Being allowed out past your bedtime.
Wandering darkening streets in rolled up old baggy pants, held up with gardening twine.
Grandpa’s straw hat doused with the smell of tobacco, and hair tonic.
Falling into your eyes whenever you looked down at your dusty older brother’s boots swamping your feet.
Your Dad’s tweed suit jacket used only for funerals, and church, pressed into service after he could no longer squeeze into it.
Your new Hobo costume.
Faint lingering scent of cologne a comfort against the rough tweed that itched your neck.
Sleeves folded up by your Mother, costume organized between dinner and dishes.
Eagerly edging out the door, best friends alone outside for the first time, impatient to leave.
Winter jackets zipped up against the October chill, worn under costumes.
The only ticket to the outdoor adventure called Halloween.
Smudgy charcoal taken from fireplace ashes, or if your Mom was the glamorous type, cake mascara. Smeared spit on a finger swirled and rubbed onto your face, whiskers drawn with the rough scratch of underdone charcoal sticks.
One type fits all costumes, scavenged from what ever castoffs were found in hall closets.
Brightly colored, ridged plastic masks with small cut outs for eyes.
Tender young lips tickled by the sharp edge of plastic as you talked.
Ragged breath from heaving lungs condensing inside, heating up your face. Thin elastic cord held on with tiny staples on either side, coming undone halfway through the night.
Leaving you to hold onto your mask with one hand, and your bedraggled pillowcase candy sack with the other.
Feet pounding down walkways, across porches, enthusiastically throwing open aluminum screen doors so hard they banged into outside walls.
Sugary fingers poking at doorbells, making them stick in rectangle frames, chimes endlessly reverberating off inside hallways.
Cold, dark, frightening air, big kid monsters jumping out of hiding, eliciting thrilled screams.
Homeowners peering out of brightly lit doorways, shedding glowing light onto dark smudgy faces crowded round doorsteps, white cotton pillowcases held aloft.
Memory searing scent of scorched pumpkin lids, mingled with candle wax, fear, sugar highs, and excitement.
Innocence in a paper sack of unwrapped, homemade candies.
Caramel apples on a stick, and rice crispy squares the best treasures of the night.
Sodden pillow cases dragged down streets, feet sore, breath hot, senses high.
Anticipation built for the next year.