Last night was Halloween, and my kids were beyond excited. Is it wrong that I was somehow… not? As an actor I have always loved to dress up; anything to do with shifting identities and pretending to be someone else for an evening has been mandatory. However I don’t like candy, and most of all, I don’t like being told when to be creative. I would prefer randomly going to the supermarket dressed like Marie Antoinette.
I popped on a leather “Harlequino” commedia dell arte mask that I got in Italy years ago, and set out with my kids- a bleeding Scream Faced ghoul, and Jason from Friday the 13th respectively. In Malibu there are four main neighborhoods where we trick or treat, all tightly policed, and we went to West Malibu because we always have an easy time getting on that list. The ex was just coming back from watching the Redsox win the World Series in Boston, and I found myself waiting for the phone to vibrate to let me know he was here and ready to take his shift.
Enforced cheer is anathema for me. Besides being a Jew, I’m not into the whole Christmas thing; ho ho ho, merry merry, go fuck yourself. The big bearded guy (as opposed to that other bearded guy in the sky I was told G-d was at Orthodox Jewish school) is just too jolly about having small children sit on his knee.
Even the happiest Jewish holiday, Purim, delights in the death of fictional bad guy Haman (Yay! He’s dead! we encourage the children to shout.) Dressing up on Purim was always so exciting at school because it was different to having to wear a uniform, and a day to once again be someone else. But now? I’m not in the mood to slut it up with my former idea of a Barbarella costume, so what was the point? Wearing wigs or tons of make up and uncomfortably revealing clothing is what you do when you’re trying to get a guy’s attention, and right now I am more intent on avoiding it. Much as I approve others getting wasted and having sex with people in masks, that is just not where I’m at right now.
And perhaps this is progress. Amongst the din of children screaming and running around all hopped up on high fructose corn syrup, I tried to stay centered and calm, and pretty much failed. The sensory overload of seeing that many people we knew in a state of Government enforced revelry was too much for this trick or treater. When the ex got there, I couldn’t escape fast enough. This may be is a good sign. For once, after decades of yearning to swap identities with someone, anyone but myself, all I wanted was to be me.