Halloween, that most sublime of all holidays, is nearly here. These annual round-ups of the creepiest and freakiest (from the primitive, rural corn assassins to the nadir of 70s mass culture), always remind me of my **favorite costume ever… JAWS.
I remember marching in the humble 3rd grade Halloween parade around the leaf-strewn New Hampshire schoolyard, and sweating that cold, creepy perspiration that happens only inside a flimsy Halloween mask. Despite how superior I felt to the rag-tag assortment of (other) dime-store cheapies and shoe polish hobos, a stubborn confusion haunted me.
I wanted nothing more to BE the shark, and yet technically, since I was peering out of eye holes in the shark mouth I felt more like a dismembered Jonah, trapped inside the so-called “massive gullet.” My young body, clad in that odd hospital gown, became a walking billboard for the movie, rather than some crude approximation of a shark’s body.
Alas, communion with one’s beloved is seldom easy.
**(besides a spare, but evocative turn as Yoko Ono, (circa 2003), and a truly inventive Woodsy Owl (2007).