Well, here it is, Halloween, the day of ghosts and goblins and zombies and vampires and all the scary stuff that goes bump in the night and raises the hair on your nape and generally sends the bejeebers screaming into the night. (Is that too awkward a variation of “scares the bejeebers out of you”?)
One feels obligated to compose some sort of scary, or at least spine-tingling, bit of whimsy to mark the darkness and scariness of All Hallow’s Eve. It’s tradition, don’t you know.
But here I sit, relaxing on the love seat while my darling companion reads the newspaper with her feet up, one golden retriever lying by her side and the other contentedly and intently gnawing on an old bone. I turn my head and see the black cat, the fifth member of our little family, curled up on the bed.
Black cats are scary, right? Maybe I can write about Blackberry, but she’s not that scary. She did run across my path when she was four weeks old and wandering the high grass on a highway ramp, emerging when I stopped my car and went looking for her. She screamed “Home! Home! Home! Home!” over and over to the point where I thought of naming her E.T. Come to think of it, she still cries “Home! Home! Home!” over and over until she’s fed in the morning, all these 15 years later.
I could write about E.T. The Extraterrestrial, which has a trick-or-treat scene and has been in the news again for its 40th anniversary. It’s the only movie I ever watched in Philadelphia (longish story) and one of a handful that charmed me so much that just mentioning the title will make a part of me well up with fond emotion. It’s a wonderful story but I continue to believe John Williams’ magnificent musical score is what tips the movie over into greatness. “I’ll be right here.” Dang it, I’m choking up again.
I could turn on the TV news — that’s certainly the best source of scariness these days — but as Summer leaves her bone alone, jumps up on the love seat next to me, and accepts an arm around her shoulder (forcing me to type with one hand), I have to accept the fact that I’m simply too content to drum up anything scary. I can’t even write about something scary that disrupts this idyll, because now the moment is preserved in my memory as something to recall fondly in harder times to come.