Saturday, October 31, 2009
One Halloween some guy gave me stale candy corn. My mother would say, forget it, but the day after—my plastic Superman mask with dead coal eyes, doll slit mouth already bent, cracked—I returned to the house, feet crunching over leaf-covered lawn. The man had lived alone forever; always balding, always early 40s. He would spend Saturdays washing his vintage cream-colored Ford Falcon—his wife and child wrapped into one. Unshaven, he wore a rumpled flannel shirt—what do you want, kid? You gave me rock hard stale candy corn last night. He grabbed the package, looked at the remaining pieces at eye level and said, you can back here for that? I nodded, reached for the package that he pulled closer to his chest. Does your mother know you’re here? I shrugged my shoulders—what’s it to him? Look, kid, it’s just candy. On sale at the dime store. I want something fresh, or money in return. He laughed, stuffed the package in his front pocket. How about nothing? Go away. The windows rattled as he shut the door. I stood there a minute, walked off the porch, looked at the polished Falcon. I thought, a pointy key and a dozen eggs, walking home slapping street signs along the way.