log (2006/10/27 to 2006/11/02)

Went around with the little boy and two of his friends tonight, standing in the background with my flashlight while they went up and Trick or Treated. They didn't need me, really, this year, but it was nice to stand there in the background with my flashlight, wave at the people giving them candy, say "Happy Hallowe'en!".

The little boy was the iPod Dude, dressed all in black except for some white earbuds and wires and a pretend iPod (no one wanted to risk a real iPod out on the haunted streets), and with his face blacked with face-blacking (he's in the shower now, seeing if it really comes off like the package says).

Years ago there'd be like ten or twelve of them, and four or six of us parents, running madly from house to house (the kids, that is, with us parents strolling along in the rear).

Now they've gotten bigger, aged out of the habit, split up into smaller and different groups, and not so many of the parents come along. For awhile tonight it was the little boy and two of his friends, and me and the older brother of one of the friends being the grownups in the background. Then that friend got tired, and he and his brother said good-night, and me and the little boy and the remaining friend went around the entire rest of the neighborhood for hours and hours. (Well, it seemed that way.)

Boy, he must have alot of candy in that pillowcase.

The little daughter stayed in the house serving candy to trick or treaters until like 8:30 pea em, when two of her friends came by, and then at 9 a friend who'd had to work late came by and they actually went out. They're probably the last kids out there, getting the last of the candy from everyone's bowls, or finding houses already closed down for the night.

(Our pumpkins are still out there on the porch, just the one carved and candle-lit, another one painted and flashlight-lit, and two untouched just for seasonal show.)

The little daughter is Minny Mouse, in a costume involving white gloves, a red dress, and lots of cleverly-cut and colored adhesive-backed felt from the adhesive-backed felt store. I hope she has a good time (at this age I think it's more about the laughing and the company than the candy; come to think of it that's probably true at most ages). And doesn't stay out too late.

Boy, am I tired!

(I wore my usual big blue polka-dot costume bow tie. Sometimes it gets me candy, too.)

"I am inarticulate," she said.

From the edge where they stood, the wall of the gorge dropped a hundred, two hundred feet, to where a thin silver line of water flowed, clean and cold, from one distance to the other.

Around and behind them, the mountains rose up rough and young toward the pale sky.

"That's not so bad," he said.

How large is the world, how open? How many paths lead onward from here, through the young mountains, or down the impossible wall of the gorge, or elsewhere?

Could someone walk, has anyone ever walked, along the side of that cold stream, down in the shadows of the gorge walls, picking a way from rock to rock, or along a stony bit of bank, from one distance to the other?

"It's cold here," she said.

The wind found its way between the jagged slopes to the edge of the gorge, constantly changing direction, never entirely still except sometimes in the depths of the night.

"We could go inside."

"Could we?"

Inside there might be a fire, there might be cushions and oak or wicker chairs, sofas, a kettle of water steaming on the hearth. Somewhere behind them, as they stood facing the gorge, looking down at the silver water and feeling the wind, there might be a door leading inside, there might be someone to welcome them in.

"I think we could."