Hollow Halloween

So what are you dressing up as?

A clown!
A witch!
A horned devil.
Your choices are so primitive! I’m dressing up as Harley Quinn.
Too mainstream, I prefer the classic Dracula.

How about you? What are you dressing up as?

There was an awkward silence between us for a moment or two before I began to feel the room spinning, to feel the absence of my tongue.

I have an idea for this year’s Halloween. I am going to undress myself for a change.

It might be a strange idea to think of the tradition this way, much more to stand against the face of the already affirmed mythology of the people. Why wouldn’t you be dressing up like most of us? Why wouldn’t you decide to put on a face? Some might think this is arrogance, but the honest truth is that this noncompliance to the annual practice of Halloween is neither rejection nor refusal but more so an exploration—a silent crusade to the opposite end of everything we have ever known and understood.

What is it like to be a phantom?
I want to be hollow.
Isn’t hollow a terrifying thing?

So much like a departure, an erasure: the gentle motion when one sweeps away the traces of someone else’s arrival or the silent way one leaves a crowd in the midst of a buzzing party of shots and strangers to walk home, in silence, on her own.

I imagined the faces of those strangers drenched in sweat and alcohol, intoxicated by the wordless euphoria of sounds and sex and silhouettes, cursed by the numbing spell of Halloween parties and escapes from the prison of cities they call home. I imagined their tongue twisted by the repetition of those three playful words: trick or treat, trick or treat, trick or treat, and all too soon their screams of laughter became shrieks of pain followed by a roaring thunder of a song that became their temporary salvation.

Tell the DJ to play this list on your funeral.

Their presence saturated me like toxic gas. I couldn’t breathe, speak or swallow in this kind of choking overwhelming atmosphere of faces and names and lights and sounds around us. In the storm of this madness I tried to imagine what I will be for this year’s Halloween: nothing. In a world that is filled up to the brim with every inch of presence, I imagined myself as absence—like the gentle flight of birds and souls and specters lost and wandering forever in the great wilderness of the abyss.

I won’t be there anymore.
I won’t be anything with a name.


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