We had our street Halloween soiree 2 nights ago with the bubbly kids in the neighborhood. It was a blast of laughter and sharing of food enough for everyone: kids were showered moderately with Kopiko and other candies, adults with giveaways from one bachelor medrep. At the tune of “Nobody,” packed prizes were given to the top tomfooleries on the dance floor. Unknown to most of us, the kids had been dancing the moves of the Wonder Girls in their schools, thus dwarfing over our adults’ awkward mimicry of the sleek Korean twirlers. I got the laxative Senokot shirt as a giveaway in the adult category plus a pink-coated pen. I was happy. The rest of my time was spent chasing 1-year-10-month Hans slicing carelessly through the crowd, grabbing the microphone and mumble and sing to the delight of everyone, climbing on the parked mo-ped, swatting away the food on the table with his bare hands, snatching others’ pumpkin candy containers, and wiggling his small body to the dance music of the night – Nobody. He is bursting with too much energy enough to become a stressor in the house. But the way he shamelessly mumbled over the microphone speaks gloriously of how gregarious he is and chatty he could be opposite my pensive personality. We watched him with delight and shook our heads.
Ours is not a posh neighborhood, and nothing grand, nothing lavish, nothing pricey a prize glittered the gathering. It’s one of those common urban corners where the gossipmongers and the modest co-exist, at times in passive hostility, and in other times, in shared gaiety. Real enough, right? Halloween-like in some manners when I get to gambol with my “witchy” (and bitchy) side by wearing masks while sharing our food and vivacity. Halloween-like in the way I romp with the “dry bones” of my alienation from God and others in a more communal way – singing, scaring each other, or playing with my shadowy self.
Halloween parties are quite a ritual where my lights and shadows are symbolically held and celebrated in fun, creative tension, where the gossipmonger and the modest in me hold hands as shameless as Hans holding and singing and mumbling undecipherable a stretch of – is it mere sound or language coherent enough from toddlers’ point of view? Clear or incoherent language, they don’t matter come Halloween party time. I am a mixture of both. Besides – who has mastered the language of the living, and who has mastered the language of the dead? I tend to oscillate only between these two ends of the bridge.
Happy Halloween peeps…
Photo credit: creative liverpool