Behind the Mask

Filters of the Doc's 2016 pumpkin.

There was a welcome dearth of that cartoon princess with the icy blue dress and the long blond braid this year. I think we only had one. And she was a zombie version.

Not surprisingly, there was a new group of Harry Potters. What did surprise me was the number of girls dressed as Harry. The only Hermione I saw was a girl who said she was a “grown up Hermione,” since she was regular Hermione last year. Holtzman from Ghostbusters did show up, though.

There were plenty of superheroes–at least four Captain Americas. One had a shield I was very ready to poach. Just one Iron Man. I guess we know whose Civil War side was favored. [Full disclosure: Doc was Team Cap, too.]

I misidentified a trick-or-treater as Batman. He was wearing one of those costumes with the built in pillow pecs, and I was working my line about how he must lift. It always cracks me up. And I called him Batman. He very politely–almost apologetically–corrected me. While his mask had the same ears of the hordes of costumed Batmen trick or treating my porch, this guy was actually Black Panther. In recognition of his boss-dom and my error, I noted that he was much stronger than Batman and much more wealthy than Tony Stark. His dad, who was hanging a bit back, piped in, “See? They know!” The Dad was also dressed as a Black Panther. I recognized his black beret sporting a panther patch. I tossed a candy his way. He totally caught it, despite the dark.

The push and pull of family relations are told through some costumes. The parents who apologize for YAP (yet another princess), the kids who turn to their folks to ask “who am I, again?” and the occasional fusion when the child wanted to be a banana and the mom totally nailed the outfit. You can tell because that team is full of some wicked pride.

Personally, I like giving away candy and watching the show. I do not miss the costume scramble. Not at all.

The Big Guy dressed as The Joker for his Halloween haunting. To work the Joker makeup, he needed to be clean shaven. I saw his boy’s face that had been hidden for years under his beard. I asked him if the bar asked for his proof of age. He said his former co-worker didn’t recognize him.

When I looked at him, though, I knew exactly who he was. And, I felt like I was ten years younger. Definitely trick.

Sharp Dressed Man

Impala painted in flames. Sticks out.

The man standing on the corner stood out. It wasn’t because he was tall. He was likely 6’2″, or was that height when he was younger. But he wasn’t stand out tall.

It wasn’t his suit. It was a black suit. The fit of his pants was a little off, but that was likely because he was on the thin side. His jacket was fine, and he wore a crisp white shirt. He could have been a musician, but if he was, he played a harmonica and it was in his pocket. He carried nothing that would carry an instrument.

He did have a pile of papers in his hand. No folders. He might be carrying some mail. He likely walked past the train stop because he had today’s Politico at the top of his pile. There’s a newsstand next to the station on the block. His pile though? Not really a notable pile.

He looked over the traffic as he waited for the light to change. His silver white and gray hair was blown about by the breeze. It wasn’t wild. It was anchored a bit by its weight. Although it was fairly fine–not thin–it hung halfway down his back. His beard was much whiter than his hair. It was a clear contrast since his beard was the same length as his hair. It hung to the middle of his torso. His beard fluttered in the wind.

His was a ZZ Top or an elder Duck Dynasty beard. That was unusual. He wasn’t wearing sunglasses, even though it was very sunny. You’d expect sunglasses. His glasses were small, oval wireframes. They were silver or chrome frames.

The light changed and he crossed the street. The late summer solstice sun reflected off his face. Maybe he was an old hippie. Maybe he was a preacher. Maybe he was an orchestra conductor. Maybe he was an old hippie preacher conductor. Or just a guy. Just a guy crossing the street.