Yesterday morning I woke up with a cold and no costume and decided to go to a Halloween party.
I think a party is the best thing for a cold, don't you? Not for a flu! But for the slow, stuck energy of a cold, what you want is some light-your-palate-on-fire spicy soup, and a dance party.
Plus, putting together a costume would motivate me. Dressing up always does. I knew this. And I knew I wanted a costume that's funny and, ok, a little sexy. Dan Savage says that Halloween is straight people's Gay Pride Parade, because we give ourselves permission to break the rules… So yes, a little bit sexy. But not sexy cat. Not sexy zombie. Not sexy witch, or really the-only-thing-going-on-for-this-costume-is-cleavage. I have a mind!
However, my mind is not the sort that comes up with clever Halloween costume ideas at the last minute. Also, I have no money for this.
Ordinarily this is the sort of situation where I would pretend I have money. Scarlet O'Hara spending. You know, when you buy something you know you really shouldn’t and decide to face the consequences… Someday.
But then one of my close, close friends, the one who I did my first ritual with more than twenty years ago who is a long-time compatriot in Scarlet O'Hara spending, this friend called me up to say she is so excited about getting conscious about her spending!
The timing is actually great though, because I'm going back to work and I have this hard-won sanity… Ten months spent healing my body from having zero limits with work and from not listening to my inner voice. I’m going back to work because I really, really want to. Also the money thing. But really, I want the team, the effort, and there’s a job I’m so interested in. In fact, it sort of magically appeared. I mean it was on a web site, not delivered by an owl or anything but still, last Wednesday I was walking on Alki and asking myself, “Self, if I were going to break this pattern of just doing what the safe and dead-feeling stuff I already have done and try for something that I really want, what would it be?” And I answered myself, as I often do, and I said, “Self, I would do public engagement for the Department of Neighborhoods.”
I realize that does not sound like everyone’s cup of cocoa, but I really do want it. Building community, increasing people’s voices in a way that is connected to place and inspiring and alive… I can so do this, and I so want to!
So, on Friday, I go the coffee shop where my friend and I meet to work on our job search togethe and I decide to write a resume for that job. And suddenly, the albatross around my neck, this one-pager on me and my job goals that I have been trying to bring into focus for weeks… suddenly it just flies out from under my fingers.
I complete a first draft. Then I think, “You know, I might as well check the city’s job Web site…”
And they just listed a public engagement position. With the Department of Neighborhoods. On Wednesday.
Goddess Wow Factor: 10.5 (It would have been eleven, but you know those Russian judges.)
It’s an opening. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know this: it’s time for me to get conscious about my resources in a way I never have been before. I have to figure out how to go back to work and make a living and exercise and eat decently and have a smile on my face for my son and have time to write. And priestess. And see my friends. And have a sex life
It seems like too much, doesn't it? But look at that list! There is not one thing on there that is negotiable. Not one.
Here's what is negotiable: Netflix. A second glass of red wine -- which is directly linked to being too fuzzy to write and therefore deciding to just watch Netflix.
Over the summer, I cleared out every closet and room in my house. Now, at Samhain, on the cusp of the witches’ New Year and a new beginning for me, this is the clearing out of my time closet. I’ve get rid of that shit to make space for what I want.
And you know what else is negotiable? Scarlet O'Hara spending. Because if I spend like that, I'm going to have to overwork to pay for it. There goes time for priestessing, and writing, and also the smile on my face, without which it is substantially harder to get laid, gorgeous creature though I am.
But still, I want to go to this dance party. And don’t have a costume.
So, naturally I turned to the Interwebs.
And lo! There are many many links for cheap/DIY/procrastinators’ Halloween costumes! I particularly liked this one, "Under the Weather". It consists of an open umbrella, clouds and rain drops hanging underneath it, with the bearer of the umbrella wearing pajamas and clutching a box of Kleenex. Genius, right? And just the right amount of sexy potential if I wear a pair of men's silky pajamas… Which I don't own… but I have time to run to Target! And I would use them! I bet my new lover would like them…
Wait. No unnecessary spending. NO!
But there was another one, a costume that is so simple, and also so me! It doesn’t require any spending at all and it even involves Acer! The costume consists of a baseball cap with a leaf suspended from the bill. You want to tie the leaf so it hangs right in front of your mouth. Because the costume is (drumroll please…)
A leaf blower.
So of course, I go down to the creek, and I decide which of Acer’s beautiful leaves to take back up the hill to my witchy little house, in which there was a closet, and in which closet there is a black witch’s hat. And I threaded that leaf to that hat and I drank hot spicy soup and put on my costume and made my way to the 2nd Annual Black Cat Bash and I danced my ass off to the tunes spun by Michele Myers, who is the best dance DJ in Seattle if you ask me, and I people-watched the club full of costumes and drank a bit of Jameson’s for medicinal purposes and entered the costume contest because I believe in participation and clapped a hooted when the sexy sphinx won even though her fucking wings kept hitting people when she danced and also I danced and danced and danced with my ladies.
And at some point in the night, my Scarlett O’Hara credit card fell out of the pocket of my very tight jeans and got lost. You'd think tight jeans would help with that, wouldn't you? But no, I think my ass shimmed that card right out of there.
And part of me thought “Oh fuck!” And another part thought “Well. Maybe it’s for the best.”
Kimberly and Savitha and Michele helped me look all over the dance floor and the bathroom and the bar for my credit card, iphone flashlight lighting up the dark floors, which I can’t recommend except in duress. Frankly, you don’t want to look that closely at a club floor if you can help it.
Nothing. Not at the bar downstairs or up. Or with the coat check. Fuckfuckfuck. I have to leave now and go cancel that card.
But Kimberly says “One more sweep of the dance floor.” So we do. And a guy in a red boa hat and white tank top (with very nice arms if I do say so) asks “What are you looking for?” And I tell him and he says “I found a card a couple hours ago!” And he walks me over to a random guy who was earlier manning the ticket counter but is now packing things up and the guy has my card and now I have my card and I run over to the girls and there are high fives and hugs all around and suddenly I am exhausted and my ass is going home, where I will take this card and put it in a ziploc bag and put that bag into a jar of water which jar will go directly into the freezer as I take 3,000 mg of Vitamin C and fall into bed.
In my dreams, the ancestors cluster around. They whisper to me, even through the pleasant fog of two Jameson’s. It is Samhain, Halloween… It is the close of the year. It is a good time to dance, they say. It is a good time to clean out my time closets and let go of Someday spending and be willing to leap and not know and to go for a life that full of health and joy and sex and enough money for the things that matter to me.