The sun came up on September 1st with arrogance and malice. Summer is a masculine energy that refuses to wane anymore. While the first day of September is not the first day of Autumn, it gives us lovers of Fall a glimmer of hope that the days will change from unbearably hot, to warm, comfortably spicy, and way less fucking heavy.
I know many of us lovers of Halloween and Autumn have shared how we know Fall is on the way. I’m not just talking about the code oranges, Spirit stores opening, and Pumpkin spiced lattes. No, it’s the first-afternoon breeze that lifts your chin to the sky. It’s the breeze that carries a cool yet comforting warm and spicy sensation. It’s the moment you can feel Autumn coming. As if it’s sending the message to the chosen ones that Autumn approaches. And with it comes the darkness, a chance to indulge our inner child, and the best time of the year to be our true selves.
But fuck! These dog days of summer are clinging! Clinging and draining the minimal energy I have. For me, it has sucked trying to go out into the wild to hunt and gather Halloween wares and even show up to support artists’ markets. It was a heavy and overwhelming summer, and yet it’s been fantastic.
I had a slumber party with Haunt Me when they came through Portland on their first West Coast tour. Their show at the Coffin Club was as dreamily haunting as you’d imagine, and they had me swooning with their cover of She Wants Revenges’ Tear You Apart and new original songs, Dopamine and Please Stay. Still, when Darius dedicated Watch You Bleed to me that night, I almost fainted. I held onto that moment, as well as when Larry played acoustic guitar on my couch at 1:30 am and our Mortal Kombat tournament the next day when the remainder of summer got really heavy for me.
A few days before Haunt Me was sighted in Portland, I took a quick trip to LA for The Witches Brew Tiki Noire. I landed at 8 am and was in downtown LA by 1:30. It was lovely to drive on the 60 with no traffic! But, the air was undoubtedly hot and draining. When I got into the Globe Theater, I was grateful for the expensive drinks and could cool off a little while grazing the three floors of elaborate photo ops, vendors I had missed terribly like Luna’s Sweet’s and Treats and Will Penny of Sex and Monsters. Not every ghoul can say they attended a posh tiki party that brought the past of Hollywood to 2022. But, hundreds upon hundreds of tiki lovers can say they have! Tiki Noire was jammed packed, and the crowd only grew in size for each event time slot. I may still be in denial about having social anxiety issues, but I have them. I had to leave in good old-fashioned introvert style; without saying goodbye.
In all, I could show my oldest spawn exactly what his mummy loves so much about The Witches Brew events. And why I don’t exactly miss the LA scene.
Less than 10 hours later, I drove up the Halloween Oregon Trail (the 5fwy) with Vagina Turd #1. It’s been quite a few years since I spent any amount of one-on-one time with my kids. I was excited to get him to myself for 17 whole hours. Along the way, we debated, talked shit, reminisced, and enjoyed the vibe. I watched him take in the majesty of Oregon and was validated when I jokingly told him, “I bet the temperature outside will drop 20 degrees once we cross the Stateline.” and the temperature went from 102 degrees to 87 in a matter of minutes.
Once we arrived home, the revolving door of welcomed house guests and family continued. At one point, I had all four of my kids together doing what we do in a place we love. I don’t often pride myself on being a mom. Yet, that week and in the weeks since, my kids and even their goth-like ghoulfriends showed up for me emotionally. When I became a mummy, I never expected my kids to find value in me or show up for me the way they have by just being themselves. A year ago, I struggled with the heaviest mom guilt I had ever experienced. This year, that guilt has nearly been erased. My kids want me, their Mummy, around.
Two of my one thousand cousins came up to visit at the beginning of August and I realized that thanks to a few summers at Raging Waters as kids, we were well equipped for the river floating we did. We talked about healing, caught up, and let the river take us and bring us closer. We ate in Portland and took naps, and before I knew it, I was saying goodbye to them. But thankfully, we are reconnecting and strengthening our relationship and finding comfort in each other similar to how we did as kids.
Things in Michelle Halloween Town have been overwhelming, as you just read. On top of all the beautiful experiences and healing that transpired, a great heaviness has affected my ability to do the things I typically enjoyed or thought I wanted during this time of year. As I’ve been repeatedly reminded, it’s Halloween season! I’m supposed to be keeping up with 100 Days of Halloween Happy, doing features on my show, covering events, writing and somewhere in between indulging in mischief.
I’m exhausted y’all. Exhausted, but I refuse to blame my love for Halloween or scale back on the seasonal things that bring me ultimate joy because I’m stricken with depression. This year, I realized that I’ve been grasping for something that deflects from the original feeling that Halloween brings. Like Jack Skellington sang in his lament, “I’ve grown so tired of the same old thing.” For a few years, I’ve been craving the feeling of Autumn and the entire month of October. I indulged my craving by way of Halloween hunting in July and meticulously planning a budget, choosing which Halloween goodies to buy and being at two to three events per weekend and then spending the entire week covering it. It was all fun until it became a chore and I just can’t grasp or endure human behaviors anymore. I haven’t had time or energy for the simple things I love about Halloween and the season of Autumn.
What’s simple about a feeling? How can an influencer brand a feeling without posting a reel?
Simply, I haven’t been posting much. Not because I don’t have anything to cover. Quite the opposite. There are many creatures to cover and ghouls to have live chats with. I have unfinished features and personally set deadlines and writing opportunities that have come and gone. It bothers me to be this way this time of year but have you been outside the last few weeks?
Heat waves and wildfires are encroaching on the transition to Fall in the same manner as Christmas shit making its debut along with Halloween goods in July. I have S.A.D. When it’s too hot and sunny out, I can barely function. And, I’m a functional depressed person! Shopping feels like I’m going to the DMV. Humans are constantly disappointing in the wild, and to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with Bath & Body Works Halloween collection this year anyway! I fucking said it!
I used to find comfort in the storytelling and shared memories of those who love the coming of autumn and Halloween as much as I do. My favorites are the simplest of Fall moments illuminating the season’s magic.
I aim to keep Halloween 2022 simple. If that means I have to flake on plans to succumb to my depression, curl up on my couch and watch horror movies while eating Halloween candy. That’s what I’m doing. I’ll probably write about it.
But who knows? All it takes is the weather to shift, and I may be caught at a few PNW Haunts. Maybe even in SoCal. I may be sighted whispering to the dead in cemeteries and will undoubtedly partake in Spooky Melanin Magic’s Autumn Bucket List, haunt the Coffin Club, The Midnight Society, Raven’s Manor, and a pumpkin patch or two. Regardless of what Autumn festivities I partake in or don’t, indulging in the simplicities, the subtleties of October are what I’ll be harvesting.