Thursday, October 27, 2005
halloween tale of terror
my brother's doppelganger
when i was fourteen and my younger brother was eight, we lived in an isolated desert town in southern New Mexico. my brother stood out in the largely Hispanic community because he had straight white hair and pale skin. it was Halloween. he was going as a vampire. he and my mother were in the bathroom where she was putting on his makeup. i stood watching in the doorway. we were chatting and laughing. someone knocks at the front door. i leave the bathroom, go approximately ten steps to the door. turn on the porch light and open the door, expecting a trick or treater. there is my brother, standing, not on the porch, but at the bottom of the steps, dressed in his black cape. nothing on his head. his white hair. he looks terrified. my mind is struggling with the impossible logistics of the situation. i ask how he got out there. I ask what's wrong? he runs beyond the circle of the porch light, into the dark. i return to the bathroom to tell my mom. there they both are, just as i left them.
this was a very small, one story house. probably less than 1,000 square feet. the bathroom was just a few paces from the front door. the bathroom had a window, but it was high, almost to the ceiling, and very small. if my mother had been able to stuff him through, he would have dropped six feet on the other side, then would have had to run around the house to get to the front door. logistically, it would have been impossible to pull off.
Over the years, I've asked my brother about this and he doesn't even remember it. He just gives me the same puzzled and confused look he and my mother gave me that night.