Suddenly, on Halloween

Suddenly, on Halloween, everyone gets it. And on Christmas. 

We send our children out to trick and treat, and suddenly we get it. The streets are not safe, you hardly know any of your neighbors and you certainly don’t trust them, even the ones that smile back when you greet them. 

Why are the cars always speeding down our street? Didn’t we come here because it was a nice and quiet neighborhood? What if the kids get too excited and run into the street? What if the driver is drunk? It is Halloween after all.

Why don’t I know any of my neighbors? Why are the young couple down the street not around anymore? When did they move out? They seemed so nice. 

Christmas. It used to be fun. The whole family together, all our relatives. Now everyone has moved away. Some because they couldn’t afford it here anymore. Some because they could afford something better. It is too much of hassle to gather everyone or meet up.

How did it come to this? 

The street we live on isn’t particularly nice. There are sidewalks, but they are empty because there is nowhere to go. Front doors that no one ever uses, because the garage is the entrance of a modern home. 

The homes all look the same. There is no charm in the neighborhood. Nothing unexpected, nothing to delight. It’s Halloween. There should be some old spooky houses and a wooded cemetery, a bridge with a troll underneath over the stream that used to run through here. Instead we even cut down all the trees to spare the driveways. This place used to be a field or a forest but nobody here was around to remember it. Everything was flattened by the developers. Nothing here will outlive us. Our kids will be gone from here within ten years. This street leads nowhere. Nothing here is named.

We spent all this time and money on costumes and now we don’t really feel like letting the kids outside anymore.

Suddenly on Halloween, and on Christmas, everyone gets it.