Halloween used to be my favorite holiday when I was a kid.
I remember being scared shitless as a kindergardener going into a neighborhood haunted house with vienna sauges and ketchup representing the home owner's cut off fingers. Or the time the one neighbor was on the roof and would throw down this rubber jack o' lantern in front of your face and then have it spring back up on its little bungie cord.
By elementary school, Halloween was a total blast: me and my school friends following the cute girls from the neighborhood around. In sixth grade I went as Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live which I thought was cool as hell because that meant I had stayed up late enough to watch SNL and therefore knew who Mr. Bill was. In all fairness, I'd probably only made it a handful of times but who the fuck was counting? Plus, as a sixth grader on the parish's A league basketball team coached by Whitey Barry, you were deemed doubly cool. Coach Barry was also the guy who ran the catered events at St. Judes, so by default this meant you qualified to work for him. My first shift ever was doing the coat check at the New Year's Eve dance at the church.
We used to fill pillow cases up full of candy. One year, probably fourth grade, some local thug "traded" me a bar of soap for my bag of candy. I was totally bummed. I saw my older brother Mike, then an eighth grade stud and neighborhood hoodlum himself. He asked me to described the guy, told me to go home and not worry about it. He came home about an hour later with a bag full of candy for me.
Freshman year in high school was a total bust. That year a rapist had been terrorizing Aspen Hill, the neighborhood I lived in, and not a soul went out. By tenth grade I was doubling as a jock and punker. I had a football game that night and then caught shit from my friend Jeff's girlfriend for being more "jock" then "punk."
The next two years of high school saw me spending many a night partying in the cemetary by Rockville High School with my friends drinking beer and listening to the Misfits. So when Halloween came, it wasn't about walking around the neighborhood trick or treating, it was about going down to mix it up with the hordes of ghouls walking around the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. One year, my friend Mr. T and I missed the Metro and spent the better part of the night walking up Wisconsin Avenue drinking a found bottle of schnapps trying to stay warm and stave off the cold until his sister woke up around 5am and came and picked us up.