I’m going to write like a normal person today. Let’s talk about Halloween themes: horror, fright, spooky incidents, nightmares.

Remember when our second or third greatest fear after disease and war was of running out of adequate masks and toilet paper? The paper panic. If we knew supply chain issues would stop books from being produced in a timely manner, would we have sanctified paper?

Paper is the traditional gift for a first wedding anniversary. We made it through a year, hon’. Paper is made of many different materials. We think wood pulp now, but we can include cotton, and fete our second wedding anniversary. Add animal leather in the mix. Our third anniversary. Perhaps an aging marriage is a constant surgery of body parts from books. Time immemorial, there are digital means now which depend on precious metals to operate our machines. There are certainly other materials I am not aware of. I do not know everything. I can’t predict the future!

We think paper archives poorly, but there’s very little that compares to the tactile quality of it, the nature we superimpose on manmade rectangular dimensions a landscape in portrait mode. Microfiche is such a joke. There’s a book about all this and I would never burn a book. Burning books is spooky. I might never get published as an author in the print medium. An author of fictions, that is. This is my nightmare. When does paper get thick enough to be cardboard? There is certainly an industry standard for this, and until then, paper is paper thin. I will specialize in cardboard.

I was reviled by giblets stuffed inside the cavity of a turkey the first time I attempted a Thanksgiving roast. The pieces stuffed inside the bird for convenience like the cavity was meant as storage. I am no longer afraid of animal feet the way I used to be, but seeing freezer burn and bruises on the flesh made me quite sad when I grabbed a cheap bag of parts to make broth with, from the local Vietnamese butcher. Preparing meat is pretty spooky. The fact that I am not a vegetarian is a horror. Animals archive well.

And that’s it. That’s all I’ll say for Halloween. Everything else that scares us, scares me, is party to the entropy of our universe so I look it in the face and repeat after it to show I am actively listening. I hear you. I really hear you. In fact here I am repeating you in the disguise of a cavity waiting to be filled with my own parts, and I win this costume contest in the version of this story where there are no sweets if you guess my intentions correctly.