Halloween Die-ary: September 20, 2018

The sky was Fall-gray, and I was speeding the last few miles home like a horde of ghouls was at my wheels. I passed the castle-shaped Radisson Hotel, looming over the highway like it was an ancient stone monolith. Directly above the space that would have been the drawbridge had the hotel designer continued the theme beyond its castellated roofline, was the hotel sign in lighted cursive lettering. The lettering was flickering like mad, as if it were advertising itself as a haunted attraction like the Tower of Terror instead of as a lower-cost option to hotels closer to Boston.

I pulled up the driveway and burst through the door of my home, the smell of three different Fall candles combining in an olfactory chorus, pulling me deeper inside with smoke tendrils by my nostrils like I was in a cartoon, directly into the full force of the orange glow of our living room. The windows were spider-webbed cozily, the hearth full of jagged smiles and triangle eyes, the walls holding up tombstones.

Dinner was ready, and as I sat down with my family, my eldest shoved a thick, orange concoction at me. “Halloween milk!” my youngest crowed. I took a sip, and it tasted like melted ice cream from the vanilla it was infused with, at least according to the purple, spiderwebbed label on the jug that called the stuff Boo-Struck.

No more Halloween was done that day. Just that short, 20-minute moment. Bu that’s all I needed tonight. And it’s one of the reasons we celebrate a long Halloween Season. Because you can always do Halloween the next day.

And we will certainly do that. We’ve already made our plans for the weekend. Tonight was like the Labor Day calm before the Halloween storm.