Thursday, November 1, 2018

November First

Back in college (1986) I wrote a short story for a writing class called "Nov. 1st."  It was, at the time, the best story I'd ever written- a ghost story told from the point of view of the ghost.

I have it saved on a Macintosh disk somewhere.  I also have a hard copy printed (I have a hard copy of every short story I wrote back then.)  Problem is, I can't find the folder holding those hard copies.  I remember taking it when I was thrown out in 2013, but haven't found it since.

It had some good ideas, I think; I'd love to see it again.  I think about it every November 1st.  Go figure.

Last Night's Costume

My fascination with this day goes further back.  When I was in junior high, I entered a Halloween window painting contest in Phoenixville.  I figured everyone else would be painting pumpkins, ghosts, etc.  My piece (sketched out in colored pencils in advance) was a sunrise.  There was a barn in the background.  The foreground was a cornfield after harvest.  There was a small burned out campfire, and next to it was a green domino mask with a large nose (the only green in a picture dominated with browns, oranges, black and red.)  In the middle, walking into the rising sun was a couple in silhouette, holding hands.  There may have been a small rooster crowing too.  I called that piece "November 1st."

It didn't win. 

The day after Halloween has always held an attraction to me.  As Halloween is my favorite holiday, I build up to it and anticipate it.  Then, it's over.  The day after.  World keeps turning.  That day after didn't even have an "afterglow."  It was like someone pulled the needle off the record- pulled the plug.  It just stopped.  I mean, people keep up Christmas decorations for weeks after the actual day, but Halloween?  Boom- done.

In my later years, November 1st also meant a nasty hangover.

However, November first has another significance.  November 1st, 1990 was the date of my first suicide attempt- somewhere after midnight.  I spent the next three days in a psych ward.  I will never, ever voluntarily go back to one.  It was appalling. 

All Saint's Day- a holiday created by the Catholic Church to "replace" Samhain.  That's November 1st as well. 

Out and About

So today is November first.  I woke up with a slight hangover, and my hair smelling of smoke.  I spent some time reading, and some time volunteering.  I saw my "big sister" Mel briefly.  Ten years ago, I was wrestling with the events of the night before.  Today, it's just another day.

I just felt like writing about it. 

Be well.

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