We went to Honduras in 2003 with some of our friends. Rented a couple of houses in Roatan Island and spent Christmas together. Janet and I got there about three days after everyone else. They spent some time on the mainland. We had to stay home for some reason, maybe to spend Christmas with the family. We joined everyone on Roatan. Interesting and slightly depressing place.

I had jut purchased a point and shoot camera, a Casio, a rarity in Canada. This was Casio’s attempt at looking slightly professional. A lovely camera that Casio has not been able to replicate. Nice lens, a screen that rotates allowing you to take pictures from different angles, including of yourself, yet another absurd rarity. It may add a bit of bulk to the camera, but it makes the device so versatile.

My amazing friend Judy tells me that she watched me pull the camera out of my bag and thought I handled it differently from others. I remember thinking the same thing when Janet and I went to Cannes a few years earlier. We were accompanied one day on our walks by a couple of other people, one of whom was/is a professional photographer. I put my camera away when he pulled his out. He handled his camera with so much more ease and comfort than I thought I did. There was no hesitation before taking a picture, he was so sure of his settings. I am no slouch behind the lens, but he was a big step or two way ahead of me.

Judy asked me a couple of years later whether I see the world in pictures. What a bizarre concept. Say it again. See the word in pictures? What? I had to think about that. Interesting idea. It took a while to realise that I do look at the world in pictures. It is a strange concept. You see a wall, I see a picture. You see graffiti, I see art. You see nothing, I see a picture. There have been numerous occasions where people have stood behind me and wondered what I was taking a picture of. I have to ask my other friend David Jang about this. He is an amazing photographer.

I have not seen a picture in about three months. I went for a drive to a location north of Toronto where there is a mall called Vaughn Mills. I don’t like the mall, but there is a computer store there that carries a particular hard drive I wanted. I was stopped on the drive back at a red light waiting for the green. There were houses ahead of me. Nothing special there. Behind the houses is Canada’s Wonderland , an amusement park that is open in the summers only. I have never been there. They built an artificial mountain in the centre of it to give it some sort of character. It is a bit of a bizarre concoction. Looming above the houses are some yellow pipes that curve. There are about four of these. Took me a while to realise that these are part of a roller coaster ride. Imagine living through a summer with that noise in your back yard.

I sat there for a while. It was a long light. I saw a picture. I have to go back and take it. I saw a picture.

I went grocery shopping the next day. On the drive home I saw a picture.

I was out later in the day, I saw a picture.

I am seeing pictures. I am seeing a lot of pictures. Fine thing.

Once I get them organised, they will be posted on farokh.ca

Tomorrow is Halloween.

To celebrate or not?

We celebrate every year. Make a production of it. I usually carve multiple pumpkins, some with two faces. Takes a lot of patience to carve all these faces and make them unique and scary. It is fun and well worth the effort.

The second Halloween in our current house was a big production. I bought Christmas lights, white paper table cloths, borrowed a plastic snowman from Nancy and rented a Santa costume. I laid the white table cloths down covering the front garden making it look like snow. Strung the Christmas lights across the front garden. Borrowed Devin’s ghetto blaster to blast Christmas carols through the night. Janet came home to a house lit like house on fire. I am sure you could see it from space.

As the kids showed up, I would bound out of the house yelling Merry Christmas. Scared the hell out of them until Janet and Leslie stopped me from doing that. SO I sat on the front porch with my Santa bag welcoming the children. Poor kids. They kept telling me how much they loved me, how good they were. We almost felt bad for them. The confusion in their voices was palpable.

We have gone to David Powell’s house after our kids stopped coming. Arlin and I would take Jack out and smoke our cigars. Jack is very popular. Everyone knows him. He was a Halloween machine collecting two pillowcases full of candy. We would go back to David’s for dinner and to pilfer through Jack’s pillow cases. Someone had to save him from all that candy.

Our previous house was a more communal affair. We decorated the front yard and got ready for the Halloweeners. We had drinks with our neighbours while we handed out the treats. It was a big party. Ann and Frank, Valerie and Chad were our neighbours. One big family. It was a lot of fun, no matter how cold it was. We miss that.

We made sure Devin celebrated every year. He was dressed as a giant pumpkin oneĀ  year. He wanted to God another year. A sheep. Stingray. Bloody chef. You get the idea. Lots of costumes. I would take him door to door. It was lots of fun.

All this to say that Halloween has always played a big part in our lives. A bit like chehar shambe souri (ask your Persian friends) but a lot more fun.

Halloween this year will not be the same. I do not have the energy to carve all those pumpkins. I cannot be exposed to all those kids, just in case one of them has H1N1 and does not know it yet. I cannot open and close the front door all night either. A whole bunch of no’s that add up to no Halloween this year.

We have been discussing it all week. To do or not to do. It was a go as late as this morning.

Carys, my four year old niece has a temperature. Started last night. A temperature of 39. Leslie took over some Tylenols for her to help control things a bit. Her temperature has been going up and down all day since. She heard on the radio with of our Health Officers that a child with flu symptoms right now has H1N1. Carys has H1N1. She has not been here for a while, so no danger there.

It just emphasizes the dangers of exposes myself to a while bunch of children who may (or not) have H1N1.

No Halloween this year.

I cried.

© 2010 I Have Cancer Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha