My mother was born on the thirty-first of October, a fact which, were my mind not finely tuned to hum with the harmonies of scientific thought, I might have misconstrued as attributing considerably to her personality. The fact that she was enamored with witches was likewise dismissed as a mere peculiarity, as was her affinity for Fancy Santas.
Each year, Halloween would swell within my youthful, overweight chest as a hopeful glimmer of saccharine joy on a horizon bleak with prospects of route mathematics and piano lessons, an occasion for my inner passions for character and costumery might be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world.
Each year, my hope would slowly build until scant days before Halloween, hoping my parental figures, keen as they were to control every aspect of my waking life, transportation of my person entirely within their power, would recognize my desire to rifle through the lazy aisles of some thrift shop, in search of some long since unwanted article of clothing that would allow me to embody the electric spirit of the famed scientist and object of my constant affection Nikola Tesla.
One year, we spent the night in the back of my grandparents' brown-paneled station wagon, parked in the lot of a shopping mall in Boca Raton, a small ice cream cake melting onto the faux-leather third row seats.
The next, we spent the night at home watching Home and Garden Television, while my father reorganized the garage.
Under the sodium lamps of that garage, I ventured to request of my father and mother the opportunity to collect candy from the neighbors, the happy shrieks of the children outside penetrating every wall attempting to bar it and collecting in my ears.
My mother acquiesced.
"But, what of a costume?" I whispered.
My mother handed me a garbage bag, cut a hole in the top, and instructed me to put it over myself, to cover my plaid button up Tommy Hilfinger shirt.
"You can be a hobo."
She opened the garage door and pushed me out. The opaque black plastic did nothing to shroud my exposed shame.