Tuesday, October 31, 2006

recorded and remembered

Gypsy, Gypsy again, Fairy, Fairy again, Bride, Leopard, Tin Solider, Television, Mime, Dorothy (without her shoes), 1950’s Secretary, Eponine, Mime again, Betty Page, Betty Page again, Fairy again, Butterfly, Ladybug, Little Red Riding Hood, Hermione (mistaken for Go Go Yubari due to Betty Page wig), Smartie Pants (Smartie candy pinned to jeans), Pirate.

In hindsight, I am stuck by how feminine my costumes were. All those fairy wings and gypsy skirts. In hindsight, I was horrified to have gone trick or treating as a bride. When I told the story--and there was a story: how teenagers dressed like scarecrows and bank robbers, dirt on their cheeks, stopped their shouting and fell silent when they saw me, six or seven, gliding across the grass, veil glowing in the moonlight, plastic pumpkin firmly clutched in my hand, tripping over my hem—I said I was a ghost. But I wasn’t a ghost. I was a bride. They made bride costumes in my size, satiny as a nightgown, store-bought for once.

My parents used to go to a big Halloween party every year, so big and important, they would have to rent costumes. They tried to match--she a senorita to his bullfighter. One year: full hoop skirt and bonnet and sword and leggings. The tag on my father’s costume said Rhett. I peered in their closet. My mother’s said Jezabelle.

What is a bell, I wondered.