Monday, October 21, 2013

Easier Than Voodoo Dolls!

One of the best times I had in college at Halloween was the year my friend Angie and I hijacked her fiance' Clay's apartment to carve Jack O'Lanterns. She'd found a farm way out in the county where the pumpkins were huge and, even better, cheap. We took a road trip, loaded up the trunk of my car with our big orange booty, then stopped at the liquor store on the way back to Clay's place.

A year or so before, I'd gone through a hideous breakup with Bill, who not only was Clay's freshman roommate in college, but had also just moved into the apartment directly above Clay's. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, because I saw him fairly often as a result- so Angie had decided to shepherd me through this dark anniversary with booze and knives.

My "tragically doomed love soundtrack" of choice at the time was Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, at full volume. Bill was the night attendant at the county morgue, so he slept during the day; we got an early start while we knew he was trying to sleep. We assumed (correctly, as it turned out) that he'd be down presently to complain.

Sure enough, we heard someone on the metal staircase outside and looked up to see Bill stomping down to Clay's apartment. There was a knock on the door, and Angie wisely told me to just stay where I was in the kitchen floor, drunk and furtively stabbing the hell out of my pumpkin, while she answered the door.

"What brings you down here, Bill?" We knew, of course, but that was our diabolical scheme all along.

"Could you please turn down the music? I'm trying to sleep. I have to work tonight."

Angie stepped aside long enough for him to see what I was doing. I looked up, smiled lopsidedly, and slammed a fistful of pumpkin guts into the mixing bowl for effect.

"What's wrong with her?"

I knifed the pumpkin a little too forcefully and heard a quick intake of breath in the doorway. "I'm pretending that it's you," I hissed. (Angie told me later that I looked like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.)

The color drained from his face. "Could you just turn it down a little?" he squeaked. Angie assured him we'd lower the volume. He paused to stare through the window as he retreated. I waved at him- knife in hand- with a huge psychotic grin on my face- the clanging of the stairs as he ran back to his place was sort of, well, satisfying.

So there you have it, ladies: Pumpkins+Knives+Bourbon+Friends. I'd been to school in England to try to get over him, but that's when I finally started to heal...and it is easier than making voodoo dolls.

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