My mother always told me not to hope to win a prize on Halloween, so I wouldn’t be disappointed, but this never made too much sense to me because the disappointment, beginning as it did as soon as she started making my costume, lasted so much longer that way. Even so, I won a lot of prizes, because she was so inventive. Her best costume, which I almost refused to wear because it was so ugly, was the blind Venetian: Venetian blinds, worn front and back, sunglasses, and a little begging cup.
Her baleful outlook seems appropriate for this gloomy last day of the ancient Celtic year, when bonfires burn to ward off the dark; when the veil between past, present and future thins. I wonder what she expected as she was dying: heaven, or hell, or nothing? Maybe tonight she’ll muster up her Irish superstition one more time, and let me know what happened.