When I was still inside my mother,

who at that point was ready to pop

the doctor told her that I would be

born on Halloween.


Scared to death at the superstition

behind it she ate spiced peppers by

the pound and walked our Brittany

dog Spike up,


and down the lopsided sidewalks

(each panel of cement had been

obstructed by the fat roots of the oak trees

that had survived the


creation of the neighborhood

which my parents had always

referred to as the 'ghetto')


I was two days shy of the doctor's prophecy.


My childhood was littered with 'Halloween'

themed birthday parties where goggling

children got to wear their costumes early and

eat as much candy as they wanted to without having

to maneuver the treacherous sidewalks to beg for it.


Last Halloween when I had barely

grown accustomed to my new

'twenty-year-old' skin I sat on

the fuzzy stairs in


a sweatshirt and listened to the rain -

each time the doorbell rang I

gave handfuls of wrapped chocolate

to each kid and laughed


at each Spiderman, Batman, or Ballerina

costume I saw.

"Happy Halloween" I called out

before closing the door.


Sometimes I wish I really had been

born on this night - that way, there'd

be no excuse for