The Location: Salem, MA.
The group: Daniel, Erin, and myself.
The costumes: The Cloak (Daniel), Little Red Riding Hood (Erin), and a Fallen Angel (Myself)
The train was packed. Like… not “whoa, that’s a lot of people!” packed. This was “mmrrrphle!” packed. As in “I can’t speak to tell you how crowded this is, because I am stuffed in the space between a frat boy and a dude in a gorilla suit”.
But really, what should I have expected? This WAS the train to Salem, from Boston, on the night of Halloween. The 8:00 train, also known as the most popular train, out of the most popular station, to the most popular Halloween site in New England. Arguably the most popular Halloween site in the country.
But, we persevered. It actually wasn’t that difficult… we told jokes relating to the drunkies screaming half a car away, chatted with the people squished against us, and tried not to muss up our costumes too badly. It was fun – that’s the joy of a holiday like Halloween; getting to meet new people and try to survive the crowds unscathed.
Thankfully I was able to make it all the way to Salem without doing too much damage to the wings that Erin had lent me, and so we walked (picking up some friends of Daniels along the way) into the heart of the insanity known as Salem Center on Halloween Night.
Seriously, this place was crazy. It was awesome. It was just… fun! I mean, the craziness doesn’t really compare to some of the other places that I’ve been (the Castro district in San Francisco, for one), but it was the unexpected sense of “hey, why not? Let’s dress up and be crazy!” that really swept me up.
That’s the thing about Boston: Our city is a controlled city – people do what they are expected to do. We have our riots, but you see rioters when and where you should see them – after a big game. You see people partying on the 4th of July, and you see standard-issue costumes on Halloween. As a whole, Boston doesn’t really just do things for no reason.
But when we do get an excuse to go out… This is a group of people who are cooped up in their suits and work clothes all year long, knowing that soon enough the entire city will be blanketed in a layer of wintery ice. This is their last chance for insanity and excitement before the winter, and since everyone is going crazy anyways…
Well, there was a lot to do, to say the least;
We tagged along with a long Buddhist procession, chanting some sort of hymn and handing out flyers.
Daniel and I tangoed in a giant dance circle, accompanied by a pair of robots disco-fighting.
Daniel got his Aura read – turns out that his wrist pain is due to stealing something in a past life.
We watched concerts and danced to some random Djs, ate fried dough and threw out sketchy candy that creepy people handed out.
And at the end of the night? We watched fireworks from the station platform before boarding a much-subdued train back into the city 🙂