It’s late and we’re glad to be indoors where there’s a fire going and not outside where we can see our breath against the yellow glow of the street-lamps. I have a pillow case with a faded picture of a turtle on it. I turn the pillowcase upside-down and it’s empty glorious contents on the living room floor. The brightly colored wrappers make crinkling noises as they tumble out in a sugar avalanche. I count my pieces and start to count yours, but then I realize that it’s not a fair comparison because you’ve eaten three already.
Then the sorting begins. I make small piles of candy categories, miniature islands where each species reigns. Toffee town, chocolate kingdom, peanut paradise. I gather the fruit-flavored candy in a rainbow array of the colors I like, least to best. Sour sweets on my left, hard candy on my right, chewing gum behind me , and chocolate in my lap. Over in the corner is the shifty pile with the toothbrush and healthy treats from the dentists down the way. I eat them one by one, unwrapping each delicately, choosing the next piece with utmost care based on what is best suited to my palate. It’s the only way to fully enjoy the fruit of our night’s labor, you tell me, and I agree.
As our bellies get full and our eyelids get heavy, we fill our pillowcases with the uneaten candy and stash them in her most secret of secret places. I take off my fairy wings and shake the glitter out of my hair, while you remove your pirate hat and hook hand. We curl up in sleeping bags next to the fire and we fall asleep, mixed dreams of the houses we’d go next year and the costumes we’d wear and the treasures that are still waiting in the pillowcase.
Found in Volume VI (2007-2008)