Halloween Die-ary: October 15, 2018

Today, I left my house at 4 am, headed to Logan, jumped on a metal bird, and wended south to Atlanta, Georgia, for a work meeting. I spent 3.5 hours in that muggy city, and then turned around and redid the trip backwards, to walk into my house at 8 pm with the briskness of Phileas Fogg walking into the Reform Club after circumnavigating the world in 80 days. All told, and in addition to my time in the ATL, it was five hours on a plane, four hours in a car, three hours in an airport. Not exactly my best Fall day. Certainly one of my longest, though.

And, of course, from the second the jet tires left tarmac, I was playing a game of Perfection, knowing that I had a wife on the edge of labor and hoping those little yellow pieces didn’t jump up and hit me in the face.

And, also of course, right in the middle of my meeting, my pocket vibrated. I ripped the phone out of it in a panic and saw Lindsey's photo pop up on my screen as the phone continued to shake and buzz. She was calling me. Not texting me. Calling me.

Just to say hello.

Damn her.

In the midst of all that travel fog, family worry, and work stress, I decided that I would try to keep my eyes open for Halloween. Any Halloween. See what traces of it I could see throughout a day spent mostly in variously shaped metal boxes.

I saw, in total--and not counting my house--only three traces.

1) Walking into the Hudson news shop at Logan to buy my usual flight necessities of a bag of Combos and a Diet Coke, I spied a Fall magazine on the rack. Also, the shop didn’t have Combos, so I went with Chex Mix.

2) On the plane itself, I saw a dignified man in his 50s stand up. He was dressed in grey suit pants and a black tie, his suit jacket folded neatly into the overhead bin. But, it turns out, it wasn’t a completely black tie. In the point of the tie was a pile of candy corn, like it was all in the top of an hourglass waiting to squeeze through the pinch point. I appreciated that man. And the metaphor hidden in his tie.

3) At a bar at Atlanta International, waiting for the inevitably delayed flight home to start boarding, I gazed up at the wall of booze to make a selection and noticed a single sheet ghost hanging from a bolt in the shelf between the taps and the spirits. “Go home,” the black ovals of its face seemed to entreat me. “Go back home to Halloween…and your pregnant wife.”

I, uh, closed my tab after that.