Friday, October 14, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins

No, not the band. Actual pumpkins being smashed. Pumpkins that neighbors have set on their front porches. Smashed into itty bitty pieces on the streets and alleys.

I live in a typical small town. We have a Main Street with a round about. Every holiday a parade marches down Main Street. Veterans are celebrated and memorialized. Music in the park melodizes the summer. An annual street fair kicks off fall.

Before winter ushers in a lighted gazebo and wreaths on every streetlight running along Main Street, pumpkin guts riddle the streets.

Every October pumpkins are sold at the grocery stores, home improvement centers, farmers’ markets and of course, at the farms themselves. Those pumpkins are carved, skillfully or unskillfully, with faces and designs by adults and children alike. Candles are placed inside to eerily illuminate the ever-lengthening nighttime.

At some point, those decorative pumpkins become fodder for someone’s (or more than one’s) destructive enjoyment. Each year.

As a writer, I try to understand the human condition—the drives, the passions, the whys behind the actions and emotions. I still have yet to fathom why a person finds pleasure in the destruction of someone else’s property. Perhaps when people mention mysteries that will always go unsolved, this is one to which they point.

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