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Spooky Things

On Thursday night, the Village Parade, now in its 44th year, will head up Sixth Avenue, turn onto my street and go by my building.

“I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” as Phil Ochs sang. Not literally. I’m marching. To a different tune. More my own.

Only ick factor: spooky things. This week my students are writing about something or someone that spooked them. I’m thinking of what once spooked and still spooks me. A partial list:

  1. My high school geometry teacher

  2. Solid geometry class when Danny Gerstein, from whom I cheated, was absent

  3. Regularly losing my glasses, keys, favorite lipstick, favorite pen

  4. Losing my mind

  5. Losing my close friends, Cindy and Doreen, to cancer

  6. Unkindness

  7. Exclusiveness

  8. Humorlessness

  9. Know-it-alls

  10. Forgetting names, forgetting more

  11. My building neighbor, in a ghost costume yesterday, shouted Boo in my ear in the mail room. It startled me. I dropped my grocery bag

  12. He’s taller than I am. Not a child. Close to my age

  13. My age

  14. In Colson Whitehead’s “The Nichol Boys,” the violent offenders during the Jim Crow era were the white staff members

  15. Things haven’t much changed.

Ps. Link to my children’s story, “A Halloween Ride .” It was one of my first published efforts and appeared in Wee Wisdom in Oct. 1973.


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