Wednesday, October 31

My Halloween Birthday

Okay, I've got to be frank, I was born ___ years ago this day to quite an abnormal circumstance. I was a Halloween baby found in a dumpster by my earth parent. My mom told me once that she'd heard me crying in a back lane somewhere in Asia covered in cabbage and old newspaper. Out of pity and compassion, she immediately picked me up without a second thought, lifted me up, and with a victorious voice, cried, "You are now my son, and your name will be Mos—I mean, Christopher Loke!" Now, don't ask me why my mom was in a back lane somewhere in Asia, or how I came about, but know that this story has never swayed.

My mom only spewed out things about my past when she was mad at me. "Christopher Yolanda Cornelius Loke the Sixteenth," she'd scream, "clean up your pigsty of a room right now or I swear to all that is good and holy I will make you wish you were never born!" And always, without missing a beat, she'd continue, "But,"—a long sigh—"upon second thought, you were never born like all the other babies, anyway. Have I ever told you how I picked you up from a dumpster?" With that, she'd start telling me the story of how I was "found" for the umpteenth time.

And then when I was fifteen, my mom came into my room one evening wanting to engage me in a somber conversation. "It's time we have the talk," she said.

"You mean the birds and the bees?"

"No, silly. It's about your origin."

"My origin?" I exclaimed. Is this really happening? I thought. As if I was from a galaxy far, far away, right?

"Yes, it's about time I tell you the truth," my mom continued, mouth pursed. "You were not found in a dumpster. There, I said it!"

Phew, what a relief. For the longest time, I'd been having nightmares about my birth parents being mutated slugs scavenging the backstreets of the city for garbage as food, and I was a by product of their . . . ugh, never mind.

So, I sat there staring at the walls and then back at my mom before giving her the most courteous smile I'd ever given. "Mom, I'm so happy you cleared that up."

She contemplated for a while before saying, "I am your real mom, and I gave birth to you." With that, she stood and exited the room along with her customary winks and smiles and lots of teeth. I've always thought my mom to be a little on the weird side, but never paid too much attention to it. But today, something clicked.

My mom had left a subtle imprint on my bed—a light greenish slime I'd never noticed before—and I couldn't help but wonder what all this meant. Suddenly, as if I had struck Eureka, memories of things flashed before my mind—I could smell the cabbage and the sour milk. And I loved it. My childhood resurfaced, and I remembered everything, all the way to the day I was born.

The first day of my life was spent writhing in compost in a back alley somewhere in Asia. I was in heaven—there was so much to eat. I looked up and saw my parents, two very distinct shapes staring down at me with round protruding eyes, wet, green, and smiling.

I shuddered at my own memory and looked down to see a trail of green slime leading to where I sat. I am not in Kansas anymore, I thought. My nightmare is real after all . . .

Anyway, I digress. And for whatever that's worth, Happy Halloween. Boo!

(Yes, my name is actually Christopher Y. C. Loke, if you should wonder.)

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