November 1st


I want to know what the world weeps for on the day after Halloween.

Last night I emerged from the Clinton-Washington station off the G to a great mass of children tramping up and down Washington Avenue trick-or-treating.  For a solid minute I stood on the corner, breathless, with a smile splitting my face.  I have always wanted to be older (I was eight going on thirty and twelve going on forty-five) but in that moment I found myself swept up in Halloweens not too long ago where I raced from house to house with my brother and sister in pursuit of the best candy, acting entirely my age.  Hours later we would fall through the door, ruddy-cheeked and matted with sweat, ready to ransack our bags for particular gems as dictated by our tastes that year.

Then as now, the slide into November was a quiet one, a whisper before the raucousness of the holiday season.

I have experienced a lifetime of overcast November firsts.  When I awoke in Brooklyn this morning, I peered out the kitchen window of my friend Kelsey’s shared brownstone at a sky that threatened rain and the post-Halloween mess of sagging pumpkins and mottled cobwebs.  It seems to me that the world heaves a great sigh after Halloween.  October must be something of an effort after all – it is a month like the finale of a fireworks show, awe-inspiring and barely controlled.

This morning was a a return to form, albeit with a cup of coffee in hand (though, had I learned to like coffee earlier, I’m sure this would have been a necessary post-Halloween component of my youth).  And as Kelsey and I wound our way to the G train this morning through mist that turned very quickly into a steady drizzle, I was very grateful for this particular November 1st.

Rain and all.


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