Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Very Military Halloween

After leaving college I ended up joining the Army for almost eight years and seeing the world, at least a good part of it. I can only remember two times in that period dressing up in a costume for Halloween and one of them doesn't really count. Both were while I was stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The one that didn't count was at work, we were allowed to dress in costume and a friend and I went as movers which was our part time job. All we did was put on the company shirt and wear our jeans so really we cheated, but hey, still counts.

The other time was completely unplanned. My friend Adam and the girl that he wanted to be his girlfriend and I were hanging out. It's been over fifteen years and sadly I no longer remember her name so for the sake of the story we'll call her Lisa. Our other friends had gone out of town and we were hanging out at Lisa's apartment but were bored. They came upon the idea of going down to Georgetown and hitting a few bars but wanted to do it in costume. Personally I would have been just as happy going home and watching a movie but I gave in to them and their adventurous plans. It had to be more fun than sitting at home by myself, right? Adam was able to put together a sort of swashbuckler/pirate costume with a red shirt, black pants and a sash. It worked. Lisa already had a costume that she had worn before and it was basically a warrior but the best way to describe it is as a female Conan The Barbarian.

That left me and I had nothing, including the desire to dress up. I had long ago outgrown the police officer costume from my college days so we were left grasping at straws as to what I could be. Just when I thought I wouldn't have to dress in one Adam had a brilliant idea. We drove into the post and since Adam worked as an operating room tech he snuck in and grabbed a pair of scrubs for me. When we got back to her apartment Lisa broke out the red paint and we covered the front of the scrubs in it. My costume was now set, I was to be a not very good doctor.

We made the drive to Georgetown and found a less expensive parking place and started our pub crawl.If you've never been there before let me tell you it was a sight to behold. Almost every adult was in a costume and most of them were quite bizarre. The one that stands out for me to this day was the guy dressed in an adult diaper with a bonnet and a giant baby bottle and nothing more. I don't know how he could stand it in the cold weather but I guess he was well lubricated by the end of the night. The rest of our night consisted of me being the third wheel as Adam and Lisa groped, kissed and flirted with each other. As I said before Adam wanted her to be his girlfriend but while Lisa was fine with occasionally being intimate with him, she also didn't want to be constricted by a relationship. This drove Adam crazy.

He should have realized that it wasn't meant to be and moved on but the heart wants what it wants, no matter how wrong it is for you. Needless to say their situation didn't hold up well and Adam finally understood that it wasn't very healthy for him so he moved on. I left the Army on terminal leave about six months later and only got to see him once more. That was when I came back after I was officially out, to get my final check from the Army. Adam was on a different path then and like most people in the military, once you move on you rarely ever see them again. After this I only recall dressing up for Halloween once more but I don't know if I'll tell that story yet. Now I get to take my son out trick or treating and let him experience it all for himself. I just hope that he doesn't lose the joy of it for a long time.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.

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