“Smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” I’ve heard Robert Duvall utter that line too many times tonight as I continuously watch his scene as Col. Kilgore in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now”.
You see, Halloween is fast approaching and I am hard at work on my costume. I’m going as Col. Kilgore—an appropriate choice seeing as my English class recently read Heart of Darkness and watched “Apocalypse Now”. I started by finding my green clothes, a yellow kerchief, aviators, a big watch and boots. Then I looked up pictures of Kilgore and began to work on making my green shirt look like an army shirt. I went online, grabbed some medals and logos, took them into Photoshop and began to manipulate them so that they would print well enough to attach to my shirt. I was in the middle of setting layers up and making sure I had all the right swatches when I stopped to realize what I was doing.
The progress I’ve made so far.
It dawned on me that Halloween was a very different holiday for me now as compared to years ago. It means thinking of a creative costume and wearing it to school one day. There is no more trick or treating, no more running around with my friends, and worst of all, much less candy. Growing up has taken a lot of the traditional fun out of Halloween.
I sat at my computer for a second, asking myself in a very existential manner if Halloween had run its course for me. I tried to remember my last few sans-trick-or-treat Halloweens and to my slight surprise, I remembered them as a lot of fun.
Two years ago, my friends and I watched the worst rated movies on Netflix. Last year, I went out to an awesome sushi dinner and then marathoned Star Wars. This may sound lame, but to me, it was a blast. I did have fun—and I still dressed up.
I was no longer dressing up as Anakin Skywalker—I am now Col. Kilgore. Costumes have become more of a long-winded elaborate pun than a device to procure candy, but they are nevertheless fun. My friends and I always dress up even though it’s just for that first moment of recognition. We still find fun in it.
Halloween hadn’t run its course—I was still having a good time designing those name tags. It had just changed a bit, altered its focus. I still look forward to it every year.
A lot of things seem this way. I constantly find myself my reminiscing about how much fun I had as a kid, but the truth is that I just find that fun in different places now. I’ve come to appreciate the fun that exists in what may seem more trivial or mundane or boring. Fun still exists (somewhere outside of college applications), it’s just a little different now.