandon.

While I was pondering the social acceptability of the "N" word in this crowd, the Perky Gent got all excited. He had glimpsed a large flat of Halloween Candy that they were giving away. This got everyone off the subject of slitting people's throats, and onto some sweet reminisces of Halloweens Past.

I piped in with the story I'd seen on last night's news, all about how people bring their kids in carloads and droves to Land Park where the rich people live so they can trick-or-treat in safety and get really good loot.

Perky Gent said, "Nobody would bring their kids to Oak Park where I live. You are lucky to get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich cut into 8 slices. One guy gives out a single walnut to each kid. Man, I told that dude to stop handing out walnuts nobody wants that shit!"

The Young Man said, "That nigger will get his throat slashed from ear to ear one of these days!" and everyone fell out in gleeful chuckles, returning the conversation to happy stabbings, slicings and dicings.

I felt so safe and warm.

Perky Gent got his food first, and made a remark that as a senior citizen he deserved some help carrying all the bags of groceries. He loaded up his arms with bag after bag of heavy canned goods, and along came Young Man to help. He grabbed one bag and headed out, leaving Perky Gent with all the rest. He looked at me and twinkled, "Young People!"

So now I am glad it is November. It's time for the rains and the fog and that crisp winter feeling in the air.

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.
- John Clare, November

No comments: