It was a Halloween none of the little kiddies will ever forget and has earned its place in a lifetime of permanent memories unless the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease someday take it’s toll. A snow day on what should have always been deemed as a national holiday? A nostalgic, winter wonderland landscape? Even with the childlike qualities of my Asperger’s syndrome, the magic was a little less potent for me as an adult. But Halloween is still MY Christmas. My self-proclaimed, Asperger’s Independence Day. It is the only day someone like me may go out in public looking extremely weird, but pale in comparison to the rest of the world. For just one magical day.
I refer to this freakish, autumn snowstorm as “Snow Leaf: The Sequel.” Of course, I am referring to the last time something of this magnitude happened when I was only five years old. My memories of that event exist in the form of a few lit candles to counter the power loss and the rest is obscured by a childlike haze. This event occurred later in the season and is much more memorable.
I looked out my front door on the morning of Sunday, October 30th and stared directly into the landscape of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” The dark side of this blizzard could create an even darker reality for us all! If there is a chance of such a wintry scene before Halloween…perhaps the retailers will feel more justified in breaking out the Holiday merchandise by the beginning of September. God help us all or unite with me to create a petition making it illegal to advertise the Holiday paraphrenalia before November 1st!
The freak storm came at a very inconvenient time in my life! (As if there is such a thing as a convenient time for a blizzard unless you are a gimlet-eyed schoolboy gazing at the saturated night sky on Sunday night with an uncompleted book report languishing on his desk.) I was supposed to attend a Benefit for the Maplebrook School in Amenia, NY where they were featuring my book as one of the Silent Auction prizes. For some reason, they had the Benefit anyway as at least one foot of snow fell on humanity. It also threatened to interfere with the mother of all Holidays.
The older I become and the more I advance in my career…the more I am forced to let go. I do not believe in letting go, but acknowledge sometimes there is absolutely no choice. The other choice is a path toward doom. I acknowledged that in order to complete my book in 2010, I would have to give up my marathon cards that start in early December. The two weeks devoted to this obsession were put to much better use on two book chapters. Life and consequences do not always work with my most potent obsessions.
The one obsession I cannot and will never let go of, however, is Halloween. No matter how relentless it becomes to keep up with life, I shall constantly make time for carving Jack O’Lanterns and even visiting a few “understanding” houses for Trick-or-Treating. This year was an extremely close call, however. The time spent shoveling snow and powering up generators created a profound exhaustion. I also had business with Anderson Center for Autism that could not have waited until after Halloween. But in the end, I held on just as I hope to do for the rest of my life.
My mother berated me for wanting to carve four Jack O’Lanterns and this was the first time in my life I agreed it would be too much to stay up all night to accomplish this task. In the end, I compromised on carving just two, but only had time for ONE. But it was one amazing scene of a witch meant to look like Marilyn Monroe in that “Seven Year Itch” scene on the subway. It was a Jack O’Lantern that was praised by the neighborhood and Halloween has been saved. We should avoid letting go when possible, but I will always teach my peers to find the compromise….
Just when I thought the night could not have been any better with more last-minute closure, I managed to squeeze in my only major scare that day in a world where kids are desensitized to the most grotesque Halloween costumes. I walked in the dark to the house of a high school acquaintance/friend in a remote area where they had never entertained any Trick O’Treater….EVER. Panic set in amongst the family when I knocked on the door to say hello. “This has never happened before and we have no candy!! What are we going to do…?!”