The suburban home in the suburbs was teeming with activity beyond just my nephew this morning. My mother recently added a fourth dog to the pile of animals that sleep with her and my stepfather, as part of what I am convinced is an attempt to inspire me to write a hokey folk song that I will one day perform on the Muppet Show. There are now as many dogs in the house as there are calling birds on the fourth day of Christmas. And worse still, this fourth dog seems to have imbalanced the delicate chemistry among the other five of my mother's pets. Whereas before there were occasional, beautiful stretches of protracted bark-free silence for sometimes as much as seven minutes at a time, nowadays, the air crackles almost visibly while the throaty ruffs and woofs and moos and oinks carom off the hallway walls nonstop.
It's the moos and oinks that make me feel a little bit unwelcome. The barking is at least traceable to the dogs, and occasionally to the cats. But the moos and oinks are evidence that my mom might also share the sentiment about my having been there too long. I wonder if she's seen the seam in Mariano Rivera's ass too?
Escape was not the first thing on my mind this morning, however. Oddly enough, the first thing on my mind was that it was Michael Jordan's birthday which, as we all know, is February 17th. (It really is. I have no idea why on earth I know that.) Then, I thought, no, it's October 31st. My nephew is going to dress up as a blue Power Ranger to trick-or-treat. And I'm going to to kill him.
On the downside, killing my nephew would ruin the blue Power Ranger costume idea. But on the plus side, he could go as a very realistic zombie. Also, it would punch my ticket out of the suburban home in the suburbs pretty much for good. But hard time in the clink ain't exactly the ride outta town I'm lookin' for, Skippy. That's right, I called you Skippy. What.
What I am looking for, plain and simple, is some quality me time, some time with el muchacho que lleva el número uno, y que sabe como oprimir el botón SAP en su televisor para oir a los Yankees en español. Some ex-scape time, if you will. And what better day to ex-scape from oneself than Martin Luther Ween day, also known as not Michael Jordan's birthday, also known (much more conventionally) as Hallowe'en?
With the sounds of barking in my ear and a song in my heart, I set about getting myself dressed this morning, not as me, but as me in some far-flung future where I no longer live in the suburban home in the suburbs, and where the suburban home in the suburbs is probably still standing in a peaceful manner belying the veritable intestinal chaos going on inside it thanks to six, seven, maybe even twelve dogs at that point. (There is no stopping this woman!) My costume was more of an internal transformation, I admit that. But I was glad to see that NYC got right into the spirit with me. Take a look:
Penn Station, dressed up as Grand Central Station. Totally fooled you, didn't it. You totally thought it was Grand Central, right? Well you were wrong.
These angry commuters who would just as soon step on your face as look at you are dressed up as commuters who are only mildly angry, and would at least take the time to briefly consider what to have for breakfast before stepping on your face or looking at you. The blurry woman in the foreground is actually standing perfectly still, it was just a REALLY GOOD COSTUME.
As for me, in addition to my costume as me several months from now, I have also spent some time in costume as a legal assistant who gets paid $8.00 less per year than I get paid, a legal assistant who gets paid $1.50 more per year than I get paid (that was hard to pull off), a legal assistant who actually knows something about the law, and an African-Indian princess.This was how I knew New York was dressed up for the holidays. I think the entire city went as Boston or something, because otherwise, this has to be the biggest group of New Yorkers ever assembled without at least one yarmulke. Maybe all the Jewish gentlemen dressed up as lawyers and bankers for Hallowe'en. Who knows?