The night of the Halloween disco.

Real, Surreal and Unreal this is the time of the year when all these dimensions merge together.
It is the night of the long craved Halloween disco.Because I am supposed to collect my friend’s kids I take the back road instead of the coast one.I am driving in the pitch dark,my hands covered in blood(fake blood that, no matter what you use, it stays on your skin for days.)I am a bat tonight.A simple mask, black and purple,painted on my face and a hairband with little fury bats sticking up and wiggling at every movements of my head.I soon realised that I should have taken it off for the drive.The two little fury creatures,in fact,keep catching themselves in the car’s roof. I try to adjust the position of my head.I lowered and stiff my neck as much as I can.I am profoundly grateful for the side mirrors as I can’t turn my head. On the back seats I carry a zombie with a knife stuck in her head and a dead dancing queen with bright fuchsia huge curly hair “giggling”at every bump of the road.My walking dead passengers start arguing:the zombie girl complains against the dancing queen who apparently slaps her with her wig every time she moves.I pull over.I threatened to let them on the side of the road and then we proceed to efficiently and pragmatically sort the quarrel out:no harm can be done to an already dead and resuscitated person, there is no ground for complaint.We are back on the road and, officially late(disco starts at 7pm but I am supposed to be there a bit early to prepare my workstation).The dancing queen screams,her zombie sister follows:”watch out”.My foot goes heavy on the brake.The tyres make that unmistakable grindy noise due to the their friction on the graveled road .Just in front of the car, in the middle of the road, there is a dog.It is black like the night and sure not a stray one.It looks well looked after and has a collar on.I get out the car but when I try to approach it runs back in the field,alive and safe.We are back on the road…again!
My friend rang to say I don’t need to collect her girls as they are running late and are not ready yet.I will only be required to give them a lift back home .We made it to the disco and not even that late,until, of course ,we waste 5 minutes to take a well done selfie of the three of us.It not for the sake of pure vanity. We want to send it to the travelling husband who,is still waiting to board his airplane in Rome.Tonight I am on cash duty.I will be at the entrance selling the tickets and making sure everybody pays and ,most of all, making sure that nobody leaves unaccompanied.I say my workstation is a pretty good one.I will be able to see all the costumes and I will be spared the “inside room”:Loudly noisy,dark and sweaty.I don’t have my mother very sensitive sense of smell but I easily pick the smell of humanitas this events usually trap.Not to mention the smelly hormones released from the kids in 5Th and 6th year.I have enough with the gymnastic place.

Little digression:CG is no sporty at all.She ,in true, likes swimming even if it came a very long way.She only does tennis because she has to but,she loves gymnastic.She never complaints to go;she goes in happy and comes out happier.She learnt nothing so far(she is doing it for 3 years)but she loves it so …..what the hell:who cares,I let her be and do! The problem is, the gym is smelly.Very much smelly!I always make sure I don’t get there too early either to drop or collect her as the smell of sweaty feet that welcomes you as soon you open the front door is unbearable.There are diligent parents staying there to watch their kids for the whole hour and, I still can’t really understand how they do that:Would they spread the inside of their nose with vicks vaporub before they go in ?or they are all suffering from congenital anosmia?

Now,the little smelly digression is over.Let’s go back to the disco.7 o’clock:let the fun begins.I sit back and start to welcome the spooky paying audience.I am trilled by the fantasy of some of the costumes and fascinated by the skills of some of the parents on making them.I sell tickets to lots of skeletons,a lightening with his partner the cloud.Dead school girls is a very popular trend.Narnia comes in too,followed by a little army of minions and few princesses as well:some dead some pretty much alive.Georgie from IT is my favorite. Disco will be over at 9 pm.It is now 8.30pm and I suppose nobody will come in again.I lock the till and go inside.Thanks God windows are open.The dj is actually pretty good this year.Kids are wildly running, dancing and playing .It is a very happy mayhem in there.”Thriller” is playing.!10 minutes to go,the parents join the dancing floor.Some of them in fancy dress,some of them no.Last song on.The big final:Real, Surreal and Unreal merge together on the note of “Time Warp”from the timeless Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The disco is over and we are back home,showered changed in our pjs and in bed.Tired but satisfied. It was an awesome evening:another successful Halloween disco.

I am sipping my apple spice tea in the warmth and quiet of my bed(dogs are obviously at my feet)and I think at how lucky these kids are.They are building happy memories that will stay with them forever .I feel admiration for those parents who worked on the costumes,keeped up the spirit and happily sacrificed their friday night.
I feel sad for those kids who dont dress up because it is not cool! I would like to shout at them: “be kids as long as you can.Dressing up it is cool.It is your chance to be whatever you want.”.I would like to shout to their parents to not allow their kids to grow faster then they have to.That is not cool.Free the imagination and be spontaneous that is cool.
This is the end of a Truly Madly Ordinary Halloween disco night.

