There’s a cluster of six eyeballs on my right palm.
I am not, in fact, suffering from the condition detailed in Stephen King’s disturbing short story “I Am the Doorway,” but reviewing leftover Halloween-themed tattoos.
I’m wearing about 20 of them on my right forearm. To make them more visible, I shaved my arm at 2:30 a.m. last night, which is why there’s also a band-aid on my right forearm.
I don’t think I’ve sported a temporary tattoo in over a decade. I was probably around 6 the last time I had one. Even then, I probably was not the person who applied them. So putting them on — a simple, easy to overthink process — was new for me, and trial and error was involved. That’s why the cat is missing its head and it looks like someone bit off a piece of the candy corn.
When the Campus Times humor editor John Pinto asked me to review temporary tattoos for an article, I expected I’d put the sleeve of tats on sometime in the middle of the week and then document the subsequent awkward moments and strange looks begotten by the ink. But I didn’t put them on until 2:30 on Sunday morning. As I write this under the constant gaze of the smiling skull on the back of my hand, what I have instead is a strange sense of sympathetic melancholy.
Halloween has been over for a week. Its reign has ended once more, and again we’re left wondering whether it was really that big a deal to begin with. Now Christmas is seeping into the veins of the masses, and after Thanksgiving everyone will stop pretending they don’t notice its insidious creep. So it goes.
But on my right forearm rest 20 tributes to All Hallows Eve, a tribute to a better, spookier time that we love to remember but might not have ever existed the way we recall. October is done. The leaves have fallen. But the tats remain steadfast on my arm, like Halloween’s last great attempt to rage against the dying of the light.
And while it’s a beautiful rage, it’s a doomed one. Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s getting colder, so my sleeve covers most of my arm. And I’ve washed my hands a few times since this morning, so the cluster of six eyeballs is starting to dissolve into the un-spooky paleness of my right palm.