I've never been trick-or-treating in my life. Not once. The last time I dressed up for Halloween I was seven years old, but nobody could quite come to terms with the sight of an elementary school kid striding down the block done up like Harold Hill. The year before that I was a Mathnet agent, had a little silver badge taped onto the inside cover of my calculator that I'd flash at people. I remember hoping that somebody would get it, but I'm fairly certain no one did. I think it managed to break something in my head.
Maybe I was an overly serious child or something but I don't think so, and it's certainly not that I'm serious now, but I wonder maybe if spending Halloweens at home as a kid, waiting for someone to knock on MY door and ask for MY candy, was the cause of root of something psychologically damaging.
I hate imposing. Talking to strangers in a bar, for instance, feels like I'm intruding on their world a little, a world that they never even dreamed of having me in. I don't like asking people for things, or for help, or even to just chill sometimes because it feels like I'm tacitly asking them for something.
I had this friend in college in Massachusetts, Sammy. He was the guy in the dorm with the car; there's always one. Dairy Mart was a longass way away in the snow, and hell did it snow that winter, and I'd sometimes grab a lift from Sam for a cigarette run. The thing was, in my head, it was a trade - Sammy would give me a lift, and I'd buy him a pack of smokes. I'd preface it that way, too - he was fully aware of my mental process in regards to that arrangement. One night he said something like, "You know, you can just ask. Maybe I'll be in the mood and maybe I won't, but you're my friend. You don't need to barter for my time."
I'd like to think I've gotten better, but I'm not sure. Because now, when I do shit like that, I notice it without being able to stop. 'Come on over, I'll cook ya dinner;' 'Meet me in the park, I'll buy you lunch;' 'come out drinking tonight, I'll buy ya a beer.'
It never occurs to me to say 'come over. I miss you,' until later, the irony being that honesty like that feels manipulative as hell.