You are six years old, it is Halloween night. And it is the dreaded annual Corned Beef dinner again. The slice lays on your plate with the iridescent reflection glistening among the small yellow balls, that they tell you are mustard seeds. It doesn’t make it any more appetizing for you. The vapid lumpy mashed potatoes, and pale green beans combining to make this a childhood meal you will commit to memory for life.
The neighbourhood kids, the really big kids, come to get you. Your mother opens the front door to them, as you step back in fear, because you don’t recognize the torn white sheets with holes cut for eyes, or the hard plastic yogi bear, and clown masks that they wear.
Your mother reassures you, and thankfully watches you go off with children whom you have grown up with for the last few years. She doesn’t worry about strangers, it wasn’t a concern in those days. She could use the few minutes alone, with just your younger sister. Waiting for your father to complete the long after work drive to the suburbs.
Beside she has to give out the candy, portioning out just one piece per child, to be dropped in the old pillowcase, as they chorus “trick or treat” at the door. Their homemade costumes, and unaccompanied groups small and simple.