Oh kid, you already have my looks, my nose, and my trepidation around crowds. (Is Halloween not the perfect trifecta for the socially inept? Crowds, clowns and darkness — no thank you.)
Do you really need to carry the burden of my awkward literary allusions as well? The kind of cast-off one-liners that will just absolutely throttle a conversation and force everyone to stare at you for that one horribly awkward second before someone finally breaks the silence with, “OK then …” or “Anyway ….”
I grew up just on the other side of some hills from Napa County, where people love to get shit faced on half-ready wine before taking hot air balloon rides to view the countryside — a combination I always thought was just begging for accidents, but whatever. People seemed to enjoy it. Occasionally one of those balloons would drift over the hills and all of us neighborhood kids would stop our basketball games or frog catching matches to gape. I learned after several beatings to stop shouting, “Wrong way, Phileas! Turn it around, Passepartout!” and to just stare quietly with the others.
I was reminded of this when I overheard the kid talking with friends about Halloween costumes. There were a fair number of X-Men and other assorted superheroes. She mentioned her dragon outfit and got a couple good “roars!” out of the crowd, until, that is, she opened her mouth to explain.
“It’s like Toothless!”
“From How to Train Your Dragon? The book? Toothless … the dragon?”
I could feel the ensuing silence rattle my bones and shake loose all those awkward memories.
Finally the kid had the brains to break the silence herself, half-heartedly crinkling her fingers into claws.
“Raw … r?”
At another point, at home, she fingered the brilliant green fabric of the dragon costume her mother was making and whispered, “Green scales fell like rain,” before we all had to go our separate ways to cry for a moment.
Oh kid. It’s going to get so much worse when you discover Twain and Stevenson and Shakespeare.
But thank god for your mother.
She can at least make you a Hamlet costume or a ringing reproduction of Long John Silver, if you so desire.
Dana made this dragon outfit from some incredibly shiny costume fabric and more than a little pluck. Seriously, trying to sew that tail onto the costume — or to sew anything else once it was attached — was so difficult that she had to call up the kid or me to hold it while she sewed.
But oh the joy it brought.
Emme ran around the house for an hour, trying to fly and breathe fire. But like all dragons — Rhaegal anyone? Anyone? (ugh, the curse) — she eventually had enough and had to go chill out with her stuffy, the sorry plight of all literary minded winged reptiles.