Families have started decorating their front yards with cobwebs and skeletons. We pass them as we head down the hill to buy bread and have a coffee.
‘When’s Halloween?’ I ask.
‘You ask that every year!’ Robinson says.
‘Well how am I supposed to know when it is?’
‘Because it’s been on the same day every year for every year of your life, and for about 2000 years before that.’
It’s a good point. We never really celebrated Halloween in my family so maybe that’s why I don’t remember it. Or maybe it’s because I don’t remember anything.
‘And Valentines Day is on February 14th,’ I guess, hoping to redeem myself. I still don’t know when Halloween is.
‘Well done,’ Robinson says, like I’m a toddler who’s done a poo.
(I just looked up the history of Valentines Day and it’s violent and appalling. How it morphed into a rose on every table I’ve no idea, but it will have more to do with capitalism than cuddles.)
We walk on down the hill. ‘So when is…’
‘October 31st!’ Robinson says. (I just looked that up too, now that we’re home – and she’s right.)
‘Some dates move around with the moon,’ I say, trying to prove that I’m not stupid, ‘like Easter. So not every date is an actual date.’
‘But Halloween is.’
More walking. Dead man walking kind of walking.
‘And the Melbourne Cup moves around every year. You can never tell when it’s going to be on,’ I declare.
‘You can, actually. The second Tuesday in November.’
‘Yeah, but that’s all over the place!’
‘Not according to the calendar.’
‘But it’s not a DATE, that’s my point.’
‘Good point,’ she says kindly.
‘And remember when we got married on the first of Spring but then your sister told us the first of September is not the first of Spring, and based on the solstice and the equinox and the price of butter, or something, it’s actually on…some other date.’
‘I do remember that,’ Robinson said. ‘But I remember everything.’
She’s right. She has no sense of direction, but otherwise she’s more-or-less a filing cabinet.
Robinson took my hand then, as we walked, either to shut me up or because she likes me. I didn’t ask, but it felt like we were out on a date. Today’s date. Whatever that is.