I have spent this entire year lost, and now that it is Halloween, I trademark my feelings not on an escape mechanism nor a figment of the darkest imagination. Inaccurate but also the only thing that reigns true, because moreso, I feel like a Spirit Halloween.
Let it not be the fluorescent lighting that acts as a spotlight for the season’s dismay, nor the waxy tiles that squeak upon careful entry. Not even the swarm of families scurrying at the last minute to dress three babies in polyester and plastic. And nor the shameless costumes that hold no remorse for making one look avant garde in the most down to earth way possible.
Rather my dread takes the form of the store itself and positions itself around the permeance of a holiday store that cannot stand the system of time even if it tried.
Because it’s not as if Halloween counteracts the self preservation of an individual, but as I delve into Fall every year it always feels like I’m returning home, except it’s hard to pinpoint where that is.
Because maybe it’s not the term home that I can coin, but walking around a store I know I will not return to is the quickest way for me to understand that I do not have one.
But it is obscure, because I swear I did at one point.
I have found shelter in other people’s beds and rummaged through past dialogue of what to be and not to be. And the anxiety that paves way sprints down the waxy floors around the corner to the discount bin, squeaking till every head has been turned.
It’s as if it’s my season’s currency.
I am sure there is specific and logical reason why no Spirit Halloween relocates the same, and I am sure even some stores find their way back too. Yet it is still eerie to walk among a place you believe to know so well and soon not even recognize it.
Because I can return to my childhood home, but now it looks as if the paint is beginning to peel and I cannot place that scent.
And the apartment I hold my things in rejects them, as if stepping into an alleyway where all my belongings have been carefully neglected.
And I can return to a lover’s bed but what’s the reminder that is still not mine.
I circle the parking lot over and over again, swearing that the Spirit Halloween was once here. One year before.
And yet so was I, but I cannot remember her.
So I walk where there are school yards with no children and down neighborhoods where the only company is broken bottles and clutter that I imagine was once in a home too.
I cannot decipher if it is the liminal spaces specifically that hold me till I’m able to sleep, or simply coexisting according to the season’s changes, but it’s quiet down here. And it’s November 1st, and Halloween is over, so where will I go?
And while neither lonely or filled, the question remains, where will I be a year from now?
Surely in a Spirit Halloween at one point, but that’s a given, because even costumes seem confident in knowing their way home.
But I keep finding myself in parking lots, circling around the lot over and over again, swearing that I was once here before.