Leaves rain down to cover walkways with a sea of orange and red. I kick my way through, admiring a particular leaf with a vibrant green core that gradually transitions into a deep red. I am on my way home from my last class on a Friday — what could be a more beautiful thing? The fog and rain of the week has dissipated into a nice warm sunshine just in time for everyone to stay warm and dry as they run around in silly costumes all weekend. The buzz of anticipation builds as I return to my room. My roommates are all home when I return, bubbling with eagerness to prepare for the night’s festivities.
Getting ready is the most essential part of a Halloween party. Whether you just throw on an oversized shirt and boxers for a low effort but utterly classic “the guy from Risky Business” or you don full-fledged face makeup, green hair, and purple suit for the Joker, getting ready is the time to get into character. You are no longer you. You are morphing into whomever or whatever you choose to be for the night. It is the best opportunity you get all year to not be a sad and lonely student swamped with work — or at least not look like one.
The pregame inevitably follows, though it has really been going on throughout the preparation process. Personally, I find the pregame to be a harshly underrated part of the night. Often more fun than the game itself, the pregame is where you and your close pals scheme for the night ahead. Where are we gonna go? Who are we gonna see? The possibilities are endless. The people start to feel themselves, everyone looking good in their costumes and ready to show off at the party. You try to play it cool but eventually excitement boils over and it’s time for everyone to roll to the Street.
The party itself is where all of that preparation and scheming gets shattered and tossed out the window. Sweat consumes your costume, dripping your Joker face paint all over the dance floor, but you don’t care, this song is your jam. Plus, you’re in costume, so you can convince yourself that no one knows it’s you anyway. Why not go all out? You talk to people you never imagined you would see in a sexy bunny outfit and, if you get lucky, you even catch a glimpse of Buzz Lightyear projectile vomiting off the balcony. Halloweekend is a time for all rules and regulations to take a backseat and let shit get spooky. Decorations gradually get torn from the wall, costumes get unbuttoned, untied, and reduced to a shadow of themselves. The group has disappeared, one with the sexy bunny, another helping Buzz Lightyear get cozy in bed, but it’s okay because you’ve found new friends at the party and you’re all going out for a smoke before collapsing into bed.
As the joint comes your direction you reflect on the night’s most random and funny moments. The night sky glistens with the satisfaction of witnessing such uncivil shenanigans, and all is well. You think of the connections you made and fun you had, as well as the possibilities for the rest of the weekend. It’s only Friday after all.
On the way home, perhaps you and your crew catch a second wind and decide to climb around on one of the countless construction sites until PSAFE diligently arrives and shoos you away. You run from them right out of your shoe but in the adrenaline of the moment decide to leave it there. You will get it in the morning if you have to. So you walk the rest of the way home in one sockfoot, but you don’t worry about it. You don’t remember how you made it into your bed but eventually you do, costume now strewn across the floor, makeup still on, and you cozy up and fall asleep immediately, ready to do it all again tomorrow night.
Eric Fenno is a staff writer for The Prospect and Sports at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Instagram or Twitter at @lil_e_rok.