One Night Out a Year


Image: San Francisco Chronicle/Carlos Avila Gonzalez

Halloween was the one night of the year when Gary felt completely at home in a crowd. He had just gotten off the BART train at Civic Center and made it on the MUNI heading toward Castro Station. They had the best Halloween parties in the Castro.

Of course, the whole city of San Francisco turned out for Halloween in one way or another. He was among of a vast collection of oddly dressed and featured people on the train. True, he was just about the only one alone rather than as one of a couple or in a group, but anyone seeing him would probably assume he was on his way to a party or to meet someone.

It was strange and not a little ironic that the rest of the year, when Gary wanted to go out, which was rare, that he actually had to wear a mask. Tonight, everyone else was wearing make up and a mask except Gary.

He didn’t remember much about the plane crash five years ago. The trauma and the pain had been blotted out of his memory. He just remembered that the pilot had declared an in-flight emergency and said she was going to attempt a landing at a nearby private airfield.

The next thing Gary remembered was waking up in the hospital. He’d lost count of the number of skin grafts and reconstructive surgery he had to undergo. The pain of those surgeries was ghastly, but tonight, Gary set all of that aside. The doctors put together a rough approximation of his former face, but it still looked like a child’s sculpture in melted wax.

Tonight, it was perfectly normal to be a disfigured monster. He intended to make the most of it. He might even be able to pick up someone at a bar. Gary would need to be sure to leave the guy’s place before he woke up in the morning, though. It’s only okay to be a monster on Halloween.

5 thoughts on “One Night Out a Year

      • Have you thought of giving him some nice gift of prescience, so he can be a super hero kind of guy? It won’t make him cute, but it could win him a small circle of friends, as he scares the bad guys away with his face by always being in the right place at the right time! And an urban legend about the bad dude with the really bad face could work…with a few down and out youngsters, perhaps?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.