My daughter is a confused mixture of an Angel and Satan. For Halloween, I mean. And also other times. When it’s not Halloween too. Aren’t we all? Leave it to my daughter to choose a Halloween costume that represents the duality lurking in our collective soul. She’s the greatest. She’s a miserable wretch. She finds wholeness in a multitude of contradiction. She thwarts all attempts to understand her from a coherent rational perspective. I love her. She’s despicable.
A long time ago, my daughter ordered a pizza and insisted that she wanted pepperoni. I told her that she did not want pepperoni, that she didn’t like pepperoni, and that pepperoni was spicy and burned her mouth. Nope. She wanted pepperoni. Okay. Who am I to tell the child that she doesn’t want pepperoni? Does she not have her own will? Her own desires? Her own cluster of foodstuffs that call her like spirits and vocations? Of course she does. So be it. Pepperoni! When the pizza came – she did not even TRY it, mind you – she threw it on the floor because it had… pepperoni.
It is precisely these kinds of stories, and there are many, that prove my daughter is Satan. Some of you will be offended by me calling my daughter Satan. Well. Me and my daughter laugh at you while we drink the blood of virgin squirrels. Visualize that. HA HA HA. Squirrel blood dripping from our chins. You’re appalled. It’s funny.
Above the horns, there’s a halo. At stoplights, my daughter asks for loose change to give the corner bums money. She’s a writer and a baker. She intuitively knows when I need a hug and she gives long, tight ones. She is the place where the entire interdependent structure of the cosmos, including the sky and the ocean and the trees and the grass and the sand and the gods, collide into a fountain of blond hair, blue eyes, and an open smile that nonverbally says HI! NICE TO MEET YOU! WANT SOME CANDY?
We are all bad people. We are all good people. Our culture, our parents, and we ourselves, attempt lifelong to repress the bad and sell the Angel when, in the loud truth of our wavy minds, it’s our devils that really get us going. Our lives are crazy dances. And that’s why Halloween, every year, is such a relief: a time when we can explore rejected parts of ourselves and call them costumes, masks. Who among us doesn’t house a witch, a werewolf, and a part of you that’s dead?
My daughter’s costume, by being two costumes, presents the complex issue that tortures us all. We like to think and act like one person and yet we’re made of the splinters of so many. It’s well worth the effort to honor that, to celebrate it. It leads me down the path toward loving all my daughters, all the little girls she is, and all the women she’ll become.
Read more from me at Black Hockey Jesus,
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