Our Halloween pumpkin, Jacques II, lasted only a few weeks. He succumbed amid mental turmoil. He had, a propensity to scare human beings on the last day of October. Not much of a life, if you ask me.
His date of birth I know not. It means nothing anyhow these days. It can be at conception, or at the pumpkin trimester, depending on your politics. In any case Jacques was adopted. We picked him up for a song at Bashas’ grocery up the street. The paperwork mentioned a price, but I no longer remember it.
And then I mutilated him horribly. Cut hm open for a hasty autopsy through the brain, removed his innards, leaving only a smattering of seeds. Then I cut some eyes, a nose and mouth with a serrated kitchen knife. If he was in pain, ever, I didn’t hear about it. My motives were pure. I wanted to embrace Halloween and not pee-off any of our visitors.
I don’t think Jacques scared anybody, though. Of the 300 that came to the door this year, I noticed only one little girl, maybe 4 years old, who eyeballed him at length. She looked down through the brain-hole I’d fogotten to cover, merely curious. In that way, Jacques II was a failure.
I left him out there on the front porch, like an Indians used to leave dying tribe members along the trail. That’s what I saw in the movies anyway. In that vein, the porch was then Jacques’s last trail, so to speak, me having a smidgen of Cherokee blood. No tears.
Not long ago, he began to blacken and turn mushy. It was all I could manage this afternoon to hold him together long enough to place him in the compost bin. I washed my hands afterward.
He’s gone to a better life. That’s what I tell myself.