Sitting in front of the apartment building passing out candy with Harry (who is bald), Loretta (not affiliated with Harry, yet), and Harry’s dog Roscoe.
Harry is a widower of ten years and Roscoe has been with him for the past twelve years. Harry is young to be widower, he is 50 and works for the city on the road/property crew. He is the team leader and the job suits him well.
Loretta is a widow of almost twenty years, she is – I am guessing – around 60 because we all know the rule. She works as a book-keeper for several clients. She is her own boss and that suits her well too.
Tess and I have begun to think of trying to hook up Loretta and Harry but we are still cowards in the match making business. Understandable but we are sure these two souls were meant to be together and we have each caught them at different times looking at the other with “that look” which quickly gets shook off.
“Roscoe here was the cutest puppy you’d have ever seen,” Harry said as he was patting Roscoe’s head. “People think he is too big to live with me here but he is rarely here. I take him to work with me, the store, walks, the park, heck even to restaurants during the Spring thru Fall seasons when I can eat outside.”
“He is a handsome dog Harry,” Loretta said, “aren’t you Roscoe?” Which was all it took for Roscoe to move over and cosy up to her. She patted his head and rubbed his ears, “Dashing Roscoe”.
“Trick or treat” said a masked musketeer.
“Trick or treat” quietly almost whispered by the little blonde princess.
“Trick or treat” bellowed aloud for the neighborhood by the little kid in the full mask of Frankenstein.
We all acted startled and chuckled. Roscoe barked once his approval. It was a busy street of characters looking for their share of the candy loot. We saw old favorites like Frankenstein, Mummy, and vampires but more of the characters of today who I recognized but did not know their names. It was an enjoyable evening and it had just begun, a little over an hour had passed and the sky was just now getting dark enough to actually feel like it was Halloween night. Something about Halloween occurring in the daylight just isn’t “right”.
“We always have a good turn out on this street,” Loretta explained. “The majority of the buildings on this block our 4 unit apartment buildings that have been here for over 75 years. They are taken care of by the landlords and the tenants, we all take pride of our places and our place here on the block.” Tess and Harry nodded.
“I fell in love with this block as soon as I arrived to view the vacant apartment. I was sold before I came inside,” Tess shared. Harry and Loretta smiled like proud parents.
“Trick or treat” said Buzz Lightyear.
“I’ll be…” Harry began to say when my eyes moved over to see what he was looking at. Tess grabbed a hold of forearm as she saw the scary sight. It – for whatever reason – felt like we got caught. I don’t know why, we were not doing anything wrong. But “gotcha” was word for the moment; the other was “ugottabekiddingme” (I had to make it one word, sorry Webster).
Up the sidewalk with plastic pumpkin containers for candy strode our parents. Dad with his glow in the dark vampire teeth in muttered, “Trick or treat” while mom just beamed a big smile.
Evening finally arrived which meant now to the time of the good stuff. Leave work. Leave cubicle-land. Leave the mind numbing job. Leave the condescending boss who is unprofessional and disrespectful. Leave the place of masks and fakes. Leave all the bad, the necessary part of life – for now. Onto the purpose of life. Onto the times with Tess. Onto holding her delicate hand and looking into the green eyes of love. Onto being who I really am, I have discovered – not the job guy. See I realized that was the problem, my personal life and work life shared the same guy. That guy at work who is shackled to a desk and computer. Shackled by bureaucracy and lack of common sense and honesty. Yes, honesty. The place breeds name sake only culture and beliefs. Words only. It is so heavy, suffocating my spirit deliberately, steadily, and quietly. But – Tess – a breath of fresh real air. My spirit realized before it was too late that I am not the job guy. In fact personal life guy is beginning to lead a revolution inside job guy. But I digress….
I arrived at Tess’ apartment building on time armed with costume in my pocket and on top of my head. I was wearing my tall top hat which showed much wear and in my pocket my Groucho eyeglass/nose piece and the glow in the dark vampire teeth. Wearing my black suit and tie with my red and white pinstripe shirt – I was an icon of my humor. Dark and silly. I slid the glasses on and teeth in and knocked on Tess’ door. She opened and almost lost my teeth. Tess was dressed as Snow White and she was breath-taking. She giggled when she saw me and I stood in the door way like Lurch unable to move. Personal guy was counting his blessings and she was the source of the majority of them.
“Come in silly,” she said as she pulled my hand trying to move me. “Will you grab the purple and red bowls over on the table?” I could not get my eyes off of her, heck – I could not get my mind off of her. Not because of some sicko Snow White thing but because it hit me so hard this one thought, no – one fact. It had been a terrific three months but now I knew. I want to marry her. I want to be with her for the rest of our lives. She is the one. The one I never thought I – me – would ever have. She was wife and the fact made me so thankful. Thankful to God for the paths of destiny crossing. Thankful to her parents, for having raised such a precious lady. Thankful.
“Um, yeah sure, I got those, anything else?”
“I already have the chairs pulled behind the stairwell so I will take the refill bags.”
I picked up the bowls and it was like the candy fairies sent me a sign of approval – a bowl of Smarties. My favorite. She could not have known that, I don’t think I ever mentioned it or ate them when we were out. Smarties. I chuckled to myself, nodded to the candy fairies – ok I get it and walked out the door to the front steps.