America has its scary Halloween tradition of overeating and general gluttonizing. The Castro has its scary Halloween tradition of stabbies and shooties. And now I, too, have a scary Halloween tradition of being yelled at by a terrifying Weird Sister who is just as creepy but much less coherent than the witches of Macbeth.
This tradition began when I lived in my studio on 17th and Market. In the weeks leading up to Halloween I was frequently woken in the darksome night by a homeless lady yelling in the alley outside my window. I described it this way:
Last night my schizophrenic homeless friend spent an hour (between 3 and 4 in the morning) screaming her mantra outside my apartment (“HolyshitHolyshitHolyshit…”) When I say “my friend,” what I mean is “the disembodied voice who comes along every few days to wake me up and creep the shit out of me.”
On Halloween night of that year she really lost her shit and I think was actually trapped in the alley for a little while until she figured out how to open the door.
Now it is a few years on, I have moved house, and she has learned new tricks. As I type this, she is standing on the small patch of Market Street I can see from my window, yelling her head off.
“I didn’t abduct you! I didn’t rape you! I didn’t leave you in a bucket of ice!”
It goes on like that. I’m trying not to listen, because it’s terrifying on so many levels. Like, where is this story coming from? Who did this happen to? Why does she have to face my building and look up at my window while she yells this?
I realize that being freaked out by a poor, mentally disturbed woman who is obviously having a really hard time of things is probably not the best reaction to have. I still don’t know what is the best reaction to have. Can you call social services for this kind of thing? Would that be at all helpful for her? I just don’t know. But at least I’m maintaining my personal Halloween tradition, and I guess that’s something.