Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Trick or Truth

Being a horror fan, it's only natural my favorite holiday is Halloween, the season of chilly breezes, longer nights, personified gourds, gory movie marathons, and pop-up funhouses. Most of the gimmicks they terrorized us with at those attractions are a blurred memory, except for the fake—but very loud and vibrating—chainsaws they wielded one year during a hayride!

And another, subtler moment in an exit crawlspace at the end of a haunted house. In the dark on hands and knees, I waited for the dude in front of me to shuffle ahead so the whole line of us could leave, attitudes behind me growing as restless as mine. Eventually, the final actor-ghoul had to peek inside and encourage this guy to move along. I remember hearing, "It's cool man, just keep going!" as I likewise thought, Yeah, what the hell? Move your ass!

It took an excruciating half-minute more of this to realize I was the one holding everything back. Hanging down in front of me was some tattered plastic debris the crew had fastened to the ceiling of the shaft for one last touch of gloom before departure, which to my confused eyesight became a paralyzing obstacle. There was nothing more blocking the path than an illusion, my own presumptive hallucination.

It's the same the other 364 days of the year: so many phantom roadblocks discouraging our way forward.

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