Before you call me a horrible, child-hating, unfestive, soulless cretan, let me say that I'm a girl, and I'm home alone. And I live in Brooklyn. Which means that day or night, if my doorbell rings and I'm not expecting someone, an electric bolt of fear runs through my body. It's a sensation similar to the pre-wretch shiver I experienced every hour for the three days following the plate of bad Thai shrimp I ate two Easters ago. Cause: Doorbell yelps. Effect: I freeze, and weigh my options. Should I climb to the top of my closet and retrieve the illegal taser my male friend FedExed me this summer, after my roommate was mugged in our doorway? Slowly reach for my phone and dial 9, then 1, then wait for a reason to press 1 again? Run to the kitchen, grab a steak knife, and run out the back door screaming? In the case of fight or flight, I fly. I flee.
After my cigarette, I figured I better prepare for the doorbell ringing again. I put on my new coat, walked down my dark hallway (lights of any kind only encourage them), and headed to Fine Wine and Liquors. Outside, I navigated through mini Minnie Mouses, kids in street clothes and skeleton masks, parents fishing through orange plastic bags for razor blades, fairy wands tucked under their armpits, clowns on skateboards, and hipsters that were either dressed up or just wearing their regular clothes. Fine Wines and Liquors was brightly lit and contained a basenji, a wine salesman, and two scruffy employees eating soup from large to-go containers.
"We're out of candy," the wine salesman droned in between his pitch. Dejected, whatever little ghost or surgeon had tramped up the steps turned back toward his or her bored-looking parent and yelled, "They don't have no candy!" I handed Scruffy #1 my $20 and walked out. The sun had almost completely set.
Now I'm sitting in my dark apartment, trapped. I just remembered that I have a bunch of Dum Dums in a candy dish on one of the side tables in the living room. But it's too late now; the Elmos have given way to the big kids, the ones with no costumes except menace. I'm getting egged, I know it.