Dear Mr. President,
Tonight my neighborhood is alive with revelers. Halloween on Capitol Hill is more exciting than Christmas, and really any other celebration (except perhaps Block Party or Pride.) In a neighborhood where no one needs an excuse to wear costumes, All Hallow's Eve is on opportunity to pull out all the stops. And while some might disapprove of the troops of wildly dressed, raucous partiers, I think the festivity is uplifting. Even the increasingly skimpy costumes favored by the women of my generation, which I used to decry as anti-feminist and degrading, seem like harmless fun. After all, what better night could there be than this to celebrate the very thing that has terrified so many for all of human history, that plays villain in most major religions, the horror of a woman's unabashed sexuality? (And, to be fair, I know more than a few men giving sexy little dresses a try this year.)
While my roommate and I watch a marathon of creepy movies and I drink the first cup of coffee I've had all week in preparation for the inevitable all-night paper-writing session I have ahead, the shouts of a neighborhood somewhat drunkenly celebrating don't seem taunting or annoying, but rather festive. Our little black cat is curled up at my feet and our apartment is still covered in decorative cobwebs, carved pumpkins, and flickering candles. Small children are running around dressed as ghouls and tea party candidates gobbling all the waxy chocolate and high-fructose corn syrup they can stand. The busses are filled with Mad Hatters and Fantastic Foxes and every imaginable kind of zombie. No talking head is complaining about the lack of tradition or the over-commercialization of the day, warning us of a "war on Halloween." Halloween's great sacrement is to hold nothing sacred; to celebrate the depraved, the frivolous, the ugly.
It is cold but, for Seattle, an October day as dry and clear and full of bright fall leaves as this one is a rare treat. I spent more Halloweens soggily trick-or-treating under an umbrella than I care to remember, and I'm glad to know that this year local children will be spared our usual deluge. I should get to work on my midterm papers and stop musing about this lovely, spooky holiday I hope I'm never too old to appreciate. Happy Halloween.