My Halloween

31 Oct

It’s a romantic thing–finally deciding to forego the debauchery and hedonistic fun of Halloween for a quiet evening at home with someone you love, watching scary movies, taking only the briefest of breaks from the screen to answer the door and hand out candy to excited children dressed in costume.

Fortunately for me, though, I don’t love anybody, so I went out on Halloween. I went out to drink alcohol, scream all my jokes, and quietly enjoy all the “slutty _____” costumes Denton, Texas has to offer (I never admit to this last pleasure. I prefer to outwardly disdain the outfits, sitting high on my ivory, college-educated tower. In reality, I love boobs.)

Of course, before I could go out, I had to acquire a costume.

“What about this?” my roommate Derek, asked. He had pulled up a picture on his computer. I peeked over his shoulder.

“Derek,” I said, shaking my head, a clear note of disappointment in my voice. Derek won’t turn and face me. His gaze remains locked on the computer screen.

“Okay, okay. What about this?” he made a few more clicks and brought up a new picture.

“Derek, who the hell is this?” I asked. Derek laughed condescendingly

“It’s Mahmoud Abbas!”

Silence.

“Head of the PLO!”

“The Palestinian Liberation Organization?”

“YES!” Derek exclaimed and began to giggle like a child, holding his gut tightly. “People will love it!”

“Derek, nobody’s going to know who I am. They’re all just going to think I’m dressed up as an old man.”

Suddenly, Derek’s laughter stopped.

“Huh. So now they can’t even get a fucking Halloween costume out of you?”

His tone had become hostile and aggressive. I took a step back.

“What are you talking about? What do you mean ‘out of me’?”

“Oh, don’t play dumb. You and your people always play so dumb. Of course, when it suits you, you’re smart as Hell. You’re the smartest people in the world–what with running our banks and just about every media industry in the world!”

“Good Christ, Derek.”

“Maybe you could go as the Palestinian state. Yea, it’s got a lot in common with other Halloween costumes, like ghosts, vampires, and Frankensteins.”

I sighed and put my hands on my hips. “Like what?”

“None of them exist.”

“Okay, Derek,” I said, throwing my hands up. “I’m getting a little uncomfortable with this. I think I’m just going to look through my closet and–”

My sentence is cut off by an explosive burst of laughter from Derek. He rocked back and forth in his seat then leapt to his feet.

“Get it?! I’m doing my bit!”

“What ‘bit’?”

“I’m everybody’s secret thoughts!”

I walked out of the room and tried to avoid Derek for the next few hours.

I decided to dress up like my favorite rock singer of all time, Eddie Vedder.

This was easy for me. All I had to do was put on a bunch of shitty, ill-fitting clothes with a pair of Doc Martens and some tube socks.

Derek and I got in my car at around eleven thirty and began our “All Hallow’s Eve Drink ‘Til You’re Sleepy-Athon.” Derek made up the name. I put him in charge of it. It was my mistake. I’m sorry. We’re not making t-shirts this year.

Our first stop was at a costume party in an old house in Denton.

“This is weird,” I said. The house seemed completely empty–there were no cars parked on the street and no one in the front or back yard.

“Let’s just go in. Maybe we’re the first ones here,” Derek suggested. He adjusted his beret and inserted a cigarette into a long, black cigarette holder with a gold tip.

“Derek, what’s your costume?”

“I’m smart,” Derek responded, smiling. His mouth was full of food, but I didn’t remember either of us bringing anything to eat.

“Is that,” I paused. “Is that what you think smart people look like?”

“Well, I…”

“How often do you see people wearing that stuff?”

“There aren’t very many smart people in the world, Kyle.”

A bit depressed by how much I actually agreed with this last sentiment, I got out of the car without saying a word.

“Should we just go in?” I asked.

“I’m going to go in,” Derek said.

The door swung open and we walked in. Our footsteps were loud, resonating throughout the entire house. A television is on somewhere.

“Derek, I don’t think this is the right house. Let’s go.”

“No. We’re going to party. I”m ready to get nasty, bloody, and bony.”

So many questions run through my head after Derek says this that I’m unable to articulate any of them. We continued walking through the house. There was a deep hum, a wave of sound, that would intermittently sweep under our feet. All the light in the house seemed false–lending to every room the appearance of a stage. From the other side of the house, I heard Derek call my name. He’s standing at an open doorway at the end of a long corridor. The hallway was unlit, a wash of light coming out of the doorway Derek was standing in front of. He turned to me as I approached with a look of utter terror. I turn to look in the room.

Sitting at a desk much like my own is a man who looks exactly like me and in that moment, I know that he is me. At his side is a mirror-image of Derek Brozowski.

The End.

 

 

 

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