Annoying The Man at Día de los Muertos in San Francisco, CA
A sea of white-costumed haunts shake and sway to rhythmic drumbeats, crying out the names of departed loved ones as they weave in and out of the Crown Victoria barricades lined up along 25th Street. On the Day of the Dead, the air is electric, the night is candlelit and moaning; I feel as though in a dream. Police lights strobe on and off into my eyes, periodically filling my head with lightning, enhancing the ghostliness of the surreal spectacle surrounding me. Blinking up at a flashing squad car, I murmur, “That helps.” Not articulate enough for the policewoman in the cab, she barks, “It helps people who need to be at work tomorrow morning.” I walk on, startled back into my skin and stuttering addendums in vain while my friends laugh good-naturedly beneath their wicked skull paint.