What Are You Supposed To Be?

Ah, Halloween. It’s the time of year when children can carve faces into squashes, when teenagers can run around after dark with chainsaws and machetes and not get shot at, and when torrents of women can legally wear lingerie (and lingerie only) in public spaces, making leprechauns look slutty and zombies sexy. There is no walk of shame quite like a November 1st walk of shame. Nice wings.

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday only because I could ask strangers for candy, they’d give it to me, and I could eat as much as I wanted. Then I grew up and became an adult and realized I could buy and eat candy ANY TIME I WANTED. The celebration has lost its trappings and the meaning of Halloween, like so many of our traditional holidays, deader than Dracula. That’s not to say I’m not interested in resurrecting it. Why do we observe Halloween anyway? Isn’t it funny how we spend the majority of our days suppressing our insecurities and desires, but once October 31st rolls around, we magically (or forcefully) transform into a fantasy version of ourselves? I find it peculiar that we navigate our lives according to fear and self-preservation, but once Halloween arrives, Gina from the archives department comes to work dressed as a sexy Elvis and grown men are offering candy to as many little girls as they please.

If I were an optimist, I’d say the adult version of Halloween—for those who participate in it—is about exploring what it means to be a human by disassembling our fantasies about perfection. But I won’t. Instead, I will introduce this week’s Freshly Hatched Essay, which is about just that.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you I AM MY FAVORITE PERSON by Seth Fried.


For starters, I am physically good looking. Though, not too good looking. That’s important. Overly handsome men tend to seem affected and frail. When I speak of my own handsomeness, I do not mean some pleasant symmetry. My features are even a little severe. They do not produce pleasure in the viewer, but astonishment, which, as Edmund Burke once wrote, “is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended with some degree of horror.” Read the rest of this essay by clicking HERE.

We concur with Seth’s confidence that IAMFP will be the online long-form humor essay by a short story writer that everyone is talking about this Halloween.

Also! Don’t forget about our show THIS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd, 7 p.m. at PIANOS NYC. We’ll be featuring all-stars Arthur Jones, Rebecca Keith, Joseph Salvatore, and Royal Young. Tickets are $8 and include a free raffle ticket. One of the prizes may or may not include Gina from Accounting’s sexy Elvis costume. Slightly used.

As ever,

Mira Ptacin
Founder & Executive Director of Freerange Nonfiction

p.s. If you haven’t yet, check out Molly Quinn’s September 12, 2011 interview with Mr. Fried by clicking HERE.