Any minute now the brown box truck should be here, rolling up in a burst of acceleration and short-shifted gears, the driver jamming on the brakes, slamming her in park.
Oh, the thrill of it all.
Oh, the slamming beats from the basement of my deep-fried heart.
I’m not going to sit here and act all cool and stuff. I can’t. If I told you some cover-up tale about how I’m not paying close attention to the road outside my house, sneaking around the curtains and peeking down the lane to see if I can see or hear any sign of the thing heading my way, you’d just snicker at me and stare a laser hole in my forehead, huh? I know that you know better, especially when it comes to this sort of thing.
Anyway, today is the day I become Sully, the big blue guy from Monsters Inc.
Today is the day that my Halloween costume arrives from somewhere far away out in America and I can slip it on in the privacy of the upstairs bathroom and then slowly slide myself in front of the mirror and blow my own mind into sweet, beautiful smithereens.
It’s not a cheapo job either, you know. I splurged a little on this get-up. I had to, you see.
The stars all aligned and I did my homework early and I searched and scoured the land and eventually, just when I had begun to try and convince myself that maybe I could be something else this year, maybe just another dumb zombie or the 88th Duck Dynasty dude on my block; just when I was going to give up my latest/greatest whimsical notion to appear on some random early October Tuesday afternoon, down in the kitchen, while Violet, 4, and Henry, 2, were sitting there sucking down their 3 o’clock chocolate milk and graham crackers, me popping out in a burst of blue and purple Sully shag, their little eyeballs shooting out of their heads, their wee minds blown by the sight of their own Dad transformed into the most legendary monster of their lives so far, just when all of that seemed to be sliding from my greasy palms: I found it.
Where? On line, of course, where grown men can and do become monsters with the flick of a click.
Anyway, it’s coming today because I have been ‘tracking’ the SOB and it finally says ‘OUT FOR DELIVERY’ and I cannot even explain to you how tickled my guts were when I woke up this morning and saw that simple phrase in the email I got (the latest in a long series of short, soulless messages I have gotten because I signed up for emails that tell me where my Sully is out there on the road, out there on his long, strange journey from some shelf in some warehouse or stockroom somewhere to ride upon the shoulders of a 41-year-old Man-Child in Bumtruck, Pennsylvania).
With any luck my kids are going to crap their Granimals.
At least they better.
If they don’t my heart will probably just burst and I’ll just collapse on the linoleum there in the kitchen, a big dead Sully, which is, like, probably the worst thing you could ever really throw down in front of your own kids, huh?
Whatever. So there’s a lot riding on all of this. Fine, I planted this little garden of strange all by myself, so I’ll harvest the brief magic or die trying.
But isn’t it crazy though? One minute you’re this young guy wandering the Earth in search of enlightenment and money and sex and pizza and beer and then, BOOM!...out of nowhere you are staring into the bright, mild eyes of a baby and everything is different forever.
Here I am: a grown-ass man standing in his front window, hiding behind the curtain, peeping out at the porch like some neighborhood freak, waiting for a costume as if I’m waiting for a brand new liver or a fresh kidney on ice.
It is what it is, though. Anything for a smile, you know?
Anything for their smile.