Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy halloween

by J J Cohen

That last post left me unsatisfied: too melancholic, didn't express well what I wanted to articulate, couldn't escape the weight of cliché. Why is it impossible to speak about mortality without lapsing into familiar narratives and comfortable expressions? If death is inexpressible, shouldn't death's entrance into language leave a gaping and perilous hole, and not seem so easy to sort, so much a part of universal (and therefore potentially uninteresting) experience?

And, shortly after I posted the piece, we discovered that our new hermit crab had drowned herself, Ophelia-like, in her water dish. Shelly had been with us for only two weeks. I've just returned from the funeral, held in the front garden, a sad affair among the whirring leaves. She is survived by her brother Godzilla.

So against all this gloom, I offer a Halloween snapshot: my daughter Katherine in her Ugly Doll costume. You can tell it is her inside from the cheeks: she smiles with her entire face. She's waiting for the first grade Halloween party to begin. I'd volunteered for the mummy wrapping station. It was a good day.


Eileen Joy said...

In a social media "trans" move, I just want to say,


Tom Prendergast said...

I too love Halloween--not so much because of its morbidity (though I love that too), but because of the endless possibility. For one night, nothing is as it seems.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Agreed, Tom ... and that's a great way to put it.