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Halloween

21

Looking forward to it.

In all my previous apartments, I’ve always prepared, ready with treats for the trick-or-treating kiddies. Never had any. That’s why I always pick candy that I like. I always wind up eating it. I’m not complaining.

But this year, I think it will be different. I think, here in the Co-op, where we have a good number of kids, that we’ll get some ghoulies and ghosties at our door.

Today, I learned the secret sign. The sign of invitation. Perhaps the lack of it is why we’ve had no Halloweenian rapping at our door in years past. We have never decorated our door.

My dear, darlin’ Nathalie informed me that door decor is the code that alerts parents that your home is Trick-or-Treat-able. Who knew? It does make sense when you think about it. I can understand that parents wouldn’t feel comfortable walking the halls, ringing unknown doorbells, unbidden. Cold calling for candy, as it were.

Strange as it may seem, this is the first place I’ve lived since I moved to NYC, oh those 20ish years ago, where I’ve actually been acquainted with my neighbors, not just the ones down the hall, but throughout the building. In NYC, we’re all crammed together, door to door, floor upon floor, and it is a rare occasion when you even know the name of the person who lives next door, let alone speak to them.

I suppose that this is the difference between a rental space and an owned space. In a Co-op, where we all depend on each other to support the success, the life, of the building, there is more investment in knowing your neighbors. This can be a good thing, this can be a bad thing. In Jamie and my case, in our new home, so far, and I don’t see this changing, it’s a very good thing. I find it comforting.

As I think about it, I guess the “knowing” of one’s neighbors is not as typical as it once was, and now, I’m including suburbia in that general net. Lives have become busier. People have become more protective of… well, themselves; their time, their lives. My parents used to know everyone on their block. They still know a fair amount of their neighbors, but in the years since I’ve moved away, the neighborhood has changed, become more… transient? People move. Homes that were once owner occupied have now become rentals. Of the 17 homes on my parents block, there are only 3 that haven’t changed hands in the 45 years I’ve been alive, my parent’s home being one of those. It shouldn’t be, given how many times I’ve moved in my life, but it is very odd to me, that change, that move from settled to stopping off point. I guess I see my parent’s neighborhood, where I spent my first 18 years, as a place of stability. And of course, it isn’t. These days, stability is in the heart, not in the location.

And no one sits on their porch anymore.

I guess that’s why I’m hoping to have costumed visitors come a tapping, gently rapping at our chamber door. That memory of a simpler time, that autumnal, comforting timelessness. Yeah, I want to take off the insular shroud for awhile, even just for an evening, and wrap myself in a warm blanket of community.

Nite,
k.

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