One Night in October

Wearing my Grim Reaper costume, I picked up a barely edible burrito with rubbery cheese oozing out of its bottom and an electric blue Gatorade from 7-11, then walked a few doors down to the liquor store for a miniature bottle of vodka. Carrying my treats in a plastic pumpkin I found when cleaning out my kid’s old room, I got back into my rusty Chevy and drove past flickering neon lights glowing on other lonely souls, past houses with zombies playing Xbox or binging on old episodes of SNL, past jack-o-lanterns with rotting smiles, to the park where masked teenagers were skateboarding.

I watched a skinny, long-legged boy eat shit and I thought of my son who was living with his mom and stepdad in a sprawling house on the other side of the city. I remembered when he insisted on wearing the same Spiderman costume three years in a row, and the time he found the candy stash and ate himself sick on peanut butter cups and threw up all over his mom’s “Sexy Genie” costume. I took a bite of the burrito, then tossed it aside and picked up the bottle of Gatorade. I drank half, then filled the empty space with vodka. The blue color reminded me of my ex-wife’s icy eyes. Memories wrapped around my brain like cobwebs, sticky as the cheese I’d spilled on my costume. Before I knew it, I was crying.

One of the skateboarders rode by. “Death doesn’t cry dude.”

I looked up at the kid who was wearing a Scream mask. He stood there for a second as if waiting for me to respond, then rode over to the park entrance where his friends were waiting.

“Yeah, what does the Grim Reaper care for lost lives,” I said to his disappearing back.

Lisa Lerma Weber once had a cat named Mary Jane who scratched everyone. She loves tacos and beer. Follow her on Twitter @LisaLermaWeber

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