West Linn Halloween

    Picture me mummified.

    Picture me wrapped in mom’s Costco toilet paper, arms out, walking lock kneed. Frankenstein style.

    Picture me, toilet papered mummy—saving the toilet paper for my adolescent body, instead of for my neighbors’ house like many kids my age—walking the West Linn streets. Avoiding the houses known for “Fun size” (and what’s fun about candy that ends before it begins?) and shuffling to the streets known for full sized candy bars and rolls of pennies.

    Picture me mocking the houses the houses with the empty candy bowl outside, with the sign that reads TAKE ONLY ONE. HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

    Picture me being late to that party and missing out on that bowl altogether.

    Picture me not caring much because, it’s Halloween in West Linn, Oregon again, and I know how it’s going to go. It’s safe and dry—even though it rained all day.

    Picture my little brother, as Michelangelo, the Ninja Turtle.

    Picture my youngest brother as Optimus Prime.

    Picture my baby sister as the princess that she already is.

    Picture my dad as Chuck Norris, keeping us safe from the hooligans and ghouls and goblins.

    Picture West Linn, or Portland or Milwaukie, or anywhere in the Portland/Metropolitan area, as a safe haven for candy and dress up.

    Picture me. Us. We. Walking to the biggest houses—and in West Linn, there’s plenty of those—tapping on the doors and in our fiendish childhood glee, upon the door opening, in our most monstrous unison voices: “Trick or treat!”

    Picture the presumed home owners, a nurse and a fighter pilot by the look of it, smiling and taking in the costumes. “What a pretty little princess.” “What a cool mummy costume.” “Optimus Prime is my favorite too.” “Alright the Orange Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.”

    Picture each compliment, each comment, accompanied by a full-sized Snickers Bar. No “fun size” here. These are the real thing.

    Picture this happening house to house because, after years of recon and years of living here, we know which houses and neighborhoods to hit up for maximum haulage.

    Picture us, suburbanite kids, nestled up again Portland, enjoying a dark and cold Oregon night, ready to stuff our bodies with candy. Ready to shed these costumes and become kids again.

    Picture this on repeat. Year after year. Some things never change, and there’s comfort in that.

    Picture me, years later, walking my own ghouls and goblins through the same neighborhoods—it’s my turn to keep them safe—with the Full-sized candy bars and safe and clean fun.

    Picture this. Picture living here. Picture growing up here and raising your family here.

    Just picture it. I dare you.

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