1965-09-27 - Shadchan
Summary: Halgrim comes to visit Carson at the garden while Carson is readying it for Halloween and discusses the merits of Carson getting closer with Elmo.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
carson halgrim 


There has been a couple new additions to the community garden since Halgrim had last been there. The additions though, were ones that Halgrim himself had suggested. There's a little table in the center, surrounded by half circle benches, all wooden. Carson has encouraged vines to grow on the legs of the benches as well. There are little white lights, clearly cut to look like stars that cover the fences. Carson himself is working on a pumpkin patch in the front of the garden, trying to get ready for the holiday season. Upon getting close enough to him, it appears that Carson is singing to these pumpkins.

The fence is unlocked, welcoming anyone in. There's a leaf stuck in Carson's unruly curls as he kneels near his pumpkins.

Halgrim arrives with a large, woven sack slung over one shoulder and dressed appropriately for garden work, in jeans, his workboots, and a black Columbia University t-shirt under a black and white flannel shirt. "Preparing for Samhain, hm?" He sets the bag down and goes to examine the pumpkins. "This will be my first in the States, I'm told it's quite an event."

"Ah, well, most of the uncultured out here in the states will say I am preparing for Halloween. There are quite a few holidays in October from all kinds of cultures, aren't there? Dia de los Muertas, also this month, which is my culture. My father waits every year for my display." He looks over at Halgrim with a smile. "What was it like, Samhain, where you were from? I think it's likely safe to assume that trick or treating is not something you've experienced?"

"Samhain is what the Gaelic celebrate," Halgrim clarifies. He sets the bag down and pulls out handful of small pouches—seed packets, hand labeled. "It marked the beginning of winter, by their calendar. For my people, the festival we have in October is Vetrntr, the Winternights, but it's closer to the middle of the month. The meaning is the same, though. The end of the harvest and the beginning of the dark season. So it's maybe more like, your Thanksgiving, in a way."

He offers over the little packs. "Some seeds, from the botany department. I was helping them with some correspondance research, and they wanted to thank me, but I think you have more use for them." It's an ecclectic mix; some squash cultivars, several varieties of nasterium, and mix of lupines, and poppies.

Carson takes the seeds offered and the resulting smile is as if Halgrim handed the young man diamonds instead of seeds. "What kind of things happen at the festival? Were there specific foods served there? I do love learning about my friends' different traditions, the different holidays that are important to them. Dia de los Muertos is an important one to me and my father, for example."

He looks over the seeds and nods to an open patch of soil near his pumpkin patch. "I do hope that you know that you are always welcome to plant here, Halgrim. It is a Community Garden after all and I enjoy your company."

"Unfortunately, because we don't have many writings from before the Christians came to Scandinavia, we don't know much about how the Vetrnaetr was celebrated in ancient times." Halgrim shrugs about that; what can you do. "In my community, we would choose a sheep, goat, or cow— or a boar or deer, if we were lucky—to sacrifice to the gods, then cook it for a celebratory feast. This is called the vetrnatta blot."

He takes out a few more things from the bag: a pair of metal raven sculptures made of blackened scrap wire, about the right size for putting on the fence, or maybe on posts and his gloves. "Oh, I know, but I hate to presume. And I don't necessarily care to do it alone —I prefer company." He pulls on the gloves, gestures at the ravens. "Some children I work with made these for me, I thought they might go best here. Even if just as decorations for the season."

Carson smiles, settling his arms across his knees while Halgrim explains what he did back in his home country. "Here, there's Halloween, it was meant to be a celebration of remembering the dead but it's kind of dissolved into a holiday where children get to wear costumes of whatever they like and go door to door asking their neighbors for sweets. We carve pumpkins and put candles inside of them to make jack-o-lanterns and the television runs frightening movies. Halloween is mostly about getting frightened and.. candy. It's not really a celebration of much of anything, except for the month of October existing, I suppose." He explains. "In my culture, Dia de los Muertos is an honoring of the dead but it isn't a sad holiday. For one night, we welcome them back by making altars for them and leaving their favorite things there."

He reaches for the metal ravens, running his fingers along them and his face brightens about tenfold as he picks them up to set them on the fence posts. The smile doesn't fade. "Halgrim… I do not often receive gifts. Would… Would you mind it very much if I embraced you?" He asks, stammering almost nervously.

Halgrim laughs at the description of Halloween. "That sounds like a perfectly enjoyable holiday, to be honest. Was the dressing up was meant to make one fit in with the creatures let loose on that night?" He looks thoughtful for a moment; there's a better than average chance he's going to go look it up in the library. He will never not be an academic. Dia de los Muertos, on the other hand, makes him sober, and he's quiet for a moment. "I think…I like the idea, of that one," he says. "That sounds like a very good celebration."

It's not going to be all maudlin in the garden, however, because Carson asks for a hug, and this eases Halgrim's mood. "Of course. I'm glad to provide something for the garden that provides so much for the rest of us."

"Yes! Precisely. Though, many little girls like to be fairies and princesses. It's the boys who like to dress up as monsters. It's a very fun holiday, as is any holiday that involves receiving candy. Some adults have Halloween themed parties, making food shaped like eyeballs, worms and fingers and such, giving the adults an excuse to dress up as well." Carson says and notices how the mention of Day of the Dead seems to sober Halgrim up. "We could have a celebration here at the garden, Halgrim, if you would like. I can show you how to set up an alter to welcome your loved ones back."

Carson takes that hug, wrapping the older man in his arms for a brief squeeze. "They fit with the season and also, they may scare off the other birds from making a meal of my berries."

Halgrim returns the hug without hesitation. "I would…like that very much," he says, in regards to the altar. He clears his throat. "If you wouldn't mind. Tell me anything you need and I'll get it."

He listens to the description of Halloween costumes and parties with renewed interest. "Adults too?" he says, sounding like this has given him multitude of ideas. "That could be useful," he murmurs to himself. "Were you planning on doing Halloween here at the garden as well, or just Dia de los Muertos?"

"Well, you'll need a picture of them but if you don't have it, that's also okay. What you'll do is you'll make their favorite meals when they were around, and then bring some of things they liked to do, hobbies, drinks they liked, a book they loved and we'll set up an altar of whatever colors you pick, I can tell my flowers to bloom in a variety of them, after all." Carson explains. "Then, we will just stay out here all night, I'll bring food and drink and bring a radio. It's a celebration of their life, it's not meant to be sad." He pats Halgrim's shoulder. "You can meet my father as well, we always set up an altar for my abuela, my father's mother."

"Oh yes! Everyone loves to dress up. The adults do vampires and ghosts and the women tend to do… sensual versions of things no one in their right mind finds sensual, but, yes, the adults have Halloween parties too, especially the younger crowd, it's an excuse to get dressed up and drink." About the garden, Carson taps his chin. "I suppose I could. I was going to give out treats at the very least, for the kids."

"I can do all of that," Halgrim says with a decisive nod. Well, maybe he'll struggle with the 'not sad', part, but he can give it the ol' college try; he's got a PhD in that subject. "And I would be happy to meet your father," he adds.

He seems genuinely puzzled by this description of women's Halloween costumes. "Why not a famous actress, or a historical figure? Boudica, Queen Elizabeth or Victoria, Athena, Heady Lamar…" He stops himself from waxing poetic in this vein. "Of course, given how women are treated, it's probably not a surprised they don't dress in such costumes. I'm sure they're not readily available like the…other ones you describe, and some would be expensive to make." He pulls a face for this unfortunate circumstance.

"My father will be glad to meet you. I do believe he thinks I've made you up as your name is incredibly peculiar, not that I dislike it or anything, I don't want you to think that but, well, I'm not known to be one with many friends but of course I talk about you and of Mister Rosencrantz." Carson says with a smile. "Perhaps I will invite him here as well, for Dia de Los Muertos. Everyone has someone they miss."

On the topic of women's costumes though, "I think that yes… as you've said, women are treated as if they are only meant to be seen by men, so perhaps that is why. Though I've seen many women make their own costumes where the point was not to show as much skin as they can get away with." Carson tries to give Halgrim a little faith in the human race.

A little petulantly, Halgrim says, "It's not peculiar, it's just old, and from a different part of the world." His reaction can maybe be forgiven if one considers this isn't the first time he's heard that, in general and even just this week. He leaves that topic behind as quickly as it's brought up. "I think Elmo would like that. And I'm happy to dissuade your father of any notions regarding how many friends you have."

He sighs, lifts his shoulder in a half shrug. "I suppose I can't be surprised it's like that for them." He looks around the garden. "So. What needs work?"

"It's peculiar to my father who's never left the states but also, my mother's choice in name for /me/ is also peculiar to my father. So please, don't be too offended. I am sure if my father had it his way I would have been named Eduardo or something more Spanish than 'Carson'." Carson says, trying to soothe the blite. "You think so? I would rather like to have Elmo around more often. I'm fond of him. He doesn't make me feel… unstable, as if I don't belong here."

Carson offers Halgrim the seeds, the squash ones. "You could plant these next to the pumpkins and they will be yours." He offers.

Halgrim grunts as Carson describes his own in name in these terms. "But here in the States, there are so many cultures —especially in New York," he gestures around them, "I would think he'd have heard far more peculiar than mine." He can't, however, blame Carson's father for wanting a more traditional name, given his own, and his mouth twitches in an almost smile for that fact.

"I think he'd find it difficult to be in a garden too much —he's a man of technology," Halgrim admits. "But you could ask him to come help you with something like," he gestures, "lights, or a similar thing." He raises his eyebrows. "They're not *mine*, they're *yours*, I gave them to you. But," he fetches a trowel from the shed, "I'm happy to plant them for you."

"I think that the garden could provide some much needed stress relief for him, it's a very zen environment, if you will. He doesn't have to do or fix anything while he's here, he could just be here. Just the way, that I like you being here. I think it provides you an excellent get away from your busy life." Carson offers. He doesn't know just how busy and stressful Halgrim's life truly is though. He holds up a finger. "You were given them first though, but sure, sure they'll be mine but you still get the opportunity to plant them."

"He could certainly use that," Halgrim allows, his mouth flattening. He's not talking about in general; he clearly has something specific in mind. And he can't deny that he could either, and says as much. "And, it's, very true of me as well." He ducks his head, somewhat abashed. "I suppose it must be obvious." He toys with the trowel, trying not to think of his overall situation and its erratic, inconsistent course.

"Well, if I'm being honest, the best way to get him here would be to just ask him." He smiles, sly and coy now. "The garage isn't far from here, you know. You could show up with—" he gestures at the garden, "a care package, and invite him over. Make him a nice meal. See if it gives him some peace to be somewhere like this."

Carson catches the frown and worries. "Is everything with Elmo okay? Your frown is concerning." He doesn't let Halgrim change the subject this time, staying on this. "Is there something wrong? I fear I am furiously out of the loop now." He rubs his arm and then listens to Halgrim's suggestions, his heartbeat slowing a little when Halgrim's smile turns coy. "I could try that. He did tell me that every vegetarian meal I make is kosher!"

Halgrim shakes his head. "It's, ah…not my place to really, discuss it, but things have been —hectic, for him." He clears his throat, all but announcing that to be the understatement of the week. Seeing Carson's mounting concern, he adds, "He's fine," holding up a hand as if to forestall a trip to find Elmo right that moment. "But he could use something relaxing and, well…peaceful, like this. Something removed from all of that."

He gets to work digging a line for the new squashes. "Ah, good to hear —so you should have no trouble devising something new and interesting for him which won't conflict with that. And," he pauses between trowel-fuls of dirt, "if you're worried about seeming forward, you can always start with lunch, and work your way *up* to dinner."

Carson does still worry but it fades a little when Halgrim holds up his hand to calm him. "I don't know how much I believe 'he's fine' when you think he needs to relax but I can only take your word about it and help where I can in anyway that I can." Carson runs his fingers over the leaf on one of his pumpkin's stems, fingers shaking slightly, worry putting the tremble there.

Carson laughs a little when Halgrim continues to make suggestions about clearly, how to woo Elmo properly. He looks over at Halgrim, leaning on one of the growing pumpkins. "I don't think I remembered talking about taking him out to dinner, just that I would like to have him around more often. If I am not mistaken, you're giving me beginner's instructions on how to win his heart." He says, though a light blush spreads across his cheeks. "Not, neccessarily that you are mistaken."

Halgrim can't help but feel chargrinned for making Carson worried, and is glad when that turns to a much more fruitful conversation. "Oh, you didn't?" he says, all false innocence. "Well, perhaps I couldn't help but assume, given your concern for his well-being." He raises an eyebrow, turns his attention back to his work with the trowel. With that done, he dusts off his gloves and gets the seeds out, placing them a good eight inches apart. As he makes his way down the row, he says, "Regardless of whether or not you or he are romantically inclined to one another, he could certainly use the friendship, which is where any proper relationship should start."

"I have few friends Halgrim, I'm not a very… likable person simply because I am not like others. I am not very good at speaking to other people in a way that is considered normal. So, the first person who comes along and doesn't make me feel like I have just opened my mouth and snakes fell out instead of words, I want him to be safe and I want him to be around more often." Carson admits, there's still a tremble in his fingers. "A lot happens to mutants, a lot that I cannot stop. We are subject to prejudice for simply existing but he is a lovely human being and he makes me laugh which is not something I have a lot of experience in doing, so I would prefer that he not be harmed. I would prefer he be safe."

"Well, I do consider him my friend though I do not get to see him very often, I believe it's likely because he is off somewhere working himself to death which is why I think he would benefit from excursions to the garden or excursions in general. Something to take him away from.. everything. Perhaps I could just come to the garage, ask him to accompany me anywhere."

Halgrim winces in sympathy for Carson's situation with friends; it's one he can relate to of late, if not in the sense of lifelong experience. "It's true, the world isn't a safe place for mutants, especially not now. And while I understand, even sympathize with," he laughs a little, for some reason, "wanting him to be safe, it's as important to be a safe haven for one another as well."

He pauses in the act of covering up the seeds so he can look up at Carson. "We can't protect one another from everything. We shouldn't, even. In times like this, people need to be willing to fight for one another. That won't always be safe." There's the undeniable sense that he's speaking from experience. "But you can protect them in other ways —as you've suggested, by being there for him." He smiles, gentle, and goes back to covering the seeds. "Taking him somewhere is a good idea. But you'll need to covince him —he'll complain and try to refuse. Just don't take no for an answer."

"I could grow a couple plants outside of his garage, that bite and that could tell me if something is coming, something malicious, though I do feel like that's a bit of an invasion of his privacy, like he's being spied on. Though perhaps not if I planted biting ones or ones that sprayed venom but I would have to teach them when to and when not to spray it." Carson is talking incredibly fast, a sign that the concern that Halgrim hoped to ease with talk of dates and what not hasn't faded. "He would complain? About being invited somewhere? I think that I could make the idea of an escape that may or may not be a date of sorts rather more alluring than working."

Halgrim pats the last of the dirt into place and stands. "That, ah, would be, yes. It's the sort of thing you'd only do if you were formally seeing one another, and even then —it's a place of business. Who does and doesn't mean well isn't cut and dry. Additionally," he moves to take up the watering can, "he's quite capable of taking care of himself. I've seen the results first hand. There's no need to worry for him on that account." He sets to watering the seeds; not too much, or they'll rot. Just enough to dampen the soul. "But emotionally, internally —that, he could use help with. That's the sort of thing you'd be better suited to. As just a friend, or," he shrugs, "otherwise."

"You're quite good at that, you know. I have never had to explain to you how to plant anything, it's quite refreshing, not that I mind teaching in the least but you just have a natural green thumb." Carson comments, distracted for a moment. "I think that hearing about what little you can tell me that yes, he could benefit from an outing. There's an aquarium I could take him to. I hear that being around water is good for stress."

"Thank you—my siblings and I used to help our mother with the family garden," Halgrim explains. "I'm no botanist, but I won't starve if I have some seeds." He waters along the squash plants once, twice, three times to make sure the soil is good and wet. "An aquarium sounds like an excellent idea. Even a walk in," he gestures towards Central Park, "the Park, by any of the ponds, would probably help."

"Did you? I love when families have gardens they tend together, it's a good bonding experience. Which is why I do enjoy having you here. That's what we're doing right now, we're bonding and well, you are also encouraging me to pursue our other friend in a romantic sense as well. Now I do wonder, Halgrim, is that because you think I, in all my strange ways, would be a good fit for Elmo?" Carson asks, coming over to admire Halgrim's work with the seeds. "I was also thinking that perhaps I could institute something like a weekly walk with him, where I coerce him out of the garage just to walk with me, breathe something other than static and motor oil."

"That's precisely why I like to do it," Halgrim says. "It's important, to interact with people in," he gestures at the garden, "comfortable settings, as friends, without the stress and pressure of day to day life." He pulls off his gloves and leans against the shack. "I think that you two could compliment one another in several ways. And despite my shameless suggestions," he gives Carson a wry smile, "I do think there could be plenty of benefit in you two knowing one another better."

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