Treat

Rocky ended wonderfully, with a full house that knew more callbacks than the cast did. And I slept for an indulgent length of time. I think I interacted with five people yesterday. Not that entertaining 60-plus people four nights in a row, twice beginning at midnight, isn’t my idea of a good time–I enjoyed it very much–but there comes a point where the only human voice you want to hear is your own.

Actually, that’s true for most people most of the time. Ba-dum-ching.

Like I’ve said, I love Halloween. But in the lead-up to the big day, I’d been so busy with show stuff that I never really had the chance to get into the spirit of the holiday. I didn’t even pull off my seriously minimalistic idea for a Chuck Testa costume. So around 7:30 last night I took a long walk around the neighborhood to watch the Trick-or-Treaters and appreciate decorations.

I think a walk is a perfect thing for Halloween. That’s sort of the point of Halloween, isn’t it? The night that the dead walk among us. You can wander down familiar streets and see masked faces everywhere, faces you might know but that you also might not. You can imagine that the shadow turning the corner ahead of you is a loved one back from the grave, allowed to explore the world again for this one night.

What I kept coming back to on my walk, though, was the other side of the Halloween coin. I could feel my heart beating, felt the cool November air on my face, swung my arms, enjoyed moving my legs. I took some time to really think about being alive and how wonderful–how literally full of wonder that is, how full of wonder that makes me. I took a moment to do the thing we always promise ourselves we’ll do when we’re sick or hurt: appreciate how nice it is to be healthy and whole. And I saw kids running around with expressions of happiness, pure excitement, fear, even cultivated boredom in the faces of the teenagers pretending they found it a chore to take their brothers and sisters from door to door. I even–and this is not an easy thing for me to do anymore–scared myself a little bit, just in that deliciously imaginative Halloween way. By the time I got back to my building, I felt like I was buzzing. My shoulders, my chest, and especially my heart felt alive and completely suffused with happiness. I carried that with me the rest of the night, living it moment to moment for once.

That’s why we have holidays, after all. They remind us to slow down, to think a little bit, to celebrate. And in the end, what we’re celebrating every time is being alive, right now.

And if a Milky Way bar or two had an impact on my happy buzz, well. ‘Twas the season.

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