Here it comes Halloween

Wednesday evening:the girls are on their way to bed.The dogs are barking like crazy at the kitchen window as my neighbour just passed with her dog.I have eventually locked myself in the study in the hope to write.The traveling husband just rang:he landed alive and safe.He is in Rome.He did touch ground at home for a day and then left again.A glass of californian rose’ and Michael Kiwanuka to keep me company:”Cold Little Heart”,is playing.I became obsessed with this song after i saw the tv series “big little lies”.The book is still one of my favourite from Liane Moriarty but,the tv series was a such disappointment when I saw the first episode.None of the characters were like I had imagined them.Madeline,my Madeline,my favorite character of all,didn’t get any credit.The woman I day dreamt to be for all the time I was reading the book was not the one pictured on the screen.She was a dull character not the one I felt in my head.With the second episode things started to go a bit better and with third one they were good:The characters acquired their thickness and their intensity.By the end I truly enjoyed the show and I hated the last episode.I hated it simply because it put an end to my imaginary life in a parallel dimension.

Back to reality this coming week end is going to be a long busy week end:school halloween disco on Friday evening,house party on Sunday,Trick or Treat on Tuesday.

First year we went to the school disco it was held in a room in one of the sport clubs in the village.There were chairs spread in circle all around the room so that the parents,obviously in the dark,could sit and watch their kids in the middle dancing .The music was played by a magician occasionally dj too,I will leave any comment.I sat and kept to myself.We were in the school only for one year at the time and I didn’t know many people.Sitting beside me there was the father of two girls destined to become my daughters best friends.He looked at me and said:”this is exactly my idea of living hell”.It has been love at first sight.I wanted to get up and hug him.A normal person he was!A human parent who honestly said he was actually not enjoying that torture.I felt relieved I was not the only one feeling like i was there because i had to.All around us there was,instead,enthusiastic moms fibrillating at the music pace and feeling blessed for the ecstatic experience their kids were living.Well,in fairness, it was fun for the kids.Super fun until someone ‘s glow in the dark band broke and he swallowed the luminous liquid. His lips were luminous yellow,he looked hilarious and even the most responsible parents couldn’t help but laughing.The poor little guy was terrified at the idea of being poisoned and started to cry. The mother,who cleverly thought she could just drop the kids and go, was nowhere to be found.In the end he has been easily distracted with a bag of treats:weather they are dogs or kids,treats always work.

Second year of halloween disco was a success, for me and the travelling husband indeed.Taking advantage of a friend who was staying, we drop the girls at the disco and went for a pint in the pub just beside.One of those very small old fashion pub.Only few stools around the bar counter and few tables with old leather armchairs.Actually,we met many parents from the school in there so, obviously, we were not the only one relying on someone else to look after the kids.I bet we were not the only ones to think it was the most successful school halloween disco either.Unfortunately it seems that it was not that successful at all:the dj was crap ,the room a bit too dark and too small.We couldn’t know.To us was still a fun night.

For this year halloween disco I responsibly offered to help.The travelling husband won’t be back until friday late night anyway.No pub in any case.
A is going to be a zombie like last year.Easy peasy:we recycle the outfit and I only have to rewind my brain and redo the same make up I did last year that,modesty a part,was quite good.CG ,that is currently in her unicorn phase,initially wanted to be a dead unicorn.I discouraged the idea terrified of how I was going to make the corn and make it stick in her forehead.Also,unicorns are fairy world creature,you don’t transform them in zombies.It would be like to shoot mama fairy on one of her feet.Thinking back the idea of the dead unicorn was not too bad.The idea she came up after,in fact, was even worst and she stack with it.She is going to be a dead seventies dancing queen.When she told me I had an immediate impulse to hug her and congratulate her for the fantasy and the originality.Once the instant of maternal proudness past, I was left with a total empty brain about how to make the costume. Will i dress her like a dead ABBA?Where do I find a seventies kid outfit?The father said that this ideas come up because i make them listen seventies music all the time.He also says that I am a rarity who still listen at Janis Joplin , Jimi Hendrix etc etc. I say he is just music wise ignorant.No harm on singing together Mrs Robinson on our way to school in the morning! Anyway, one thing about the costume was certain since the beginning:she must have big curly hair.No room for negotiation on this. In the coloring book she has, dico girls have big curly hair.We got the wig and we got a kind of seventies dress and high knee socks with stripes on the upper part.We have big round earrings and zombie makeup….that will have to do and,what better place then a halloween disco to test the look?
I love halloween.I grew up in a country where it was not celebrated.When we moved to Ireland was my chance to do everything I only saw in the movies until then.Even if we had no kids at the time the house was decorated and treats ready for the neighbourhood kids coming around.When the girls came along it was my chance to go trick or treat too.I still do it with them and,as my eldest one is turning 11,I am starting to wonder what is gona be for me when they will be too old to go trick or treat with their mother?A real tragedy….will i have to wait for grandchildren to go trick or treat again?

I heard over the years many critics against the Halloween celebrations considered macabre and at times disrespectful.To those I replay that where I grew up Halloween is not celebrated.The first of november is celebrated it is the day when the long lost relatives gather together to go to cemetery to pay respect to their loved ones.Flowers prices are increased of 30/40%.People who normally don’t give a tough to their late relatives cry over they graves.Family members that are not seen for the whole year are met,gritted and,of course,spoken bad behind their back once they have left.Is this less macabre or less disrespectful?I don’t think so.

Life is cycle and dead is a part of it.Acceptance is the key to ease the pain of a loss.