Halloween: Trick or Treat?
"Hey Mauro did you buy some treats for the kids?"
My neighbor Erick house could not believe his ears when, on the eve of the first Halloween as a resident in the States, I replied that no, I had not bought any candy.
I had naively thought that the patrol of the boys who go from house to house to ring the bell, asking "Trick or Treat?" Really exists.
I had good reason to believe it was a now diminished custom, or perhaps limited to some of the city centers: in fact, America, to tell the truth, is indeed a land of continuous communication and messages, but most of the time these are launched through channels that do not provide real relationships in the flesh. America is the land of magnets and "bumper stickers", which are the tens of adhesives that stand out on refrigerators, but even more personnel on the car or at your desk in the office: who writes their social or religious convictions, writer the names and members of the family, those who even puts a sticker that says that it is time to stop 'is the story of the stickers on the machines. I swear.
But we said Halloween.
Trick or treat the kids and the kids instead I really do, then I had to prepare, prepare to meet them.
In the US there is a huge chain of stores called Party City; there are over 800 on the territory (www.partycity.com), their motto, on the site for weeks, is "Nobody has blackberries Halloween for less"!
The first time I entered I think I spent half an hour motionless stopped short walk after crossing the entrance, with his mouth open hundreds of costumes are beautifully exhibited in giant webs, human skeletons, more or less bloody arts, magicians, witches , dwarves and elves, fake knives, swords, sword, cartoon characters, sumo wrestlers and ninja warriors, but also Elvis Presley and masks of any actor, singer or President; and then decorations, pumpkins, manuals for making pumpkin DIY, candles, aliens, dinosaurs, snakes of all kinds, spectacles of a thousand shapes and colors, thirty meters of sunny lane wigs, left and right, and shelves themed games and jokes.
I dazed while a crazy river of buyers of all ages strove around me filling carts with all kinds of objects and type.
"May I help you sir?", The most gentle committed smiles at me and save me from straying. "Yes, sure: I have to buy some treats."
He explained how to find the department in that fantastic maze, and when I come there I understand that I should simply follow with the intoxicating scent and invisible cloud from the sugary scent. I left the store a couple of hours after entering it, with four bags filled with candy, sweets, snacks and candy bars.
The evening at home, already five o'clock, is the first customer: a black little boy who must have been yes and no 5 years old, very shy. His mother, in the car, not far away, the screams of encouragement; I thought it was for me, I needed it!
"Trick or treat?", He says. I smile as would a loving father and I extend a container in the shape - of course - pumpkin, overflowing with goodies. "As much as you can", I reply. And go figure what happens in the middle of two strangers with 30 years difference, the fact is that in the most beautiful silence you can imagine, I offered candy to the kids of the city, exchanging greetings with the moms and dads who accompanied them at a distance ( for adults it is more difficult to leave the world of stickers).
Trick or treat was and is for me an opportunity to meet the simple eyes of the children, to give a caress and a pile of candy, and so that, even today, you can still open the door to strangers, welcoming them and housing them, even for a few minutes.