It is an odd thing to celebrate Halloween as an adult. I do not yet have a child to celebrate the holiday with. My wife is fiendishly imbued with the spirit of the day and her enthusiasm, regardless of our limited roles as candy dispensers, is certainly infectious. Each year our hopes soar as the night approaches with expectations of droves of costume-clad children coming to beg for our foodstuffs. Each year these hopes wane as the night grinds on until, finally, we must admit defeat.

That we live in a good neighborhood is unquestionable. That we live on a one-way street with bright lights and little traffic is apparent to all. Yet, each year my wife and I wait by the window, watching for ghouls and goblins to approach our door — and each year they fail to appear.

That this reminds me of trying to get published, the initial writing, the rewriting, the sending off of query letters and applications to school and competitions, I think is a reflection of a larger condition and not just my present mood. So much of life seems to be like Halloween night with all the varied preparation for the event and then, anxious waiting. If a person is looking for a mate they spend a good deal of time cleaning themselves and choosing their clothing, perhaps dieting and exercising, but what then? Perhaps they visit clubs and bars or go to dog parks or cafes, but eventually, their destiny lies with fate. Does that woman sit at their table? Does that man offer a friendly smile? The same holds true with the aspiring musician, the couple trying to conceive a child or the office worker striving to attain that corner office.

In short so much of this seems like my Halloween plight, with the final important stage out of one’s hands. You can hang spider webbing from your trees and plant tombstones in your yard but if those children veer left onto Spring Street then all the jack-o-lanterns and candy corn in the world will be in vain.

My wife and I discussed placing a sign, much like for selling a house, on the busy end of our street to tell children that, yes, we are open for candy. Although we ruled it out this year, I expect, that if our turnout tonight is no better than before, our code of conduct for next year might be altered for improved results.

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