Halloween Die-ary: September 13, 2018

As much as I like big Halloween plans and massive Autumn undertakings, sometimes it’s the everyday work day that is the most magical. You know, you go through a day that you’ve gone through thousands of times before, but this time it’s different. Just slightly. You notice tiny changes accumulating throughout the day. Little tweaks to the world that tell you that reality has changed in some fundamental way. That somebody has messed with the timeline. You’re not sure if anybody around you notices it, but it doesn’t matter because it makes you so happy.

That was my day.

I worked in the Boston office today, which meant a long commute. Finding myself in the middle of the usual bumper to bumper traffic, my only sights license plates that say “Spirit of America” on them and Red Sox window decals. But then I saw a white box truck with the black silhouette of a witch on it. It was a Witch City plumbing and heating truck, complete with its witch logo. Granted, I could probably see that any day of the year in this part of the country. But in September I noticed…harder. It made the commute…easier.

Once I arrived at work, I hit up Dunkin’s for a soda. And there, leering at me from atop the transparent refrigerator was a jack-o-lantern that was five time bigger than it needed to be. Sometimes a stranger’s smile makes your day better. And that’s what happened here. Except the smile was jagged and probably more technically described as a leer.

I broke rock all day, but before leaving, I stopped by the kitchen for a snack. Usually what’s in the cabinets are small bags of chips. Granola bars. But this time, I found a Pringles box decorated with tombstones. They called them Spooky Stacks. Which is what I’ll call them year-round now.

Finally, after an hour or so of covering my car floor mats with Pringles crumbs, I arrived home, where I expected witches and jack-o’s and tombstones to welcome me. Sort of. I’m actually still getting used to the sights and smells of our decorations overwhelming me pleasantly as I make transition wearily from gray, plain garage to orange glowing Halloween nest.

While we ate dinner, I showed my kids that short episode of The Witching Season that I mentioned yesterday, and their reactions were worth it. They hid behind throw pillows and burrowed into the couch cushions. At the end, I asked if they wanted to watch another, and my older one said, “No way!” and my younger one said, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I don’t have a favorite. Not really.

After they went to bed, somehow not afraid of their stuffed animals, I hit the treadmill, which means I watched a horror movie. Or half of one. I don’t spend THAT much time exercising. This time it was Demons, the Italian masterpiece of gore and style from 1985. I haven’t seen this one in years, but it’s great. I’ll finish it next time I’m hamster-wheeling.

And now I’m writing spooky things into a glowing screen, ready to start planning the weekend. I’m not sure exactly what we’re doing, but I know it involves a day trip.

Which is my favorite thing of any season. But especially this season.